Homeworx Quality Standard: Recessed LEDs

Posted on July 22nd, 2019

We use LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting because it is the way of the future. The technology in this type of lighting means you will be changing your light bulbs less and saving more on your power bills.

Why LEDs?

LED lighting is far superior to incandescent or CFL lights for many reasons. Firstly, they are much more energy-efficient. Sure, the upfront cost of an LED is more than incandescent or CFL, but the running cost will soon offset that initial price difference. It essentially pays for itself in energy savings.

The light to heat ratio is more effective. Where a traditional light bulb produces 90% heat and 10% light, LEDs produce 80% light and 20% heat — all the while using significantly less energy to do so.

They are better for the environment. Using LEDs will reduce your CO₂ emissions by more than half compared with a standard incandescent bulb. Furthermore, because of the long lifespan of LEDs, less waste will be going into landfill as a result of needing fewer.

Why recessed?

Now you know why you should be using LED’s; but why recessed? Well, recessed lights look good. They are cleanly tucked away into the ceiling and therefore give your ceiling a crisp, polished look.

Homeworx Quality Standard: Continuous Gutters

Posted on July 22nd, 2019

What is continuous guttering?

Where traditional gutters have seams, which connect one section of gutter to the next; continuous gutters are made from one seamless piece of metal, meaning nothing can escape through gaps in the seams. They are generally produced on-site, precisely to the measurements of your house.

Why is continuous guttering better?

The best feature of a continuous gutter is that no seams = no leaks. When you’ve had a beautiful new home built the last thing you want is for your gutters to leak, and cause damage to the exterior cladding. Continuous gutters prevent this from happening as they have no seams through which water can leak.

Furthermore, they look better. Continuous guttering produces a clean, sharp outline making your house look tidy and polished. What’s more, they are made on-site so are custom made exactly for your home.

7 Costly Mistakes: Extra Advice

Posted on July 5th, 2019

Extra Advice

Over the last few months, we have been sharing our tips and advice on how to avoid costly mistakes when you’re building a new home. We have some additional points that we think can help you out even more.

Sometimes things can go wrong once you move into your new home, even if you’ve done everything right. Check with your builder to see if they offer a guarantee and what it covers.

Ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the guarantee. You don’t want to do anything that risks invalidating your guarantee.

Tips & Advice

  • Check if the builder offers a guarantee.
  • Understand the terms and conditions of the guarantee.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

When you move into your new Homeworx home you will receive a pack that explains how to care for your home plus instruction manuals, maintenance information, and warranty documentation. 

A 10 Year Master Build Guarantee is automatically included with your Homeworx building contract.

Once you move into your home we don’t forget about you. We return after 30 days to do a full inspection and promptly attend to any issues we find.

7 Costly Mistakes: 7

Posted on July 5th, 2019

7. Unrealistic time frames

I had a stand-in a Home Show once. There were several other builders there and one company was promoting an eight week time frame for building your home. Impressive, and of course everyone was asking me how long it takes me to build a home.

I later discovered this building company signed up many clients following the home show based on the eight-week promise. I also discovered that the company had never actually built any homes before, so they didn’t know if it was possible to build a home in eight weeks or not.

Naturally, the first home ran considerably over time, the second home took just as long and the company folded partway through the third. Many people had also paid large deposits to secure their build and, unfortunately, they ended up out of pocket.

This is a sad example of not just unrealistic time frames but also of people getting sucked in by marketing that uses unsubstantiated and grandiose claims.

Most of the time, however, it is not the builder that has unrealistic time frames, it’s clients. It’s understandable because it’s a bit like getting an early birthday present that you can’t open…it feels like forever until you can open your present.

Some companies promote guaranteed completion dates. On the face of it, this seems great, and it is good as long as everything runs to plan or no changes have been made. However, if something doesn’t go to plan you’ve got the inconvenience of changing all your arrangements. You’ve also got the risk that everyone will end up rushing at the end of the build, potentially compromising quality.

Most people go through the process of building to live in their new home for a long time. It is a real shame when I see people rushing to get in a week or two early, which is pretty insignificant when you consider how long you’ll be living in the home.

I have noticed that if you have nice accommodation while your home is being built you enjoy the experience more and are not pushing hard to get out of the place you are renting and into your new home.

