Depending on what type of house design you have in mind, an Architect or Draughtsperson will each offer you different solutions for your plans.
Throughout my building career I have built lots of houses designed by Architects and Draughtspersons and found the bigger and more technical the build, the more likely it was designed by an Architect as this type of design work is what they specialise in.
If you are looking to build a relatively straightforward house as are commonly found in new subdivisions or renovate an existing house without complex design ideas, then a Draughtsperson will be able to provide you with a good set of plans at a good market rate. This will most likely be your best choice in this instance.
If, however, you would like to build or renovate a larger, more complex, bespoke, custom designed house or a small unique one with interesting or challenging design features, then an Architect would be more experienced in this niche. Also, if the site is particularly challenging in relation to what you would like to build, then also an Architect would be a good choice.
As Architects are regularly designing high end of the market homes and other buildings they have a good range of ideas, wealth of knowledge and design flare to produce some great concept plans to help get your vision down on paper.
These types of plans will cost more than a set from a Draughtsperson but will normally have a higher degree of detail which enables more accuracy in the build-pricing stage, which can save you on price variations throughout the build. This can offer more security with your build estimates and hence your budgeting. A set of lower cost plans may end up with lots of price variations due to a lack of details, leading to budget blowouts and, consequently, stress.
It comes down to employing the person who has the capabilities and skill set required for the type of home you desire to build or renovate. Once you are really clear on what you desire to create and, equally as important, what your budget will allow you to create - then you can check that against the information above and you will know whether to choose an Architect or Draughtsperson to complete the plans.
We are Craftsman Architectural Building Specialists operating in the Nelson/Tasman region. If you would like to contact us to discuss your plans and talk to a Registered Master Builder - Contact us here
When first meeting a prospective client one of the first questions that is often asked is “ How much a square metre will you charge to build our new house”?
The square metre (m2) rate is a popular term used by group home building companies and many other builders who have a range of standard plans that have either been built before or have already been priced so they can calculate the finished house build square metre rate based on the floor area.
Example : A house has a floor area of 220m2 and has been priced to cost $2000 per m2.
220m2 x $2000 per m2 = $ 440’000 build cost.
The m2 rate will vary based on many factors such as site conditions, location, materials, fit-out selections etc to name a few. For example when you go to a store to buy anything that is sold by the square metre (for example carpet, tiles, vinyl, timber flooring to name a few) there will be a huge variation in price based depending on the end market - budget, mid-range or high-end.
Another factor is that every building company has their own set of fixed and variable expenses, pricing processes, preferred suppliers and sub-contractors and each Builder is an individual with their own set of priorities. This is why no two building companies/independent builder will end up with the same or even a similar price. This is why the ‘square metre rate’ is a myth because it attempts to give a sense that pricing is standardised across the industry somehow - but for the reasons stated above and below, it isn’t.
Yet another factor to consider is economy of scale, a small house still has a lot of fixed costs that
make the m2 rate higher when divided by the floor area. As the floor area increases the square metre rate tends to decrease.
When building Architectural houses designed to a specific client brief that most often require
building on hill or challenging sites, the only true way to establish the build square metre rate is to fully price the final consent plans to calculate the total build cost, divide this figure by the floor area to reveal the true m2 rate.
It is not uncommon for this type of build to average $4000 per m2 and this figure can increase
much higher based on the clients final choose of materials, fit out and internal decorations.
In todays building market it is still possible to build a house under $2000 m2 as long as it is built
on a flat site with standard materials and fitting. This figure can also be reduce based on an owner
build and their level of involvement in the construction process.
Undertaking a project based solely on price or ‘square metre rate’ alone also attracts the most risk. This is because established building companies/independent builders who have been in the industry a long time have proven pricing systems and financial solvency that has allowed them to trade successfully over the long term. Whereas, companies/independent builders operating at ‘cheapest price’ generally have not been in the industry for very long, or potentially are trying to ‘buy’ work to continue to stay in business. Obviously, this is not a sustainable business model which is borne out by statistics which show that “half of all construction firms will have closed within 4 years, and three quarters within 10 years” (1). If this was to happen to you during your build, it will cost you a lot more in money and stress.
The old saying “ you get what you pay for “ is true of new home building as the build quality will
still be enjoyed long after the cost is forgotten.
