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Take a peek behind the scenes at KN Construction

Yeah, the frustration is real. Covid has seriously impacted the construction industry with its timber shortage, in particular, causing delays. Where we can, we continue pushing ahead and are close to completing several major contracts but we have been forced to hit pause on others. While we’re staying calm, behind these reassuring smiles, we’re in scramble mode doing our best to hunt down alternate solutions so we can swing back into action on all our projects as soon as possible.

Here’s where we draw back the curtain and give you a peep backstage …

OK, Let’s get real

Kiwis have always loved home reno, but the enforced time inside our own four walls during lockdown along with our inability to head overseas to spend our savings has given us a greater desire to upgrade our homes. The upsurge in demand caused by the worldwide pandemic is accompanied by a shortage of supplies caused by, you guessed it: the worldwide pandemic. Worst. Irony. Ever. We’re not going to blow smoke and tell you everything is fine. That’s not our style. When your designs are consented by council, you need to expect the work to start around 12 months later (depending on project size). So let’s start this process now with chats about possibilities and home design because ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’.

Trust us, the wait is totally worth it …

So your renovation, extension or new build design is complete, consented and your building materials have finally arrived; this is when your project manager takes control.  From organising the workflow and workers, this is the flurry of activity that we thrive on. Deliveries need to be planned and sub-trades need to be scheduled so they’re getting the work done in the right order.

Quick decisions, troubleshooting, and coming up with a Plan B are what we do every day. Be prepared to be flexible and to trust the alternative solutions we suggest are the best in a competitive market.

We can see into the future…

Our years of experience as east Auckland and central Auckland builders means we really do have the ability to foresee problems and we’re quick to do the legwork behind the scenes. By the time we’re ready to alert the client to an issue, we’ve already come up with a smart solution. The beauty of foresight is that a construction problem that would’ve been picked up at the inspection stage is resolved earlier in the project, saving time and money.

Meanwhile, back at HQ…

Our office team almost literally performs backflips to ensure the paperwork is complete, code of compliance inspections are carried out, and quotes that were given during the pricing stage are honoured.

We have multiple renovation services on the go. It’s OK; we’re great at this. We have procedures that avoid any surprises along the way. At every stage, we’re working in advance to give you a heads up that decisions on specifications are needed and to ease the project through with as few disruptions as possible.

But Covid is still throwing up Auckland renovation speed bumps…

Lockdowns interrupted the domestic manufacture of timber, and building materials made overseas often don’t meet our high New Zealand standards. As we mentioned earlier, coupled with an increase in demand it means sourcing materials is tougher than it used to be. Our job behind the scenes is to find alternatives, quantify those, and present the smartest solution to you.

One major New Zealand trade supplier has tripled its order for building materials but has seen demand rise six-fold. We take the time to find the most cost-effective deals for your project. One example is prefabricated cassette flooring that is environmentally friendly and delivered to the site ready for installation. For engineered timber, there’s a wait time of around three months compared to over a year (or not at all) for treated solid natural timber.

You’re part of the building process

​​​​Communication is vital, so we use the software CoConstruct to manage clients and tradespeople, schedule work, track job site progress, and monitor financials. You can access it all online. It’s an easy way for you to keep up to date and send queries or messages about specific points.

Want to learn more about our process? Check out our quick guide that takes you from design to renovation completion here.

We treat every build, reclad, renovation, or extension as if it’s our own home. We take great pride in bringing order to the chaos with honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Ready to kick-start your dream home renovation? Complete an enquiry form here or call to find out more. 

Then relax in the knowledge that we’ve got this. Our focus is on keeping the behind-the-scenes stress away from you. KN Construction is a small team of central Auckland builders supported by a network of reliable and experienced subcontractors. Whether it’s a renovation, extension, re-clad or up-spec, with quality workmanship and clear communication, the KN Construction team truly wants the best for its clients.

When the worst time to renovate is actually the best

So, you’ve spent 90 days of lockdown examining the inside of your home. 3600 hours wishing it was bigger or had a smarter layout … 86,400 minutes getting excited about building your dream home. Well, believe it or not, now is as good a time as any to start the preparation…  

The Four Ps of Building During Covid


Renovating your home is a big investment that shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time and get it right. Auckland Council has continued processing consents right through lockdown and as a result, the number of consents is estimated to be around four years’ worth of building work. This industry boom isn’t going to ease up any time soon. Everyone is stretched at the moment, so the home renovation process will take time. If you are considering renovation then your best bet is to jump in and begin right now.


We know how frustrating staring at those same four walls has been for you, but let’s flip it into a positive and call it “intensive research”. You’ve had the chance to analyse what’s not working in your home. Before you rush out to get the plans in your head drawn up by an architect or draftsman, your first call should be to a qualified Auckland builder. Pick a builder with years of experience who can talk through your renovation wishlist and tell you what is realistic. Maybe a wall you’d like removed is load-bearing … or you’re unsure of the smartest options to re-clad your home … or maybe you just need a rough cost estimate. From the initial consultation, you can navigate the early stages of building together to avoid wasting your time and money.

Takeaway Tip: Architects have the vision and the flair to create and detail all of your exciting ideas. However, due to the current environment, they’re not always up to speed with the ever-changing building costs, which are changing rapidly. Sometimes builders are given plans that have already gone through council and must break it to the homeowner that they can’t be achieved within their budget. To make the process seamless, it’s critical to engage a builder first.


