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Topic # 190767 11-Jan-2016 19:50
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Hey all - I am looking to build a new house for myself here in Chch (or Rolleston/Lincoln area) and while I have a really good handle on the design, requirements and WHAT I want... I don't have a particularly rich set of experience in HOW to choose a builder, or more specifically, how to choose between the volume build companies (Stonewood, GJ Gardner etc).

So I'm after some advice on intelligent ways to compare these builders or specific common issues. I'm familiar with the PS, PC stuff and the liquidated damages some say they will pay... I'm more after experience about generally how customer focused the firms are, to what level they own issues and sort out problems with builders, typical timeliness, what do they never build to budget, what companies list unacceptably low end stuff in their "headline prices"?

I'm sure there are individual horror stories for every single volume build company - I'm not after a list of those really... At the moment however I feel quite unprepared to decide what company to go with.

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 1468353 12-Jan-2016 12:03
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Built in Rolleston with Peter Ray homes. Wonderful build quality and very happy. Go around all the villages and take notes. Designs you like (ie a small room big floor to ceiling window can make it look much bigger, all sorts of things like that). Pick on bits inside the homes (I remember one in Wigram with shocking finish and he blamed the earthquakes for poor workmanship - you can guess when Insurance later recommended them what I thought). Only company to really have complaints has been Stonewood who I think over committed then under delivered. Make sure that the build time is realistic mine was very very close yet I know so many who have had months of delay. 

D.W

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  Reply # 1468361 12-Jan-2016 12:14
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There is a single thread here with a ton of feedback on different companies, worth a look through: http://nzfvtg.org.nz/building-company-reviews/

Also here: http://buildreview.co.nz/

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1472359 16-Jan-2016 06:59
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The big building company names people are familiar with are franchise owners. There are many separate small companies that pay large fees for a franchise so they can use a name you're familiar with instead of theirs which is one nobody has heard of. These companies handle sales and in turn may contract out to another company.

 



 

There are several threads on this forum about the technical issues. Volume builders use the building code as a target when it is deficient so learn what to ask for above that. The insulation should be above code with concrete slab edge insulation and windows should be thermally broken with multi-point locking.

 

 



Most builders are slow and will take far longer than they should to build a house. Take that into account.

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  Reply # 1473314 17-Jan-2016 18:38
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Why Lincoln / Rolleston?

 

I'd hate to live that far out, especially with fuel prices only likely to increase. Just curious as to your thinking :)



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  Reply # 1473334 17-Jan-2016 18:58
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It's close to the local racetrack, the ground conditions are great (good for building on / resilient to quakes), it's not much further away from the centre of town at peak times than my current place in South New Brighton. It won't be flattened by the tsunami from Chile.

 

Lots of the things I do / places I go are in the west of Chch anyway. Going North means catastrophic traffic issues to deal with For Chch anyway) and finally, the sections are pretty cheap and I can get a lot more house for my budget.

 

There's also stuff all flat sections available elsewhere in Chch unless you go North.

 

It's not just a whim really.

 

As for fuel prices....

 

A) I don't care

 

B) I'm getting whatever electrical groundwork laid (32A, 50A?) required for when I buy a Tesla in a couple of years :-)

 

Cheers - N

 

 

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  Reply # 1473532 18-Jan-2016 10:01
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Willuknight: Why Lincoln / Rolleston? I'd hate to live that far out, especially with fuel prices only likely to increase. Just curious as to your thinking :)

 

Until I moved I was like you but seriously its awesome. My trip is 25 minutes mostly open road compared with around 20 minutes sitting at traffic lights or in crap traffic on crap roads when I was in town. I have a wonderful rural view, full broadband, magnificent walks for the dog and a much better lifestyle.

 

There is a large amount of negative from many in town (and yes if you booze everynight it may not be for you) but if you want work life balance its great. The commute south is fine (I agree no way would I go north) and once the second stage of the southern motorway is finished in a couple of years the trip will be shorter again and motorway the whole way. By any other cities standard I live on works doorstep. My brother commutes up to 2 hours each way in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1473597 18-Jan-2016 10:55
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I recently started dating a girl who lives in Lincoln and after driving out to see her more times in the last month than I've ever visted lincoln previously in my life, it's definitely a nuisance factor for me.

 

 

 

I agree with you that 25/30minutes is a relatively short commute time, and when I was living in Auckland it was about an hour, but after 10 years in Christchuch I'm just so accustomed to how easy it is to get anywhere that the 25min drive out to nowhere bugs me. 

 

Mad props to the guy with the telsa groundwork though, definately the way to go and good to see you're future planning.

 

I had a look at house prices but they seem the same or more expensive then in the city?

 

 

 

I work from home, so even if I did live out there it would only mean a trip into town a couple of times a week anyway, but I feel like living somewhere like that reduces your social oppotunities as well, harder to get a bunch of people to drive out to nowhere to spend time together then if you live nearish them all.



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  Reply # 1473622 18-Jan-2016 11:15
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Willuknight: I recently started dating a girl who lives in Lincoln and after driving out to see her more times in the last month than I've ever visted lincoln previously in my life, it's definitely a nuisance factor for me.   I agree with you that 25/30minutes is a relatively short commute time, and when I was living in Auckland it was about an hour, but after 10 years in Christchuch I'm just so accustomed to how easy it is to get anywhere that the 25min drive out to nowhere bugs me.  Mad props to the guy with the telsa groundwork though, definately the way to go and good to see you're future planning. I had a look at house prices but they seem the same or more expensive then in the city?   I work from home, so even if I did live out there it would only mean a trip into town a couple of times a week anyway, but I feel like living somewhere like that reduces your social oppotunities as well, harder to get a bunch of people to drive out to nowhere to spend time together then if you live nearish them all.

 

House prices themselves seem comparable but the problem is I simply can't find a pre-built house that meets my requirements... They don't exist (in my budget). So I have to build and the price of sections in Chch vs Rolleston is hugely different. Many of the really interesting sections on the hills are not worth me considering because of the $100k+ penalty for building on a slope.  

 

Actually - that's not quite fair about the section prices... The issue is mostly that there's so little choice in town at the moment... You can get a hill section with the building issues, you can get an eastern suburbs section with the foundation issues and Chilean earthquake risk, or you can spend a lot on a rare section on the West - but there are very few and I have other location requirements such as being on a very quiet street etc that mean I just can't find a section in town.

 

Cheers - N  

D.W

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  Reply # 1473630 18-Jan-2016 11:23
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I purchased a section in Diamond Harbour, I recently timed the commute from the section to Riccarton Rd, it was 35 minutes. I can avoid rush hour traffic for my job so I expect the commute to be 35-45 minutes each way.

 

I think this area is somewhat overlooked when people are looking for sections outside the city centre, its slightly further than some of the other satellite towns but is (imo) a desirable area to live in.

 

 

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