Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At what stage do I involve the builder?
Some building companies will not be prepared to take on your project until it has plans and a building consent. However, at SIKA Homes we believe that the earlier we get involved the better. This is because, if we are able to work together with architects and designers, we can offer practical suggestions to make your perfect home easier, faster and cheaper to build. When you involve us from the start, this allows us to plan and organise everything we need in advance, meaning we will be ready to start when you are.
Building consents and permits – What’s my role? How do they work?
Every high-spec new home and large renovation will require a building consent (depending on the project, it may also require a resource consent) from the Auckland Council because it involves:
- Structural changes or additions
- Electrical or plumbing modifications
- New decks, retaining walls, fences or swimming pools
- Land use
(You can find further information on building consent specifications on the Auckland Council website.) As far as lodging consents this is usually covered by your architect or designer as part of their proposal. However if this is not the case, we offer a full design, consent and build service meaning you won’t have to do a thing. Alternatively you can choose to take on the consent process yourself, where you will need to follow the 12 step process outlined by the council. How to apply for a building consent »
Insurance: Do I need it? What are my options?
Yes, you absolutely do. At SIKA Homes we provide Contract Works insurance for new homes ensuring you can sleep easy. For renovations, insurance must be added to your existing homeowner insurance policy. In this case we provide Public Liability insurance as we are unable to insure the renovation if we don’t own the house. We also provide a Premium 10 Year Master Builder’s Guarantee and our own ‘Extra Mile’ guarantee to make sure that you are covered on fronts and receive only the best quality.
- Full Contract: A full contract involves a fixed price for your whole project and the building company will organise everything involved from contractors to the final building inspection.
- Cost Plus: A cost plus contract includes the price of all materials plus the builder’s margin. Although this type of contract does not offer a fixed price, it allows you to take advantage of builder’s discounts on materials and trades as well as input new things as the project progresses. Under Cost Plus the building company will also organise everything from contractors to the final inspection.
- Labour Only: This type of contract only covers the costs of the builder’s labour, meaning you have to arrange contractors, inspections, materials and everything else yourself. This process is very costly and time consuming unless you are able to hire an experienced project manager to take on the task of organising your project.
What types of contracts are there?
How can I be sure my project will be within budget and on time?
At SIKA Homes we will provide you with a schedule and an in-depth quote which outlines the cost of every detail in your project. These documents will tell you what is happening and when. However unforeseeable circumstances such as bad weather or structural rot (common in renovations) are sometimes likely to arise, so it is important to be prepared to change things if necessary. At SIKA Homes our experienced project manager will be there to inform you and deal with any hiccups to ensure a smooth project run. It is also vital that you have a contingency amount in your budget, especially when renovating, to cover any unforeseen issues that may arise. It is equally important to find out how much you’ll be charged for variations and extras BEFORE you sign any contract. Many companies use this area to make a lot of money by keeping it hidden or obscure. At SIKA Homes we always provide open and transparent pricing for variations and extras which will be found in your quote.
Because licensed building practitioners have been assessed as technically competent in their field, they are capable of assuring quality and industry standard work. As of 2012 of ONLY licensed practitioners are able to carry out restricted building work (including design work) that relates to either the structure (load-bearing walls; foundations etc.) or moisture penetration (roofs; cladding etc.) of homes and small to medium sized apartments. It is also important to note that it is illegal to knowingly engage an unlicensed person to carry out restricted building work, and if you are managing a project yourself you will be responsible for all the risk and liability involved, for next 10 years.
Why is it important to have a licensed building practitioner for my project?
Yes, in most cases. However each job is different. We have come up with some creative ways of ensuring you can live in your home for the majority of the project, if not for the entire duration. We assess every case individually, with serious considerations of safety and feasibility.
Is it possible to live onsite during construction?