When do I pay?
We will invoice you for Architectural Work once each phase of the work is complete i.e after Design, after Documentation and after Tendering. During Project Administration we will invoice you on a monthly basis up to the agreed fee. Once we have completed the Working Drawings (Documentation) you will need to supply deposits for building consent and resource consent, if required. A schedule of Council fees are available on their website www.ccc.govt.nz/Building/Forms/BC11.pdf Once building commences you will normally pay the builder on a fortnightly or monthly basis for the cost of the work done to date. The contractor may prepare a payment schedule so you will know what to expect to pay and when.
What is included in the price of the Working Drawing?
Working drawings, sometimes called "documentation", are the technical documents that are given to the council for them to issue a building consent. They are also used by the builder to allow them to build your home. These documents will not only show the builder how to build it but what to build it with. It will specify everything from the type of bolts to be used to the type of garage door to install.
This is the most time consuming part of the project, requiring lots of checking and feedback from the client to get exactly right.
Do you design kitchens, cupboards & other specialised joinery items?
Yes, we can design your kitchen or any special items of furniture. This is not normally covered in a fee. For kitchens we usually recommend a specialist kitchen designer as they have client showrooms to allow you to choose your own cupboard handles and bench tops. However, should you want us to design kitchens or other pieces of furniture and fittings we are more than happy to help.
My best mate is a electrician - can he do the work for us?
Yes, however using friends can cause problems, such as the friend not being available at the specific time required by the builder. This can cause delays to the contract and the builder may impose penalty payments for the hold-up. We recommend if you have contacts in the building industry, such as electricians, plumbers, carpet layers etc, who work as sub-contractors, that you ask them to give a price to the builder as part of the normal tender/pricing process. The builder will add his margin which allows for the sub-contractor's use of the power, toilets, scaffolding and other items the builder has to pay for. This also means that the builder is responsible for the sub-contractor and covers his work under his warranty.
What can I do?
During the building process you will need to select colours, door handles, carpet, light fittings etc. These are all covered in the documents under allowances called "Provisional Sums". This is a set amount of money you have to go shopping with to buy these items. Any amount not spent will be reimbursed. However if you spend more than the sum then you will have to make up the difference.
Some clients like to do their own painting and organise their own carpet. This is fine and at this stage of the project the builder has gone so there is no risk of you holding up the project. You can go at your own speed to finish everything off. We do not recommend becoming involved in parts of the project, as this can very easily lead to disputes. It is best to let the builder do what he does best, and you will find that it will work out cheaper that way too.
Who picks all the decor items e.g curtains, paint schemes, carpets etc?
During the project the builder will ask for these items in advance of when he needs them. It will be up to you to choose these items, however we can offer guidance and product catalogues for you to look through.
How much will my building project cost?
This is the question all clients want answered. While we can give a rough estimate of what we think it might cost using recent New Zealand building statistics, you will not actually know the final cost until Working Drawings are complete and the project has been tendered. Most builders are reluctant to give even rough costs as they can lead to expectations that may not be realistic.
How long will it take?
It depends on the size of your job, but most large projects and new homes of $200-300K will take 8-10 months from beginning to end, and smaller projects may take 6-7 months. This includes our time in the project as well. While every project is different this gives you a rough guide to work to.
What is a disbursement?
A disbursement is a cost to us that we pass on to you, we will usually put a small percentage on to cover our processing costs. For example if we have to engage an engineer we would first talk to you about it and give you a quote for the costs. We would also add a small percentage (usually 5%) to cover costs of sending them plans and briefing them about the job. We do not oncharge disbursements to you without your prior knowledge of them and the cost.