I had a client with a large family who decided to rent a cheap two-bedroom flat while they built. It was fun for the first two weeks, but then the cold and damp winter nights set in. Living in such close quarters, they all got sick and had a miserable experience.

For not a lot extra, you could probably rent a nice holiday home by the beach.

It is worth factoring in a little extra rent into your building budget to have good quality accommodation while you are building.

Tips & Advice

  • Beware of unsubstantiated and grandiose claims.
  • Don’t rush finishing your home.
  • Have good accommodation while building.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

Before Homeworx starts construction on your new home we hold a pre-construction meeting so you can meet all the key members of your building team. We review your plans and specifications together so we are all on the same page and know all your home’s important details.

You’ll receive a copy of the project schedule for your home. You will be able to see the planned progress for your new home plus you’ll be able to see the planned progress for your new home plus you’ll be able to see the times we have scheduled for your site meetings, which include meeting the electrician to confirm the electrical plan and meeting the tiler, painter, and landscaper.

We keep you regularly informed of progress during construction with our project management software, Wizard. You will be able to see a timeline of events relating to you build and our quality control checklist being ticked off as we progress through the build.

7 Costly Mistakes: 6

Posted on July 5th, 2019

6. Trying to do it yourself

One of my earliest clients wanted to save some money so decided that he would do all his painting. Bear in mind that my normal painting crew comes in, complete all the preparation, masks off, paint and clean up, all in two weeks.

Well, this client took all his annual leave over Christmas and worked tirelessly from sunrise to sunset and sometimes later, for almost four weeks. When he’d finished he was back to work, absolutely shattered and with no more leave due for another year.

While he did get the satisfaction of doing it himself, it was a long time before he had the energy to be able to enjoy it. Even though he got a good deal on his paint it still fell short of trade discounts, and once he tallied it all up he calculated that he’d made a net saving of around $1,400. This didn’t take into account that he had to pay another two weeks rent because the job took longer.

You may figure out early on that it’s a false economy to do any of the physical work yourself, and then go on to ponder the idea of saving money by project managing the job instead. After all, how hard can it be? You can use project management software and you’re smarter than the owners that are on Grand Designs. No way you’ll make any of the mistakes they make.

I’ve had to pick up the pieces more than once when the owners have made the decision to manage their home build themselves. The cycle typically starts with “we’ll get a cheaper builder plus he’ll be able to organise the subbies”. Does that make sense? One of the key people in the project is now being underpaid and expected to do more work.

Let’s do a simple calculation: labour typically makes up around 8-10% of the cost of the building. You manage to find a builder for 5% cheaper, that’s a 5% saving of 10% of the total cost which calculates out to be a 0.5% saving overall. This is roughly half the cost of the 7-8 weeks rent you have had to pay because of delays caused by subcontractors not being on-site when expected.

Things do go wrong on building sites and even with the best planning, unexpected things do happen. It takes experience to pre-empt these events and then work out the best solution.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen some building sites turn pretty septic when owners begin accusing subcontractors of messing up and demanding they pay to get it rectified. The worst I’ve witnessed is when an owner lined all the subcontractors up and demanded to know who scratched the bathtub and “no-one will leave until I find out or I will be deducting the cost of a new bath from everyone’s bill!” You can imagine the rest!

I have had a similar situation in one of my jobs where there was a scratch in the bath. I found out when the electrician rang me to say he’d dropped his screwdriver. It was annoying and I’m sure my language was a little colourful but it was potentially an expensive problem that needed to be solved.

I’m lucky because over time I have created a really good team of subbies and suppliers that are loyal and all work well together, unlike a one-off job where a lot of the subbies don’t know each other and there is little likelihood of repeat business.

Back to the bath: we ended up replacing it but the plumber didn’t charge for his time, the tiler had to redo some work so he came in at night, the supplier gave me a new bath at cost and, as it happens, one of the other subcontractors was doing up a rental property and needed a bath, so she bought the scratched bath.

Good builders generally have a good team of reliable suppliers and subcontractors that are used to be working together. Good relationships between builders and subcontractors usually mean little issues get sorted quickly and without costing the earth.

I was once told, “if you want an expensive job, employ an amateur.”

