Building in Hurunui? Then follow our simple 8 step guide to finding the right builder for you. 


When building your own home, perhaps the single most important decision is:

“Which builder to choose?”                              

  • Best case scenario, a good builder will:

  • keep your build on track.

  • avoid YOU costly over-runs and mistakes.

  • take the stress and worry out of the build.

  • Bring your dream home  in on budget and on-time.

But just how do you know which builder is the right one for your project? Don’t trust to luck or “gut feel”, follow our 8 point checklist below:


Local knowledge
1st things first: does your architect and builder have sound local knowledge of the Hurunui area? Do they understand the soil and substructure on your section?  This is crucial as it determines the amount of preparation required BEFORE the build even gets underway.
Building Consent/Compliance
Does your builder know the Hurunui District Council Building Codes inside out?
Hurunui Council has very specific protocols relating to local soil, wind conditions, snow loadings & water tables. If these are not adhered to you won’t get building consent. We have seen a number of plans rejected (and then re-submitted) at considerable extra cost and time delays, simply because the architect and builder did NOT understand local Hurunui Building Codes.
Location, location, location                                       
You/your builder should “nut” out the optimum position for your home RE: land levels, views, access to services + house access. To get the right position, your builder should do an in-depth site evaluation using state-of-the-art laser equipment.
Do they know their levels?

If your section is on flat land, has your builder advised you on the optimum position to reduce the costs of levelling the ground on your section?
Has the builder considered your lifestyle needs?                   

Will your builder take the time to look over your design plan to make sure it  works for your way of living? This includes your garaging, storage needs, internal layout and “flow” of each room, indoor/outdoor flow, whether you cook or entertain a lot, through to location of power points, electrical fittings, doors, lights, etc. A little attention to detail NOW and considering how your needs may change will save you a lot of money + frustration later on.
Attention to detail in the finishing?                                                   

When you finally move into your new home, you are going to have to live on a daily basis with the quality of the finish (both internal & external) on paintwork, brickwork, flashings, straight lines, skirting, coving and tiling. Ask: who will be completing these works/trades? What’s their reputation like? And DO ask to see an example of their work. “Your dream home” should be just that: Don’t let the detail let it down!
Does the builder offer quality fittings?                        

Some builders price a build sourcing cheap materials to keep costs down. But will you get the high-end look you’re after? And will you need to replace poor  quality goods sooner? Check that the appliances, kitchen units, faucets, light fittings, switches, etc. are of reasonable quality. “Buy cheap buy dear” the saying goes. Our advice: Pay a little more for higher end fittings that will last last. It will save YOU money + hassle longer term.
Local reputation/recommendation/accreditation                   

When compiling a shortlist, ask your builder: “Are you a member of the NZ Master Builders’ Federation?” What do previous clients say about them? What houses have they built locally? What do they look like? Ask to see their portfolio. Even better, ask to speak to some of their clients directly. If they’re reputable, they’ll have lots of satisfied customers. And definitely, ask how long they’ve been established: only the best builders build long term reputations in their locale. And that’s a fact.