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362 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 217818 13-Jul-2017 14:00
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Hey guys,

 

I found this part of the forum quite interesting - lots of mature Geekzone users which is nice to see.

 

To cut the long story short, I have a section in Wellington I want to build on; not crazy steep but certainly does have its slope. Luckily I have an architect friend who owns a firm in Auckland - so he has been designing the house for us. It's not a mansion or castle. We wanted 230m2 of house (has to be double storey due to the shape / slope of the land) including a double garage.

 

I thought the budget of 800k to build (without section) was going to be reasonable, but seems like it's not the case from reputable bigger companies. They seem to want minimum 850k+ (architect cost). I don't want to overcapitalise or have exceeding amount of mortgage. 

 

With outdoor areas included - it seems to work out close to 900k. When I spoke to one of the quantity surveyors - they said expect at least $3500/m2. Seems to fit (or more) with the current trend.

 

Sure I am not after a cheap build - but happy to consider a smaller company but has skills to build a family home that I will live in for 10-20 years to come.

 

Any suggestions or tips please? (I was even dreaming about solar panels - but now at this rate I will be pleased to have a drive way that is covered!)

 

Thanks.... 


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262 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1821895 13-Jul-2017 14:05
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3500 per meter is high end for sure. The last house around that size I built, came to around 2700pm and it was quite flash in my opinion. My opinion may well be lower than yours.

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  # 1821901 13-Jul-2017 14:18
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It does sound a very high rate, considering double story should be a slightly cheaper sqm rate . But I imagine it is a lot more due to it being on a sloped section. Also possibly higher risk and less easy to work on. Also storage and delivery of materials etc. It all requires additional time.


 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek


  # 1821909 13-Jul-2017 14:23
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Thanks - the access is good; it is a private driveway, but it is not that steep and certainly I wouldn't call it super challenging. Yes it is of high wind zone, but my colleague who also built in high wind zone (yes slope was less) built 252m2 home for 630k. They did use a cheaper construction company but did have lots of problems with them. I think they went with one company but the builders were subcontracted out like 5 times... His wife was a lawyer so they could deal with most things 'legally without cost being involved'....

 

I was expecting around $3300-$3400/m2 but currently my calculation is that including the outdoor area - $4000/m2. 

 

I just can't downsize anymore as I have already sacrificed one bedroom...

 

 


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  # 1821917 13-Jul-2017 14:41
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That is a pretty large house compared to most houses but that does sound on the higher end of things. Have you looked at other companies that can estimate for you based on the land? 





Solution Architect @Intergen
All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.




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Ultimate Geek


  # 1821923 13-Jul-2017 14:43
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Yeah I think I need to - wouldn't mind some recommendations from people...


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  # 1821926 13-Jul-2017 14:45
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Insanekiwi:

 

Yeah I think I need to - wouldn't mind some recommendations from people...

 

 

 

 

I am also thinking about building so keen to hear suggestions and experiences with building companies from other people. 





Solution Architect @Intergen
All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


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  # 1821929 13-Jul-2017 14:52
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Maybe you need to ask them what they would charge on a flat piece with lots of storage sace and room to work in. A sqm rate is a very crude way of working out the cost. eg. If you remove the garage, which is probably around 30sqm , will the price drop by 100k?

 

Also are you getting them to supply all the fittings etc, bathroom stuff and kitchen fitout. Or are you buying that in yourself, as that can save a lot.? 


 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek


  # 1821933 13-Jul-2017 14:54
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Good points there Matt. My architect friend will go out of his way to reduce costs and suggested the same. Builders don't like to talk in $/m2 and I see the reason.

 

 

 

I am buying my kitchen appliances and supply (my friend works for F&P) 

 

and my architect friend is happy to let me use their account to buy all the taps / toilet / bathroom / tiles at whole sale rate. Not sure if the builder would like it as they won't be making 10-15% margin on these.


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  # 1821973 13-Jul-2017 15:27
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I'm not sure if it's a good guide due to high building costs in Chch post-quake, but as a caution about building on a sloping hill site, my neighbours rebuilt a 220m2 house which cost just a little under 1.3 million (Port Hills Chch).  The builder was a friend of mine. 

 

That did include demolition and removal of the old house (about $100k) and retaining wall work ($200k) so call it an even million = approx $4500 / m2.

 

It has a reasonably high cost/quality fitout, but not extremely so.  Slab on grade foundation to suit seismic risk, block lower level with double garage, conventional timber-frame upper level clad in shadowclad ply, single pitch roof / long run coloursteel.

 

Finished cost included floor coverings and drapes.

 

Only one significant extra / variation during the build, part of the original house had been built over backfill - the extent of this not seen by geotech but uncovered when excavating for the new foundation, IIRC that added about $50k to dig it all out and replace with compacted fill (AP40 or whatever).


mdf

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  # 1822002 13-Jul-2017 15:56
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You could try consulting a quantity surveyor - i.e. a professional to calculate the amount of materials and costs. One of my mates is a QS (commercial, not domestic otherwise I'd refer you), and he basically describes his job as keeping architects realistic. Something might look stunning, but be massively expensive. Compromising an architect's grand vision slightly might lead to much more affordable outcomes.

 

Not saying that this is the case for your plans, but for that kind of money, I'd be quite happy paying for a few hours of professional consultancy before assuming its the only way.


