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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 101009 22-Apr-2012 21:32 Send private message

Hi all,

I found a thread about these guys from August last year and I'm really keen to see if anyone has had any recent experiences with them.  http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=141&topicid=87955

We're considering a new build (our first) and are more than a little anxious about trying to make the right choice in who to manage this process for us.  Having spoken to one of their guys now I've been pretty happy with how things have progressed.  We haven't commited to the purchase of a section yet so we've still got all options open to us.

I'd be interested in hearing anyone who has managed this whole process themselves, and especially anyone that has used Key2 to manage this for them.

Thanks
Darcy

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  Reply # 613385 22-Apr-2012 21:53 Send private message

I've got no experience with Key2 but I do work in the building industry. The one thing I would advise you is to read every piece of every contract and make sure you get all of your contracts checked by lawyers.

If you have questions make sure you get them answered and get the answers in writing. Ask lots of questions. You're not a builder so don't be afraid to look stupid. If the developer doesn't want to answer questions now imagine what's going to happen when something goes wrong (something ALWAYS goes wrong on a build). Don't assume that items are included in the contract, if they're not listed they won't be. If every thing falls apart then you're going to be reliant on the contract, not what their representatives have said.

Things that are often not included in the contract are building consents, resource consents, landscaping, fences, getting services to the house. If it's an all inclusive contract it needs to include everything required.

The other thing that you as the building owner needs to get right is your spec. Every change you make will usually cost either money, time or both. Particularly structural changes.

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  Reply # 613440 23-Apr-2012 06:14 Send private message

We're finishing up a build with GJ Gardner. Good brand reputation, but watch out as it is run by local franchisees and there is no way of contacting the head office to make complaints. Not even when things go wrong like we went 6 weeks over the completion date and no one knew, now we are more than 3 months after moving in and only now the code compliance is getting done. There is a long list if "maintenance" items including pulling part of the roof apart to see why it is skew (a porch at the front entrance) but no one comes out. A friend of mine who has just got code compliance on the project he managed himself (too over 10 years to design, a few years to build, super energy efficient home in Waitakere, Auckland) told me the whole building industry is like that and you need to check everything thoroughly.

We moved our driveway and in the contract is reinstatement of the old vehicle crossing. Apparently this means only the concrete footpath, not filling in the hole or planting grass.

Not intending to discourage you, it is great building your own home, this is our second (first in South Africa, much better experience), but you need to go into it with your eye wide open and expect stuff-ups. Like the kitchen designed that refused to design the kitchen the way we asked, could not understand that a drawer from the side will knock against the handle of the free standing oven, and no idea what a semi-integrated dishwasher is even when we explained numerous times it is like built-in integrated but with a stainless steel door instead of using a cabinet door. Even sent the install manual. And then it took numerous times before dimensions on the design, which we had to sign off, added up to the total dimension.

Hope this helps, in SA you have the advantage that people are desperate for work since there is 50% unemployment and no DOL handouts. Here it is too easy to not have to work. So carefully check out your builder.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 613444 23-Apr-2012 07:09 Send private message

Interesting article on the Herald site this morning. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10800694 might be a good time to be thinking about building.

However I remember many years ago that a competing wallboard from Thailand (I think) was on the NZ market but Fletchers managed to get the Govt of the day to impose tariffs and effectively kill it off.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 613447 23-Apr-2012 07:51 Send private message

Hmm, thanks for the input so far.

I do have a solicitor that I'd get to read through all the contracts...  that's sound advice Handle9.

And Neil, interesting comments about GJ!  That doesn't sound like an experience I'd be too keen to go through...  I wonder how many of his own kitchens that chap had been in after they'd been built  :)

Has anyone had any experience with DW Homes in Waiuku?

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WorldxChange

  Reply # 613449 23-Apr-2012 07:55 Send private message

I had some bad experience's with these guys ... will never ever ever go near them again




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 613454 23-Apr-2012 08:14 Send private message

maverick: I had some bad experience's with these guys ... will never ever ever go near them again


Hi, was that with Key2 or DW Homes?  Could you please elaborate?  Thanks

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  Reply # 613455 23-Apr-2012 08:16 Send private message

key2... long story short they took money for a property, fell through ... Guess who kept the money, said we would get the money back if we purchased another place through them.





Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 613742 23-Apr-2012 15:31 Send private message

DarcyW: I wonder how many of his own kitchens that chap had been in after they'd been built  :)


It was a lady designer from a reputable kitchen company!  Design meetings went well, documentation was poor and would not do corrections we point out needs to be done.

The benchtop was supplied by another company arranged by GJ.  We designed the kitchen smaller so that we can get 1 piece granite, and then it got installed as 2 pieces... the administrator forgot to get us to sign off on the top design.  And then they wanted to charge us $500 extra to redo it - we refused and they redid it for free.

