DC Builders Logo

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To be honest, some of these questions can be the most difficult to answer in our industry. However, they are also most likely the ones that you want answered. At DC Builders we don’t avoid the tough questions. We believe that people are generally fair and reasonable when given all of the information they need.

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO YOUR MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS...

cost-v2

Unfortunately, there is no benchmark when it comes to the cost of building a house, as each build is unique to suit our clients that means it can vary.

As a very rough starting point $2500-3000m2 is more common and then anything from $3000m2 – $4500m2 and up is more consistent with bespoke designed houses. Also note when building anything smaller in size under the 150m2 this can often push the m2 rate up as you don’t have the volume in the build to get the prices to a competitive m2 rate.

See http://www.buildingguide.co.nz/planning/building-costs/ for more helpful information.

In terms of reclad and renovations we don’t give out m2 rates as these can vary too much instead we prefer getting this priced for you.

At DC Builders we like to give our clients choice, we typically offer a Fixed Price Quote, or we offer a Cost-Plus Quote. Both have Pros and Cons and are explained in our handy little guide. We find with our architectural builds clients tend to go with the Cost-Plus Quotes This generally results in the need for ongoing decision making throughout the build, making it impossible to match a fixed quote. More importantly, not fixing the quote means more transparency for you, as you only get charged for the work and materials used i.e. no hidden contingency costs.

Download Cost Plus Vrs Fixed Price Guide here.pdf
Download Sample of Fixed Price Contract.pdf
Download sample of Cost Plus Contract.pdf

Think of a builder’s margin as a combined project management and handling fee. We are offered great rates from our chosen suppliers/subcontractors to start with, not available to just anyone. A margin is then added to cover all other costs – e.g. planning, backwards and forwards dealings with vendors, and all admin related fees that help make your job run seamlessly and stress free. This margin is often different between a Fixed Price Quote and a Cost Plus Option.

Most building contracts include provision for (PC SUM) items and (PROVISIONAL SUM). A prime cost item is an allowance in the contract for the supply of necessary items not yet finally selected, for example taps or door furniture. A provisional sum is an allowance in the contract for the cost of foreseeable necessary work, including the supply of materials not fully described or detailed at the time that the contract commenced, for example whiteware or a service connection.

If the actual cost comes in above what has been allowed for then the client pays the increased cost, if the cost comes in lower, the client only pays the actual cost. Typical example of a Prime Cost Item would be the supply of vanities, toilets, baths etc. We make them an allowance as everybody has their idea of what they would like and you should have the option of selecting a wide range.

If the actual cost comes in above what has been allowed for then the client pays the increased, if the cost comes in lower, the client only pays the actual cost. A typical example of a Provisional Sum Allowance would be the excavation package, reason for this being is we don’t know what we could strike below the lawn so we have an allowance in the contract for this package of work and then monitor the costs from start to finish.

When you read our quotes you will see a section labelled as PNG Items -The preliminary costs of a construction project include the erection of scaffolding, wrapping and the installation temporary services such as temporary site fencing, toilet facilities, health and safety, plant hire, Hiab costs etc. They are items which need to be allowed for to cover all the costs that are not covered by labour and material costs or subcontractors costs.

If we have carried out the design, then you are covered however if you are wanting us to price a job your architect has done then that’s no problem either. We ask for the following items when we are pricing up a project.

  • Building Consented Plans or Developed Design Plans.
  • Any Specifications for the Project.
  • 3D Model if you have access to one also helps our QS carry out the take off.

Rule of thumb: The more detail you can provide us at the time of pricing the more detail we can provide you at time of pricing.

Download our example of our QS Take off here to see the detail provided.pdf

We are a young creative team of builders with design experience who can flesh out any nasty details before they become costly, we take a modern approach to running projects. Our user friendly integrated cloud-based software means all the admin, paperwork items are covered and don’t bury us or stress us out and let us get on with the build. This system also allows you to see exactly where you are at with the cost and timeline of the project. Our background being Site Managers with two of NZ Largest Construction companies gives us a strong foundation in Project Management and Planning.

time-v2

It all depends on what stage you are at, and what work we’ve currently got on the go. Don’t underestimate the time it takes to finalise plans, agree to a budget and obtain a building consent. Give us a call or drop us a line and we can get together and get the ball rolling.

Once we have you scheduled in with our design work and have presented the budget then we lock in you into the timeslot that suits, and we stick to it.

This is a tough question as it all depends on whether it’s a renovation, reclad or New Build. We present a full interactive construction timeline at the start of the project and we monitor this through the build, so you always know where the project is at every step of the way. For example, there tends to be less hold ups if you build during the drier months of the year. We will give you access to a full interactive project timeline as part of the project estimation process.

other-v2

People are by far our most important asset at DC Builders Not only do we look for people with the right skillsets and the right attitude, but we also make sure that they will fit into the culture of our business and the team of lads we have. If you feel you would be a fit, then please drop us a line or apply via our employment page.

People are by far our most important asset at DC Builders Not only do we look for people with the right skillsets and the right attitude, but we also make sure that they will fit into the culture of our business and the team of lads we have. If you feel you would be a fit, then please drop us a line or apply via our employment page.

We are members with Master Builders and have the opportunity each year to submit some of our projects into the Prestigious Home of the Year Award. Currently we have our Orewa Home entered under the 1-2 million category.

Yes we are part of the Licensed Builders Practitioners in both Design and Carpentry.
What are LBP’s?
Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are assessed before getting a license and must keep their knowledge up to date to keep their license. You must use an LBP to design or carry out restricted building work. An LBP must do or supervise this work. They must work within the scope of their license class.

You need contract works insurance in place before a peg is put in the ground. Many things can go wrong in a project, from the excavation and foundation stage to the construction itself, and even building materials can be stolen or the site could experience storm, earthquake, fire or malicious damage. Typically, on a reclad or renovation our clients take out the contract work insurance with their current home insurer, whereas on our new builds this is covered by us the builders.

For more info about contract work insurance – http://www.buildingguide.co.nz/planning/contract-works-insurance/

All our photos of our work are located in our projects section on our website but for more day to day photos of projects and craftsmanship you can visit our Facebook Page and Instagram Account.

How Can We Help?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mel and Justin