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6068 posts

Uber Geek

  #1151328 10-Oct-2014 14:19
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Good luck dis-respective. I think you will find a smaller, well designed modern house will be more pleasant than badly design bigger older house.

Will be easy/quick to sell when you decide to move on too.

Insulate, insulate, insulate.


16868 posts

Uber Geek

  #1151431 10-Oct-2014 16:47
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Disrespective: Trust me, I know it won't be simple. I'm not expecting fancy. I just don't see the reason why I should buy something old I don't love when I can build something new I do love, even if it is smaller.

I think the main reason I wouldn't go for something old, would be due to lack of insulation and double glazing. Also you have unknowns like rewiring, replumbing, repiling , reroofing etc. Sometimes it can be cheaper to build than, to refurbish.  I would like to see the government drop GST on new builds to help NZ build more homes, which would bring the price down alot.    But there are still some nice old buildings out there, and some very nice architecturally designed houses from between the 60's - 90', designed by well known architects, which are built to very high spec and well designed, which are very good value. Although you do have to watch out for the black plumbing in the 70's-90's ones. Would be interested in seeing your designs. I graduated from Vic with a BArch myself.
Yeah, exactly. And Wellington is full of old cold damp buildings. I have to make sure I buy land on the 'right' side of the hills or else the house would never get sun in the winter... not ideal.

I have been working on a few renovations around Wellington in the last wee while and a few were architecturally designed and are terribly detailed. Mostly because architects pre 1995 were often times just as cowboy as the builders. I'm dealing with plenty of leaky details from well known architects... I don't need that sort of trouble in my life right now, even if it is a neat status symbol in my industry to own a well known architect's design. Too many unknown variables when not building new or buying near new. 

When did you graduate? I'm not that far out of Uni (still haven't gotten around to registering) but was draughting for a few years before so think I know my way around. I recently worked on a number of affordable housing designs for the Axis housing in Hobsonville so think i'm pretty current with my cheap home ideas, heh. My designs and details are a bit more evolved from that but still similar. 

I graduated in 2000 when it was a bachelor degree with honours, how about you?. Yes some of the detailing of some of the old architecturally designed building weren't good, and many have failed. And it extended well into the 2000's as I have recently been to a 8 year old house designed by a well known architect, that has poor detailing, and needs a lot of work, including reroofing the flat roof with internal gutters. They wouldn't have got away with that detailing today as it doesn't meet the current building code. But the more indepth detailing and cavities (belts and braces approach ) does add to the building cost.  A house with good eaves is the key with those types of older houses, and also avoiding any that have used asbestos, which architects used a lot for roofing and cladding back then being a cheap material. 
I think finding a good site in Wellington at a good price will be the biggest hurdle, and you probably want a flat site to keep building costs down. . I am looking for a good site myself to build on, and have found in some cases the land price alone is almost the same as the price of a house with land. One option could be to buy a house with land on the back, and build on the back, while you live on the front one, then sell the front or rent it out.



1852 posts

Uber Geek

  #1151596 10-Oct-2014 22:16
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Heh, well i'm a relative baby compared with yourself. I only graduated Uni a couple of years ago but started draughting in 2004. 

Land is definitely a tricky one in wellington. Bu I am seeing sites at around 150-200k on gently/steep sloping sites but they are between 600m2 and 2000m2 so options shouldn't be hard to fit on there. 

I have no real driver as to favourable suburbs, but i'm clearly not talking about central city. It's a bit far afield but Wainouiomata has some decent options. But there is land in Brooklyn, Miramar etc, too. 

I'm debating building up on a small (~7mx~6m) footprint rather than out to try and limit foundation cut/fill requirements but i'll then have to look at more engineering as it'll throw it out of 3604. Guess I'll just have to be nicer to more engineers so favours are due, heh.

My biggest fear is getting costs down. We recently had a QS come back to us with an estimate of $2800/m2 for a super simple corrugated clad, two storey box... We have a reputation for high end details, but still. It made me scratch my head. 


321 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  #1151631 10-Oct-2014 23:21
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We are going to do this sometime next year when National's Homestart kicks in, but we want to build up in the Wai. We've had it planned for a while, using the Simple House plans from the DBH. I spoke to the architect at the DBH about it. I don't know anything about architecture, but he said all the expensive details that really rack up the cost with architects and builders, they're already taken care of in the plans. Materials are mandated, so is maximum beam, etc. Has to be a one storey house, but there's architects that entered the competition who are keen to build more of them. We're just keen to get something simple, one storey, built on flat land. :)

Full handbook:

The target sqm cost is a lot lower than you're heading for. Back in 2010 for the competition it was maximum $1400. But it's doable because it was done and it was built.

There are specialist mortgage companies that will arrange the loan and also do the financial project management for you. Apparently it's best to stay away from banks and go with someone like that, because then you have a middle man who's got the experience, which really counts for something with a bank. It's a lot less risky for them than to trust you with your own project management.

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