Renovations on budget on time


Renovations on budget on time

So how do you complete a renovation to budget and on time?

Find a building company that has a proven planning experience would be your first step, then discussing with them the importance of your timeline and budget. In my experience incomplete budgets and estimates are the biggest cause of budget over runs and – more often than not – schedule overruns.

A senior quantity surveyor once taught me the 7 P’s: “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” It’s true. Plan well. Which takes me to my second favourite saying, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Knowing when you have found a winning building team is also important, as your builder will not be on the job all the time.


Here are six tips to checking if your building team is likely to “be a winner.”

Tip 1: Ask your prospective building companies to form a full costing sheet that includes every item/cost from beginning to end. Include estimated costs for the items that usually get left out e.g. whiteware, taps, lighting, kitchen, appliances, finished flooring, hardware, landscaping, 10 year Guarantee, full build clean and anything else you can think of. Remember to ask for a full breakdown of the costs so you can compare other building company costings correctly. This will give you the ability to prioritise items or to reshuffle.

Tip 2: Building companies have access to large discounts. Utilise them! Take time to check the prices of various items. We have had customers so eager to purchase items and get started without checking prices. Note down your prospective first and second choices of items, then ask your contractors to include these in your estimate. You’ll get to know which contractor is receiving the biggest buying discounts. Also you will be spending more time getting to know your suitable builder or contractor.

Tip 3: Ask for a comprehensive schedule of your project including a realistic start date and finish date. The schedule will guide all the various trades and people involved – to the finish line. It will give you peace of mind that your project is tracking as per plan and ultimately relieve your stress levels.

Tip 4: Have a building contract that’s worth having. The Certified Builders Association of New Zealand have great contracts which are easy to understand. Having peace of mind that a larger association is behind you and your builder is great if you have doubts.

Tip 5: It is compulsory for CBANZ builders to offer a Halo 10 year Guarantee. This is one of the most comprehensive construction guarantees on the market. Ask your prospect building companies if they offer any guarantees. [Note: After 25 years of building we are proud of the fact we have never made any claims. We are so confident in our ability to provide a fantastic service we offer our very own Yourbuilder 10 point guarantee.)

Tip 6: Visit any prospect building companies previous projects and discuss with the owners how they performed and how it was to deal with them. Was the project completed on time and on budget. If not, find out why. There may have been good reasons (e.g. the owners made changes, or there was unknown factors), or the builder may have just been slow!

Follow these basic tips and you’ll be a lot further to completing your project on time and on budget.

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