I wouldn't bet that all home builders have a perfect record in NZ. New came about a couple living in Avonside (Christchurch) few months ago voicing their heartache about the house they live in. Several years ago they bought the house from Orange Homes (who built it). 3 months ago the City of Christchurch gave them no choice but repair or demolish the house. Why? Their home was one of the "Leaky House Syndrome" prevalent all over NZ. So it really doesn't matter who you choose to build because there are certain designs such as plaster exterior cladding that shouldn't be used in NZ homes. Sure we see them over in America but the building techniques are different. As in other posts, I stress 'mechanical ventilation' in homes via central heating + any plaster exterior cladding MUST have a vented cavity so the condensation can escape.
I'm still waiting the day for someone to build an R2000 (from Canada) spec home in NZ.
Just bumping this thread as we are looking to build a house in about 3 months and want to start talking to builders and design companies. Anyone got some feedback (good or bad) please drop me a PM or post on here if it's not libellous ;-)
Husband is a UK Chartered Surveyor and we went with a plaster and poly clad house built by Stonewood. I don't understand it, but it's not the plaster that causes the "leaky houses", but poor installation of various things (quite complex I understand). Anyway, we thought Stonewood were OK. We liked the style, the finishing, the extra insulation and the options we could add. Our house is v warm and condensation free so we're pleased over the winters. They also came in exactly on budget which was important to us as we had no extra money. I've heard Mike Greer are good, but as said before there is a lot of personal choice that come into making this big decision.
Currently in the middle of house renovation here. Going well, with one or two little hiccups only.
Our builder is J & A Cook, Master Builders, talk to Tony 027 4789598.
Another guy that made good impression on us while we were waiting for tenders was from Miles Construction, master Builder,03 3440272 (they seem to be a nice young team, but they were more expensive/ "our" Tony was the cheapest and he is on the ball)
Architect was Michael Cousens, from Gravity Design, 03 3795045. I found him to be quick and efficient.
But there is plenty of them, so you might find somebody else better suited to your needs/wishes.
Hi, we built last year over in Lincoln with ANA Developments - excellent all round. All their houses are one-offs designed by an architect under your guidance as opposed to some of the bigger builders who tend to refer to a catalogue of designs. Also found IQ Homes to be very well set up and have heard good reports on Peter Ray Homes too. Paul Reed Homes had a good reputation too. Like you I was concerned about the financial stability of the builders, but I found both ANA and IQ to be able to work to my budget and payments after work was completed. I think IQ are currently offering a scheme where you don't pay until completion, there will be a cost one way or another to this but it does give peace of mind as to your financial exposure. Anyway we could never have contemplated a build in the UK, but it was definitely the right decision for us - no compromises to be made in what you get. Just don;t under estimate the time you need to plan the layout and fittings etc ! Good luck Steve
Familyofmonkeys .... I read your message where you said you had heard good things about Orange Homes. I wonder if you can give me more details of what you heard? We were thinking of using Orange Homes , but want to make sure!
Any one else heard anything about Orange?
We've heard good things about Orange but from experience to get what you really want go with an independant builder. Can highly recommend ours
Pm me for details
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The problem is that people forget. I've mentioned in some other post that today's Orange Homes 2005 is not the same company as it use to be. The original founder "Mel 'old man' Orange" did build exceptional homes many decades ago. However, his sons kinda took on the company in a different direction and doesn't built the high quality homes as their father did. Now you don't have to take my word as this is just what i've heard 'hearsay'.
Nowadays, having any house built plays under a complete different set of rules than say +5 years ago. I'm pretty confident future built homes will improve, especially after 2012 when the gov't License Building Practitioner will be mandatory. Today, municipal gov'ts are still addressing the leaky house syndrome and as the months go by, more and more rotten houses are surfacing. Because of this mess, you can be sure that any house built today will be under strict guidelines and specifications put out by the city council. Does this mean new houses built today can still leak? -... well very unlikely!
I've given up on the idea of looking at top spec builders. The reason has more to do with the way houses are built in NZ and that truly air tight construction (using vapour barriers) and mechanical ventilation will not meet NZ building code. So ideas like HRV/ERV, super high R-value insulation, even PVC windows are pretty much a non-priority because true home comfort without wasting lots of energy is not really possible in NZ. What is more important is the weather tightness; water, wind, & structure.