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  # 1822007 13-Jul-2017 16:01
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Fred99:

 

I'm not sure if it's a good guide due to high building costs in Chch post-quake, but as a caution about building on a sloping hill site, my neighbours rebuilt a 220m2 house which cost just a little under 1.3 million (Port Hills Chch).  The builder was a friend of mine. 

 

That did include demolition and removal of the old house (about $100k) and retaining wall work ($200k) so call it an even million = approx $4500 / m2.

 

It has a reasonably high cost/quality fitout, but not extremely so.  Slab on grade foundation to suit seismic risk, block lower level with double garage, conventional timber-frame upper level clad in shadowclad ply, single pitch roof / long run coloursteel.

 

Finished cost included floor coverings and drapes.

 

Only one significant extra / variation during the build, part of the original house had been built over backfill - the extent of this not seen by geotech but uncovered when excavating for the new foundation, IIRC that added about $50k to dig it all out and replace with compacted fill (AP40 or whatever).

 

 

 

 

Wow, guessing that was at a time when builders were in very high demand after quakes, and insurance covered it. Not sure many people can afford to pay that. I would worry about overcapitalizing, and not sure banks would lend either at that sort of rate very easily. 

 

Problem is that builders are in high demand at the moment, and building materials in NZ are also very pricey due to a lack of competition and high building activity. So unless you go for an off the plan housewith a building company, where you end up with an average house, you have to really shop around finding a good builder.


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Ultimate Geek


  # 1822010 13-Jul-2017 16:04
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Do you have a set of plans yet? What suburb are you building in? Try and avoid larger construction companies because the workers tend not to care because of their terrible wages and the project manager is usually running a few builds at once.

I lost a tender to another builder for a big re-roof and re-pitch about a year ago on Petone forshore. It's now sitting there half done and getting wet inside I bet. Never take the lowest tender.

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  # 1822016 13-Jul-2017 16:12
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lokhor:

 

That is a pretty large house compared to most houses but that does sound on the higher end of things. Have you looked at other companies that can estimate for you based on the land? 

 

 

depends, you never use to include the garage in the size of the house, but now you do, even a basic 2 car garage is 30-40sqm.


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  # 1822022 13-Jul-2017 16:24
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mattwnz:

 

Fred99:

 

I'm not sure if it's a good guide due to high building costs in Chch post-quake, but as a caution about building on a sloping hill site, my neighbours rebuilt a 220m2 house which cost just a little under 1.3 million (Port Hills Chch).  The builder was a friend of mine. 

 

That did include demolition and removal of the old house (about $100k) and retaining wall work ($200k) so call it an even million = approx $4500 / m2.

 

It has a reasonably high cost/quality fitout, but not extremely so.  Slab on grade foundation to suit seismic risk, block lower level with double garage, conventional timber-frame upper level clad in shadowclad ply, single pitch roof / long run coloursteel.

 

Finished cost included floor coverings and drapes.

 

Only one significant extra / variation during the build, part of the original house had been built over backfill - the extent of this not seen by geotech but uncovered when excavating for the new foundation, IIRC that added about $50k to dig it all out and replace with compacted fill (AP40 or whatever).

 

 

 

 

Wow, guessing that was at a time when builders were in very high demand after quakes, and insurance covered it. Not sure many people can afford to pay that. I would worry about overcapitalizing, and not sure banks would lend either at that sort of rate very easily. 

 

Problem is that builders are in high demand at the moment, and building materials in NZ are also very pricey due to a lack of competition and high building activity. So unless you go for an off the plan housewith a building company, where you end up with an average house, you have to really shop around finding a good builder.

 

 

I was going to edit that post - to say that I know many others who had rebuilt homes on the Port Hills.  In most cases the insurers wanted to work with larger and less specialised building companies, and in basically all of those, the build process was a painful experience.  A main issue was lack of experience of builder/site managers due to obvious shortages and high staff turnover, but also underestimating complexities likely to be encountered on hill sites, including a very risk-averse council and dealing with one-off custom design rather than building cookie-cutters common on new flat subdivisions.  I assume Wgtn council may be similarly risk-averse.

 

Speaking with one of the major insurer's PMs a few days ago, he said for that company they've gone away from using the larger building companies completely - and trying to use only experienced small specialist builders. A problem for those small specialist builders though, the insurers want fixed price quotes, and for a small builder, that usually means having to pay up-front for a QS - money that won;t be recovered if you don't get the job.  The larger builders usually have QS employed in house.

 

Yes - you need to shop around for a good builder experienced with hill sites - hopefully that's less of a problem in Wgtn where I'd have thought that any builder would be facing those issues as a matter of course.

 

It's very damned expensive to build on a sloping site in Chch.  Also with geotech "issues" meaning there are a lot of sites for sale at apparently very low prices, but further investigation essential before even thinking about buying and building on one - as massively expensive geotech work may be required before you can start the build. 


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  # 1822039 13-Jul-2017 16:52
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+1 for "sloped section=bad"... 

 

I wanted to build on the hills here in Chch but eventually came to my senses and decided to build somewhere flat... My place is pretty basic and comes out at about $1700/m2 (excl land/driveways/curtains)

 

I was told that if I wanted to build on a gentle slope in Chch, they would add $100k to their BEST CASE estimate for the foundations, and was warned that spending $350k on foundations alone would be a possibility.

 

Too much for a nice view at this point.

 

Oh, $3500/m2 sounds like a mansion to me :-) Good luck with the build. I am sure at that level of fit out it will be gorgeous

 

Cheers - N

 

 





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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