Are you ready to leave the myth of the ‘square metre rate’ behind? Are you looking for someone who is a specialist in their field together with knowing how much your build will actually cost you? You can call us HERE or email us HERE
(1) The Building Guide, Canterbury West Coast 2017 2nd Edition. (This guide quoted from Statistics New Zealand figures).
One of the questions I get asked regularly is - what are the advantages of engaging an independent builder?
In today’s building market a large percentage of new homes are now built by group home builders ( Housing companies ).
For a lot of people this is a good option if you are looking for a standard subdivision style house at a good market rate with some also offering finance terms.
If, however, you are looking to build an architecturally designed house and/or on a challenging site that requires a high standard of craftsmanship and experience to deliver, then an independent builder who specialises in this type of building would be a better choice for the following reasons.
Experience in any trade comes with time on the tools and in building after completing an apprenticeship of 4 years if would normally take another 10 years to gain a good range of experience. At this point most builders would have developed good craftsmanship skills.
Architectural builders tend to have more of these types of experienced staff working for them than group home builders as the financial and stimulating rewards are better.
A high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is vital when building architectural homes.
Specialist builders tend to also use materials and techniques on architectural homes that are rarely, if ever, used in standard house construction.
Generally, the independent builder you first engage to build your house will also still be active on the tools and onsite running the construction helping to keep the project and workers performing to the high standards required of these types of builds. This gives them a more intimate knowledge of you, your house and design - ultimately delivering what you truly desire to create.
If you are planning on building your forever dream architectural home then it would be advisable to consult with a specialist independent builder with all the knowledge and skills required to deliver what your expectations demand.
If you are looking for a builder that is a specialist in this field and honours true craftsmanship - contact us today.
So, you’ve found a section, what happens now?
Before you actually buy the section - the best advice I would give you at this point is find a builder who specialises in the type of build you have in mind for the type of section you have. For example, if you desire to build an architecturally designed home on a challenging hill site - it is best to find a Builder that is experienced in that kind of build. Choosing the right Builder for the right job, will save you a lot of worries and frustration.
Even if you are unsure of what you may like to build, this first meeting could save you a lot of money and wasted time.
An experienced builder will give you advice on the viability of the site, possible options, contact details of designers best suited to your needs and even possible build costs.
If your budget does not look like it will allow you to build on this section and you have not yet purchased it, then it will make it easier to walk away from that section and look at other options - before you get too emotionally attached and avoid any unnecessary investment.
If you would like to arrange a site visit with a builder who is an expert in residential construction on all type of section - contact us today.
Do you have your own 'grand design' in mind? Are you thinking of taking the next step and buying a section to build it on? If so, here's some information you might like to consider before you do.
Sections generally are one of three types. Flat, hillside or lifestyle. We will discuss each of the different section types to help you avoid some of the regular pitfalls.
Flat sections are normally the easiest and cheapest to build on but in today’s market if they are also in a new subdivision, the size can be quite small and at the same time very expensive depending on their location in relation to schools, shops etc. What are your requirements? Do you have a boat, caravan, motor home etc - you need to be sure there will be enough room to cater for any additional recreational vehicles and assets on the smaller, flat sections.
Hillside sections on paper are generally bigger, but their usability outside the proposed building footprint can sometimes be difficult. Depending on their location most will cost less than a flat section unless the location and view are highly sought after, in which case the price can be very high.
Building on a hillside will add a lot more to the cost and will also depend on if the section is above or below the road access. Building below the road access is harder than above as it is more difficult to get machinery and materials on site. This will increase the overall cost.
A common trend is for hillside sections to change ownership several times before a house is finally built due to people underestimating the true cost of building on a hill.
Lifestyle sections can come in any number of shapes and sizes and will normally be cheaper and bigger the further they are away from a city centre.
Build costs will be similar to the above with a few extras to take into account. You will need your own water supply and waste water treatment that at today’s pricing will cost approximately $30,000 to $40,000. Power supply and fencing will also add to this.
Generally, even after all this outlay you will end up with a total land plus build cost about the same as building in town with the benefit of a lot more land and better privacy.
You will see that each type of section has its advantages and disadvantages, the most important factor is that you buy a section that actually fits your lifestyle and requirements.
If you would like to arrange a site visit with a builder who can give you some expert tips, help you avoid some common pitfalls and aid you in creating what it is you truly desire - contact us today.