Renovating in Auckland is tough. It’s a competitive market with many a cowboy lurking. The relationship you have with your builder will make or break your renovation so it’s important to take your time and do your research. After all, your home is your biggest asset. With over 20 years building and renovating experience, we’ve put together our five top tips to getting your renovation started (and avoid being taken for a ride!).
Find the right builder for you
Asking friends and family is the best place to start. If that draws a blank or you’re new to Auckland, then Google is your next best bet. Already snapped up an architect? Ask them for recommendations. Make sure you meet with several builders early on, find out about their previous work and request examples. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they think they can add value to your project.
Avoid the ‘man in a van’
You’re looking to save time and money on your renovation where you can, right? Then put ‘experience’ at the top of your want list. The more homes and renovations your builder have under their belt, the better their work will be, the better sub-trades they’ll have on their books and the more experience they’ll have with the all-important consent process. Choose a building company with a team of builders and sub-trades supporting them that has already built a reputation in the Auckland market.
Communication is key to a smooth(er) renovation
To enjoy the renovation process, you need a builder who’s going to work well with your architect and everyone else involved from day one and provide ongoing support and advice while you finalise your renovation plans.
So, before or during your first meeting, do some digging to see whether your builder values clear communication and collaboration. Ask them straight up what their company values are or check their website first. These days builders need to be more than just on the tools – they need to be confident communicators using project management software efficiently, so you know where things are at throughout your renovation journey. You could also ask about their health and safety and other work practices to gauge how they treat their staff.
Don’t go cheap with your biggest asset
Building in Auckland is expensive but who you choose to renovate with shouldn’t be based on price alone. You know the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’?well the same goes for building and renovating. Find a building company that provides support from the design phase right through until sweep up. Look for people who love what they do, are supported by committed sub-trades and use the latest technology to ensure effective project management, clear communication and no surprises.
Choose someone you like
You’re going to be speaking to your builder a LOT through months of renovation. You need to be able to trust them implicitly and ultimately get on with them. Trust your gut. If the fit doesn’t feel right, then keep looking for the right builder. It’ll be worth the wait.
If you’d like to chat about how we can help get your renovation off to a good start, get in touch today.