Brick or weatherboard? Choosing the cladding for your new home needs more than deciding what looks best. It’s about the type of home you are building, the cost of the different types of cladding and the location of the house. Let us help you solve the battle of the cladding and choose the right type for you.
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Tiling your bathroom is not such the large or forbidding job as many seem to believe it is. Utilising tradespeople is the quickest and simplest way to achieve great results. An expert tiler will ensure they are installed professionally. An interior designer can help you to choose the most suitable colours and designs for your room. The creative inspirations seen on websites like Pinterest and Instagram can give you plenty ideas on tile design too.
You’re considering installing a new fence in your backyard and think you’re ready to do it yourself. But are you? Do you have every single thing you need? Are you positive that what you’ve planned will deliver exactly what you want, in terms of privacy and use-ability?
There’s nothing more frustrating than making it half way through a fencing job, only to discover that you’ve forgotten something crucial. (more…)
You want to renovate your home. Which tradesperson is the best person to help you with this: a Draughtsman, Architect or Builder? Whether you are building a brand new home or adding an extension, who should you contact first?
Let’s look into what each professional does and how they can help you. (more…)
Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or ripping it out, you need to speak with a kitchen contractor. You also need to have some ideas about what you’d like your new kitchen to look like. Pinterest is a great tool to create a pinboard of your favourite kitchen ideas. It also helps a kitchen contractor understand what you want the finished result to look like. (more…)
When preparing your rental property for tenants, it’s handy to have a pragmatic approach to home design and decorating. Of equal importance is having knowledge of the practical and legal requirements of being a landlord. This includes understanding about a tenancy agreement and the residential tenancies act.
If you’re converting your own home to a rental property, remember your tenants may not have the same taste as you. You may love your brown carpet and cream floral wallpaper, but others may not!
If you have bought a property specifically to rent it out, then its best to decorate it with neutral colours. Creating a bright blank canvas is preferable. This will appeal to a wide range of tenants. It also lets them personalise the rental property without clashing with the decor.
Are you thinking about building a new fence? Need to learn more about the different fence types, materials and whether you need to hire a builder? A new fence has many different uses and purposes. It provides security and privacy for your section as well as safety for pets and children. Fences come in a wide range of materials and styles, each having its own advantages.
Not all new fence materials and designs will serve the same function or fit your home’s needs. That’s why it’s important to consult with a professional fencing contractor. While building a new fence yourself may save you money, consider whether you have the tools, skills and time. (more…)
An independent Registered Valuer’s report will help ensure you don’t pay more for a property than it’s worth.
How much is that house really worth? The real estate agent is telling you one thing; the rateable value carried out two years previously suggests differently. But who can give you a truly independent expert opinion?
Helen and her family moved to Auckland from Wellington last year and were quite daunted by the prospect of finding a good buy.
“When you’re new to a city you have little or no feel for what represents a fair price to pay for a house,” she explains. “We looked around and did our homework as much as we were able but when it came to making a purchase, we didn’t hesitate in using a valuer to ensure the property was a sound investment and we weren’t paying over the market odds.”
When making potentially one of the biggest purchases of your life it makes excellent sense to employ a local expert to check out all the facts. So what can you expect from a registered valuer? Of prime importance is the quality of the advice you’re getting.
A registered valuer is someone who thoroughly knows the local house market and the locality in question and has accurate information that enables them to give you a genuine impartial, independent opinion.
In preparing a registered valuation for you they will first do a visual inspection of the property, noting any issues that affect the value of the property, such as dampness, leaks and poor design. Where appropriate they will recommend you use a building inspector or engineer to further investigate. They might also advise on ways to add value.
As part of the report they will check the certificate of title, which is important for crossleased/unit titled properties, to highlight any potential problems such as right-of-ways, shared driveways and so on that may need a solicitor’s help to resolve.
Using their local knowledge a registered valuer will be able to inform you of any proposed developments in the area, such as new shopping malls or transport links or any changes to the local business zoning – could a new business park spring up next door, for example? They can provide a list of recent house sales and a view of how the market is performing.
From this research the registered valuer will then make their value recommendation. Unlike council rating values, which are usually only done in bulk every three years to set council rates, you can be assured a registered valuer has assessed your property individually to determine the current market value.
How do you pick a reliable registered valuer? If you don’t have any recommendations to go on, then one point of contact should be the Property Institute of New Zealand, which has around 3000 members, offering a variety of property-related services to the public.
To become a member, a registered valuer will need to have a property qualification and have passed the high standards set by the valuers’ registration board. They are also bound by the institute’s code of ethics and reporting standards.
The largest valuation company in New Zealand is QV, which has 22 offices throughout the country and a very useful website, with plenty of information on the valuation process. As well as being able to request a full current market valuation, you can purchase a selection of short reports online, such as certificates of title deeds, local sales, property histories and the very handy E-valuer report, for when you’re at the ‘just looking’ stage and simply want a quick price validation.
The cost of a full, current valuation varies depending on the value of the property and its location, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $500 and at least double that if the property is around $1 million. If you’re borrowing more than 80% of the value of the property or if it’s a private sale your lender will usually insist on a valuation.
Pieter Geill, who’s been a valuer for more than 21 years and specialises in the Hutt Valley area of Wellington, says one of the main benefits he can offer his clients is peace of mind. “Purchasing a house can be a hugely stressful process involving a substantial financial commitment. So you really do want to know as much as you can before you sign on the dotted line, including that the price you’re about to pay is indeed a fair one.”
Don’t rely on your council valuation (CV) as a reflection of market valuation unless it is very current. You can, however, compare the percentage difference between houses that have recently sold and their CVs as a reflection of market trends.
Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.
Project Managers in the construction industry are responsible for setting schedules, keeping an eye on finances, managing staff and ensuring there are no safety hazards on site.
A Project Manager will be involved from the beginning of a project with initial planning, selection of architects, general contractors, builders and other parties.
When hiring a Project Manager, ensure they are experts at keeping everyone in the loop during the project, from the homeowner, architect and contractor to the electrician, plumber or earthworks contractors and are able to quickly resolve any problems that might happen.