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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

Patience

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.

Plan

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.

Prepare

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.

Prices

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.

Avoid analysis paralysis with these five renovation decision-making tips

Are you over-analysing every single decision on your upcoming renovation? We get it – renovations and house extensions are a big deal, but the process should be exciting, not anxiety-inducing. If you feel like your head is spinning, our five decision-making tips should help.

1. Figure out the purpose of your renovation

What is your motivation to renovate? Are you…

  • Trying to increase the value of your house?
  • Accommodating a growing family?
  • Building the home of your dreams?

These are three very different scenarios which will yield three very different outcomes. If it’s your dream home, go ahead and splash out on the gold bath or underfloor heating; but if you’re renovating to sell, make sure each new item will see a good return.

There’s always a purpose, a goal, a reason behind a renovation – once you figure out yours, making decisions will fall into place.

2. Do your research

There are countless resources to help discover your design style and understand the housing market.

  • Spend some time pouring over interior design magazines and perusing Auckland renovation blogs.
  • Get inspiration from websites like Pinterest or Houzz.
  • Visit ​​The Home Idea’s Centre in Auckland, a design showroom packed with products from New Zealand’s leading manufacturers.
  • Talk to friends who have renovated their houses and pop into open homes in your neighbourhood.
  • School yourself up on the property scene to shed some light on what matters most to you.

3. One decision at a time

When your head is swirling with everything from light fittings to decking, remember you don’t have to make all the decisions at once. Figure out what’s causing you the most stress and start there: is it a big ticket item like the entire kitchen layout, or a smaller detail like what style architraves and skirting boards you prefer?

Your KN Construction project manager will create a “Decisions To Be Made” list and schedule for you. This shows you what is a priority and what can wait. It also means you can refer to the schedule and see how much time you have before needing to make a decision on each item.

And remember, there’s no rush, no ticking clock: just focus on one decision at a time. By taking bite-sized pieces, the whole renovation will suddenly feel much more manageable.

4. Listen to the experts

By working closely with a professional builder, you can unload some of the decision-making burden. With over 20 years’ experience in Auckland’s building industry, we know what works and what is a waste of money. We balance practicality with aesthetics. We can create that wow factor without exceeding the budget. We’ve built our lives around extensions and renovations, and we are here to put our renovation services to good use.

5. Reflect as you renovate

As you move forward in your home renovation journey, take some moments to look back and see how far you’ve come. Builders know how important monitoring progress is for sticking to budgets and meeting deadlines. But tracking visual progress is also exciting and seeing how your choices have paid off will increase your confidence and help combat decision-making fatigue.

Has analysis paralysis got the better of you? Get in touch and we’ll help ease the decision-making process.