So, you’ve talked to your builder, figured out what is possible, and signed a contract. Now your job is to begin clearing the renovation site while your chosen building company starts the behind-the-scenes intricacies of ordering materials, organising tradies, and figuring out renovation timelines.

Here’s where we get brutally (refreshingly) honest with you: due to demand, building materials are taking much longer to get to Auckland. What used to take days is now taking months, so it’s important that you trust your builder and their building expertise. They will know this process back to front and will work hard to source the materials you want and when they become available, to store them securely until they’re required on site. When appropriate, they may even suggest alternate options. We’re not pulling any punches here; this is a logistical minefield – but it’s one that a competent licensed builder will be an expert at navigating. Make sure you’ve chosen a construction company (like us!) with an excellent project manager who will factor in the challenges of the current climate and keep the lines of communication wide open, so you know exactly what’s going on throughout the process.

Takeaway Tip: These are tricky times. There are hold-ups with supply chains and building materials, but an experienced building company will have learned how to successfully manage those issues and guide you through the process.


We can’t overstate this enough; prices are the best they’ll ever be. Renovation costs are rising. KN Construction has recently signed two major building contracts, so we know how competitive the market currently is. Luckily, through our years in the industry, we have great relationships with suppliers so we can continue taking on new projects. We’ve already seen some massive price increases this year so now is genuinely the time to begin your home renovation.  

Takeaway Tip: Supply chains have ramped up to keep up with demand. Suppliers are producing up to seven times more products than they were prior to the housing boom. One weatherboard company now produces in a day what it had been producing in a week and still can’t keep up.

Ready to kick-start your dream home renovation? Complete an enquiry form here or call to find out more. Then relax in the knowledge that we’ve got this. In fact, you can trust KN Construction to take care of the fifth P: perseverance. Our focus is on keeping the behind-the-scenes stress away from you. KN Construction is a small team of central Auckland builders supported by a network of reliable and experienced subcontractors. Whether it’s a renovation, extension, re-clad or up-speck, with quality workmanship and clear communication, the KN Construction team truly wants the best for its clients.

The importance of planning and flexibility when renovating post COVID-19.

We get it – there’s a lot to think about when you’re renovating, especially after a year with so many ups and downs. As with any good house build, if you get the foundations right, you’re well on your way to success.

It’s been said that around 20% of consented building and renovation plans in Auckland aren’t getting built, which could be due to the disconnect between the design and the cost to build. That’s why we’ve outlined the importance of contingency plans, expert help, and pure patience to help you stay relatively unruffled before and during your house renovation.

#1 Put contingency plans in place early

Are you renovating for long-term comfort or for profit? How long you plan to stay in your home (after you’ve renovated) will help you decide which changes you’d like to make and how much you’re comfortable spending.

A well thought out contingency plan not only allows for budget overruns but altering your scope of work and level of specification to ensure your budget is met.

You have probably heard people say to allow for 5-15% of the total build cost on top, to cover anything unexpected or additional homeowner requests during the building process. As we have seen with 2020’s lockdowns, unexpected time delays happen too, and they can have major flow-on effects for you and your builder. Depending on the size of the company, builders usually have a couple of jobs on the go, so it’s important to build in a time contingency to protect both you and your builder.

#2 Call in the experts

The building consent application process can be tricky and requires a lot of patience, which is why Auckland Council recommends getting professional help from your builder early on. Lodging a good quality application from the outset will save time and money. This is because the chances of Council making a Request for Further Information (RFI) are significantly reduced when you have experts handling the technical side of things. After consent is issued, any changes to the plans or specifications must be done through either a minor variation or an amendment. These can add days to months to the project timeline so working with your builders during the design stage in our eyes is critical.

In our many years of renovating, we’ve seen it all when it comes to building consents. Now, we can foresee any possible issues and get them sorted before the plans go to Council. During the initial planning stages, we’ll be looking at the existing building and heading off any problems there. There is always the potential for issues with the general buildability, foundations, and product specification, which can cause both issues with Council and budget blowouts down the track. Make sure you bring in a builder with loads of building consent experience, so they can spot issues early on.

#3 Be prepared to pivot

If we’ve learnt anything from 2020, it’s to be patient. Apply this same patience to your Auckland renovation and you’ll feel much more relaxed throughout the process. With most house renovations, plans will change slightly, variations may need to be made, and flexibility will be needed!

Builders never know exactly what they’re dealing with in your house until they open up the walls. Be prepared that what is found might cause unforeseen variations to the plan. This is why it’s useful to have your ‘must-haves’ communicated to your builder early on, so they can come to you with variations that still deliver on your non-negotiables.

A good builder will keep the job moving forward and sometimes this means changing things up. While our goal is to deliver to the plans (we’re emotionally invested in them too!), sometimes things happen that are out of everyone’s control. COVID-19 has made it tricky to source some building materials so we’re having to use the next best thing, and we’ll always discuss the options with you before making a decision. We also try our best to remain calm and see the big picture when things don’t go as expected!

Ultimately, getting an Auckland builder who is experienced with renovations (and the challenges that can come with them) is your best bet for successfully achieving your plans. In renovation planning mode? Bring us in for a chat and we’ll help you write a success story.

Get in touch today.