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Managing a house-building project

There is a great deal involved in managing a house-building project, including major renovation projects. Whether you are managing the project yourself, or leaving it all to someone else, the main tasks include:

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Preliminaries

  • Arranging finance.
  • Organising the design.

Organising the builder and sometimes the subcontractors

  • Asking selected builders and/or subcontractors for prices or tenders to do the work.
  • Selecting the form of contract that best suits your needs.

Consents

  • Getting building consents (and resource consents if necessary).

Managing construction

  • Arranging for subcontractors to be available when needed.
  • Dealing with suppliers and making sure materials are ordered and delivered on time.
  • Monitoring progress once work starts to make sure everything complies with the contract and consent documentation (including plans and specifications).
  • Arranging for inspections by your own professionals, for example, the designer or architect.
  • Arranging for inspections by the building inspectors at the end of each stage.
  • Answering questions that arise during building, and clarifying anything in the construction documents with the contractors.
  • Knowing when progress payments are due and checking claims for payment.
  • Negotiating with the builder and subcontractors to come back and fix any work not completed or done properly.
  • Processing variations and anything else that crops up along the way.
  • Arranging amendments to the building consent where necessary.
  • Arranging the final inspection for the code compliance certificate.

Tip: We talked to a lot of people who have been through the building process and the point that came across time and time again is how important it is to have good communication between everyone involved in the project.

Get the builder and designer together right at the start, even before you buy the section if possible. Make sure they keep talking to each other throughout to avoid a breakdown in the processes, or misunderstandings about what should be happening.

You must be able to have confidence in the person who is managing the project to keep the communication channels between you, the designer the builder and the subcontractors open and flowing to achieve the best possible outcome for your new house or renovations.

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