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1429 posts

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  Reply # 613888 23-Apr-2012 19:48 Send private message

1. Always allow more time
2. Always allow more money
3. No build is perfect, but keep a hands on overview of things and you can pick up any issues before they get to far along and become majors.
4. Contract is the law...triple check it! When the dust settles the contract is all you have.
5. You can never have too many power points or cables, and there is no cheaper and easier time to install these

No personal experience but I know of 2 people that have been burned badly by GJ Gardener home builds. Their master franchise also ends up in the news or Fair Go from time to time (personal observation). Knowing what my friends have been through I wouldn't touch them personally.

Word of mouth is the best way to find someone, and ask to see some projects in progress or finished. If possible talk to the owners.

That's my 2 cents worth from 5 house builds so far.

Good luck










Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity





7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 613900 23-Apr-2012 20:13 Send private message

The zoning regulations are a bit of a headache to trawl through the first time.  Mainly because the zoning of the section is 5a, yet it's surrounded by houses and a farm all with 9k...  anyway, I'll find a planner or an experienced builder to have a chat with to get a better idea.  I guess that's why we all put due diligence in contracts...  to allow that sort of thing to be worked out before commiting.

Lots and lots of power points.  I'm seriously thinking about asking them to run cable ducts (or similar) in to the roof cavity to allow for future cable standard changes...  e.g. whatever replaces Cat6 and HDMI etc.  Easy to do now, a real pain later on.

And yes, I've met Russel.  He seemed nice enough...  but that's how they get 'cha  :)  I still have yet to contact other companies that will handle the project management.

Again, anyone with any positive/negative experiences with DW Homes?

Anyone with experience with installing septic tanks out in Waitakere?  They seem pretty bloody complicated these days!  Two stages of tanks plus an area of "garden" used to soak up the excess liquids...  Someone from work said $20K+  Ouch!!!

And cheers for the advice about GJ.  So many people seem to have had problems with them!

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  Reply # 613913 23-Apr-2012 20:29 Send private message

DarcyW: Anyone with experience with installing septic tanks out in Waitakere?  They seem pretty bloody complicated these days!  Two stages of tanks plus an area of "garden" used to soak up the excess liquids...  Someone from work said $20K+  Ouch!!!



No experience with Waitakere, but entry price for these new eco-friendly staged systems is around $15K.  Depends on the size of your house, occupancy, soil content, run-off etc, but $20K as a rule of thumb probably wouldn't be far off.

 




Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity



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  Reply # 613916 23-Apr-2012 20:36 Send private message

I personally don't like big property developers. The problem with them is the subbies are all working for rock bottom prices and have lots of houses on the go at any one time.
When I was doing telecom provisioning all the time my area was the new subdivision area in Palmy. The workmanship on some of the places I saw was not amazing -especially the daisy chained phone wiring lol. But the plastering and painting especially was not flash.

I would be tempted to look for a builder and get them to coordinate the other subbies, sparky, plumber etc. Plenty of them build houses that way and they are always of a better quality in my opinion.

150 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 613953 23-Apr-2012 21:21 Send private message

I will throw in getting a credit check done on whom ever you get to build the house.

44 posts

Geek


  Reply # 614342 24-Apr-2012 14:39 Send private message

My advice:

Avoid the big names on average.  Smaller means more attention and better communication overall.

Definitely go by word of mouth... this is how we ended up choosing and we are soooo happy.  A small company called ParkLane Homes only in CHC.

It took us nearly 1 year to choose the right builder.  It is so hard to compare when some things are not included and the quality of what is used is hard to assess.  For example Wool carpets, other floor coverings???

No 2 companies are exactly the same in what they provide.  That is why details of the (lengthy) contract are so important.  There is a list as long a my arm on what to consider.  Alarm system, lighting.  A big one for us was quality of insulation R300 min for colder climates in the roof.  And the gap of the double glazing 8mm, 10mm ?  

