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Thread: "We build cheap in NZ"

  1. #1
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    Default "We build cheap in NZ"

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/pro...to-build-cheap

    This seems to confirm what I've read on this forum for awhile. The idea that houses are only supposed to last 50 years, though? Hm.

    We haven't really come face-to-face with this yet. But I do recall when we visited 10 years ago and went to some open house showings in Wellington, we were disappointed that even the most expensive new build was still single-glazed and looked difficult to keep warm. Even if that's the only issue, that will certainly contribute to damp. Of course that was 2007, supposedly during a peak of shoddy building according to the article, but I still get the impression that insulation, weathertightness, and heating your house to the point where it can dry out is not common in NZ due to the expense of all three.

    We're about to move from one 2-month rental in Nelson to a 2-month stint in New Plymouth. The houses, locales and heating situations are quite different, so we might start to feel the Kiwi lifestyle a bit more!

  2. #2
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    Alongside this, you may be interested to read the official side in the hits here. https://www.google.co.uk/search?sour....0.afjLCC5M3y4

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    Alongside this, you may be interested to read the official side in the hits here. https://www.google.co.uk/search?sour....0.afjLCC5M3y4
    Thanks, this must be the part of the code that says the structural elements only need to last 50 years to meet the code:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regul...html#DLM164790

    But honestly I have zero expertise in building codes, and wouldn't know how to compare them with the housing I'm used to! I unfortunately must rely on opinions of others with some experience.

  4. #4
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    We built our house last year and will say that the only thing that hasn't been up to par with our US built home is lack of fly screens incorporated into windows. We upgraded our insulation (only a little bit more), have windows with cold breaks, have central aircon and heating, and tried to build efficiently. Our house price came in slightly higher than neighboring homes but well worth it in terms of comfort. Just saying this to prove that there are quality homes being built but you have to insist on some of the upgrades available. An extra $20k on a $700k home (land included) is trivial.

    Cheers,
    Mic

  5. #5
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    I know, no bug screens are the first difference we noticed! It was really hard to keep our Auckland Airbnb ventilated without letting in a bunch of critters - especially crickets which are incredibly LOUD! One got stuck between the couch cushions

    Where did you end up building, and with which company? I've been wondering if it's better to build...were there any major headaches in the process?

  6. #6
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    Interesting tidbit in the article reacting to California requiring solar in new homes:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/h...mpulsory-nzgbc

    NZGBC CEO Andrew Eagles says before New Zealand looks to draft a similar law, we should first look to improve the way our houses are built. "We lose twice the amount of heat from our houses compared to houses in the UK and Europe," Eagles says. "Our building code still doesn't even provide for minimum standards relating to efficient heating, lighting, house orientation (for passive heat gain), ventilation that can significantly reduce moisture build-up, and thermal bridging, which address those areas around doors and windows."

    Damp houses do seem to be a favorite topic on Stuff, probably gets a lot of clicks...but I suppose it's one opinion providing a frame of reference for comparative energy efficiency.

  7. #7
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    We built off of Champion Road in Richmond. Company was Smith and Sons but organized through a friend who buys a few lots per year and builds a home on them to sell; nice side income stream. He showed us the lots he had and basic plans that we then customized. Builder was really adamant that the changes we were going to cost so much more but they really weren't; they just weren't used to doing them is all. We used BNZ for our home loan who were able to overlook that our residency hadn't been granted (although applied for and now received). Pay attention to the location of the house since with all the hills if you don't you might lose out on the winter sun; we wish we had more in the morning but felt it was fair compromise.

    Mic

    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
    I know, no bug screens are the first difference we noticed! It was really hard to keep our Auckland Airbnb ventilated without letting in a bunch of critters - especially crickets which are incredibly LOUD! One got stuck between the couch cushions

    Where did you end up building, and with which company? I've been wondering if it's better to build...were there any major headaches in the process?

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the details, Mic :-) That's funny they didn't want to up-sell you, haha

  9. #9
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    interesting

  10. #10
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    Oh, one other thing! Outlets! I know we discussed more of them with the sparkie BUT we should have taken the electric plan and explicitly drawn on them where we wanted extra outlets! For whatever reason every house we've stayed at, rented, etc. hasn't had enough outlets conveniently for laptops, phones, etc. Easy to add more during construction BUT we missed the boat!

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