We are still waiting for the cesspit in the driveway to be opened (polystyrene to be removed) 2 months after the driveway was poured.  In 4 months the only thing that was done is the driveway, and we are waiting for code compliance so we can get a mortgage top-up (construction loans are only 80%) to pay off the credit card and buy furniture.

Note this is not a reflection on the GJ brand, it is a reflection on the building industry in general and our experience with one of the GJ franchises.  We have done well with a good price for a good size house that we will live in for a long time, but the finish quality is certainly not what we expected.  The alternative was going with Golden Homes, but the prices started at double what GJ asked, too much for the area we are in, and it was clearly spelled out that there were significant extras required.




You can never have enough Volvos!


xpd

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  Reply # 613752 23-Apr-2012 15:43 Send private message

Also, get everything in writing from the council, in triplicate and dated.
Brother in law built a place few years back, got all paperwork etc signed off by local council, just to have them come back after the house was finished asking for rest of their money because he had'nt filed bit of paper that they originally told him he didnt need.... long story short, went to court, council won - was cheaper to pay out than fight it and he didnt have time to fight.




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  Reply # 613764 23-Apr-2012 15:52 Send private message

kiwitrc: Interesting article on the Herald site this morning. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10800694 might be a good time to be thinking about building.


Interesting regarding the view of lower quality materials from overseas when e.g. South Africa subscribe to very similar European standards as New Zealand.  And the cost to get the product here is not cheap either.  It is rather a reflection on the high prices we pay here for local product (various reasons, not just mark-up).

You know local is expensive when you can import 1 standard car oil filter from the UK for cheaper than buying it from Repco/Supercheap.  Same for building materials.  We got a 30cm x 30cm ceiling shower head delivered for $100.  We wanted the 50cm x 50cm (1m x 1.9m shower...), but (urban!) water flow is not enough.  The exact same 30cm sqr shower head here is the largest you can get and starts at 3 times the price.

We were about to get the front door handle from AU but then we discovered Bunnings had the same one for the same price otherwise all the other shops were double the price.  Actually I wanted a larger handle which you do not get here in that design but my wife was fine with the standard size - and she was right as always (trying to score some points with her).

Watch out for resource consent.  Probably not needed, but that is a huge money pit.  We needed one because we temp had 2 homes on one property (built new then removed old).  Council cannot tell you what the cost will be for the consent until it is granted, and everything you pay (including for pre-meeting to find out what they actually want a consent for) is a deposit for the final invoice.  Turns out they were concerned about the impact on the neighbours, and the only requirement that was not already in our contract was that we had to plant a specimen tree (anything in a 45L bag).  Cost us 3 months delay and almost $3000 for the consent.  And there may be further compliance inspections "for which we may get charged".  My wife is brilliant, she did the resource consent and got it first time no questions asked, but normally you pay someone $5000+ to do it for you.




You can never have enough Volvos!




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 613769 23-Apr-2012 16:03 Send private message

There are some useful tips in there guys! Please keep any other advice and/or past problems coming :)

And yes...  the resource consent is a bit worrying...  We're building out in Waitakere on a privately sold (although yet to be signed) section so it's all a bit of a pain not knowing what the RC issues will be.  The issue there is that it's our responsibility (not a developers) to ensure we'll be able to build there before going through with the purchase!  Eeek!  :-)

Does anyone know the difference between 9K and 5A zones and what restrictions might be in place for residential dwellings?

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  Reply # 613775 23-Apr-2012 16:10 Send private message

DarcyW: There are some useful tips in there guys! Please keep any other advice and/or past problems coming :)

And yes...  the resource consent is a bit worrying...  We're building out in Waitakere on a privately sold (although yet to be signed) section so it's all a bit of a pain not knowing what the RC issues will be.  The issue there is that it's our responsibility (not a developers) to ensure we'll be able to build there before going through with the purchase!  Eeek!  :-)

Does anyone know the difference between 9K and 5A zones and what restrictions might be in place for residential dwellings?


Jump on the council website under the district plan. You'll need to dredge through it but it will tell you what restrictions are under each zoning. 

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  Reply # 613783 23-Apr-2012 16:22 Send private message

If its a bloke called called Russell Benshaw then I wouldn't trust or do business with them in any way shape or form based on my experiences and imho... the work shark springs to mind




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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  Reply # 613787 23-Apr-2012 16:33 Send private message

Sorry, I meant we could have gone with Lockwood for double the price plus lots of extras required, not Golden Homes.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 613852 23-Apr-2012 18:32 Send private message

maverick: If its a bloke called called Russell Benshaw then I wouldn't trust or do business with them in any way shape or form based on my experiences and imho... the work shark springs to mind


He is the director, started the company in 2003, and been in real estate for 22 years (don't know when that statement was made, found it on the internet).  Don't trust a real estate agent, especially with 22 years experience.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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