Building a new home is a big investment of money, time and emotion. Here are the first 5 questions you should answer so you get this opportunity of a lifetime just right.

Do I really want to build?

First decide if building new is the right choice for you. Is having exactly what you want the most important thing and are you prepared to wait for it? Or are you seeking a bit of period character and charm with a faster move? Once you’ve decided to build, then what?

To buy or to build; both have pros and cons, which you can read about on our blog.

What can I afford?

When setting the budget always factor in what you can afford to repay now AND what you could afford if your mortgage interest rate was to go up a % or two in the future.

You also need to overestimate. Whatever you think it might cost to build your new home, add on at least 10% as a contingency.

As a rough guide, in New Zealand the average cost of the building is:

$1600-$1850 per m2 – very cheap
$1850-$2500 per m2 – standard/average
$3000-4000 per m2 – architectural (price increases with the complexity of the design)

What level of complexity could I handle?

Essentially you need to ask yourself honestly how much stress you can and are prepared to take on financially, time-wise and in terms of decision-making.

The easiest and fastest way to build new is to buy straight off the plan. A good home building company will have a large catalogue of plans for you to choose from so you have lots of options that will suit your section, lifestyle needs and budget. Fixed plans go up quick and come with the added benefit of locked in price certainty.

Customising a plan means taking one that already exists and making changes to it to suit your needs. This can sometimes cost more but not necessarily. Depending on what you change it can end up costing exactly the same as a fixed plan, or, in some instances, less!

A house and land package simplifies the process a lot as you don’t have to find a section yourself.

Or you could engage an architect or designer to develop a house plan that is unique to you and precisely what you want. It all depends who you’re working with but this option can (but not always) cost more and can (but not always) add to the complexity of the project. When it does, it’s often because, in comparison to the above options, the person coming up with the idea and the person executing it aren’t necessarily speaking the same language all the time. It can lead to added costs and hold-ups in the timeline. But there’s no reason a fully bespoke build has to cost a lot. We offer a complimentary in-house design and build service that comes with the added benefit of insight into the cost of building materials and labour. Our consultants collaborate with you on the whole project to help you get precisely what you want.

If you’ve decided to go through a home building company like Orange Homes, job done! If not, you’ll need to find a builder and we have some useful tips on how to find the right one for you, contact us here.

What do I need from my new house?

Developing your building brief is creating the foundation of your build project. Here are a few thought starters…

  • What materials would I like my home to be made of?
  • What style of home do I prefer?
  • How would I like the floorplan and rooms laid out?
  • What does my lifestyle and/or family need?
  • How long do I intend to live here and will this home serve my needs for that whole time?
  • How many bathrooms do you need and where in the house will they be?
  • What do I need in the way of storage?
  • What features does my site offer in terms of sun, privacy and access, for example?
  • Will I project manage the build or do I want someone else to?

Part of this process should be deciding what is essential and what you’re willing to compromise on should the need arise.

Where to start?

Get in touch today and find out answers to questions like where to start, how much does it cost and how to choose the right builder.


To buy or to build; both have pros and cons...