Overall the best single thing we were glad we had was great contractors.  The actual people doing the work were WAY above average.  This is seen in the details of the house everywhere you look.  They had a special kitchen designer who gave us a 3D rendered view with colours we chose, and install was excellent.  Electrician was also excellent.  

We feel very lucky.

They were also the least expensive by a good margin.  So we got max value

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  Reply # 614349 24-Apr-2012 14:49 Send private message

scuwp:
DarcyW: Anyone with experience with installing septic tanks out in Waitakere?  They seem pretty bloody complicated these days!  Two stages of tanks plus an area of "garden" used to soak up the excess liquids...  Someone from work said $20K+  Ouch!!!



No experience with Waitakere, but entry price for these new eco-friendly staged systems is around $15K.  Depends on the size of your house, occupancy, soil content, run-off etc, but $20K as a rule of thumb probably wouldn't be far off.

 


I replaced mine on Waiheke Island about 6 years ago. Tank system was $15k, plus drainlayer, digger and planting for drainage field.

If you can, get a concrete one, we had to go Fibreglass and it was noisy and I think they use a bit of power.

Pretty gutting amount of money for something you can't even show off! Pity they don't let you put in the old type systems anymore.

Also with Septic, forget about a Wastemaster/In-SinkErator - not allowed, that was pretty wounding after living with one for three years when I was in Napier - they are awesome!



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 614386 24-Apr-2012 15:40 Send private message

Thanks for all the advice guys.  It's shame the $20k was about right...  wow.  How depressing....  and no garbage disposal!  We've had one for 10+ years now and I use it daily to stop the rubbish from stinking - although meat scraps still go in the bin.  I guess there'd be room for a compost bin on the new property so I really should break my old habbits anyway  :-)

I'll investigate the double glazing options...  not that it will likely matter much in Auckland  :)



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  Reply # 614413 24-Apr-2012 16:27 Send private message

I'm pretty sure you have no choice about double-glazing - it has to be done I thought.

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  Reply # 614470 24-Apr-2012 17:28 Send private message

Must be double glazed, but they are not all the same. Best is PVC but they do not look so good. With aluminium make sure there is a good thermal break between the inside and the outside, else the double glazing helps nothing when the aluminium heat sink just extracts all your heat.

Highly recommend sound insulation for internal walls, makes a huge difference. We did only the rumpus room and the wall to one kid's bedroom, no other bedrooms share a wall with the living space, but next time I would do all. Makes the wall sound more solid. But make sure the gid is fixed with enough nails else the sound insulation will bow the gib (to various degrees, depends on gib installer skill).

Also consider a timber garage door, or do something custom with a steel door to add insulation. Our garage gets extremely hot when the sun hits it mid/late afternoon. During late morning not bad at all, just when the sun hots the door, so wall/ceiling insulation for the garage would not make much difference.

We put double power points on 3 to 4 walls of each room, and still not enough. The US has a spec of maximum 3.6m between power points, thus cables 1.8m long so you are always within reach of one (at a stretch). I would maybe put a double point every 2m. And once you work out where you want network, double the number of locations even when you know you will use wireless. You always change your mind.




You can never have enough Volvos!




7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 614572 24-Apr-2012 21:03 Send private message

I'll certainly look in to the double glaze options...  And yes, it's definitely standard/required now.  That's quite okay by us though!

The noise insulation is an interesting one...  I guess that will come down to how much it costs.  If it's not prohibitive then ideally between all the bedrooms and living areas.

Another mate mentioned insulated garage doors as well!  That's really not something I would have considered at all!  Interesting...

There will be more than a few power points around.  The lack of them drives me nuts. 

The networking is a tricky one...  That's where I'd like to put ducts down the wall in to the termination points so-as to change cable standards in 5-10 years.  I think one in each bedroom is plenty, but possibly a couple on far walls in the big rooms/lounge etc.

If we put in an external garage away from the house I'll definitely run ethernet out there as it makes a brilliant place to do *nearly* off-site backups in the worst case scenario of the house burning down.

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