Tips & Advice

  • Doing it yourself can be a false economy.
  • An experienced builder is more likely to have a good pool of suppliers and subcontractors to ensure the building project runs smoothly.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

Homeworx has a dedicated site supervisor who is responsible for quality control and coordination of suppliers and subcontractors. This ensures that site issues are resolved early and your building project will run on time and to budget.

7 Costly Mistakes: 5

Posted on July 4th, 2019

5. Not Understanding Your Contract

Chances are you’ve been working with your builder for a few months now. Your builder has probably been around to your existing home and shared a cup of coffee with you at your kitchen table. You get on well and trust him. You’re looking forward to getting started and your builder has your building contact ready to sign.

You trust the builder. Why shouldn’t you? You’ve been getting on so well and nothing can possibly go wrong… but then the unexpected happens.

Great builds and relationships between owners and builders can all of a sudden turn sour. Disputes begin for all sorts of reasons, but at the seat of them is usually some form of misunderstanding. This often involves one of the parties having to front up with cash to resolve the problem.

It would be simple to say that the majority of issues could be easily resolved by having a good building contract. And this is true, to a degree, but you also need to have parties that have read and understood the contract.

I have seen many disputes escalate because someone didn’t understand the contract. Many times owners are overcome with excitement about finally starting the build and the great relationship they have with their builder. Then they sign their building contract in a hurry and without advice from their solicitor. The simplest advice is that you are entering into a business transaction, no matter how good you feel about your relationship with your builder.

A contract to build your home will often be made up of a subset of smaller contracts or documents. These typically include your quote letter, the building contract, plans, and specifications. Each of these documents will also have an order of hierarchy in case there are any discrepancies.

An example may be that the plans show a 1200mm wide vanity in the bathroom, however, the specifications say the vanity is 900mm. You can imagine how you would feel if you are expecting a nice wide vanity to be installed only to find a much smaller one. This has the potential to turn into a nasty dispute, however, the builder contract says that specifications take precedence over the plans… dispute diverted!

Another area of major dispute is when you make changes during the building process. These are known as variations.

I once had a client who had a good friend that was building at the same time in another town. My client made a few changes as the building progressed. Each variation was priced, agreed and signed off before the change was made. At the end of the job, my client knew exactly what his contract had cost and he was happy.

Throughout the build, my client’s friend was telling him how great his builder was, how accommodating he was and that nothing was too much trouble… until he got a $40,000 bill for extra costs. Every time my client’s friend had asked the builder to do something the builder agreed to do it but made no mention of the cost. Last I heard it was two months after completion my client’s friend still hadn’t moved in and they were still arguing.

Tips & Advice

  • Building is a business transaction.
  • Seek the advice of your solicitor before signing a building contract.
  • Know the hierarchy of the building contract documents.
  • Have a good contract such as a Master Builder Contract.
  • Know your contract to avoid disputes.
  • Put any changes in writing and get a price before you approve the change.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

When you have made your decision to build with Homeworx we prepare a comprehensive written contract so there are no grey areas or potential disputes. Your Master Build Contract includes a copy of your detailed quote, payment schedule, defect tolerance schedule, plans, specifications, and 10 Year Master Build Guarantee, which covers you for loss of deposit, workmanship, structural cover and completion cover.

Our building teams work strictly on your plans and specifications. If you decide to make changes during the build we complete a variation form with a description of the change, the effect it may have on your project timing and how much the change will cost. You must approve and sign this variation before we action any of the changes on site.

7 Costly Mistakes: 4

Posted on July 4th, 2019

4. Unclear Quality Standards & Expectations

You’ve been waiting for weeks and your home is finally finished. You’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time and are so excited about seeing the final result.

You turn up to your home, it is late afternoon and the sun is low. Everything looks great from the outside. You park on your new driveway in front of your flash garage door. Everything is just as you imagined.

You are welcomed inside by your builder and you can see the sun is streaming into your lounge. You know that living in your new home is going to be just awesome.

But! Then you see it. Something is wrong with the lounge wall. It’s a disaster. Everything is supposed to be perfect. How did this happen?

The builder assures you that this isn’t a fault. The builder explains that you are only seeing this because of the angle of the afternoon sun on the wall and it won’t show under normal lighting conditions.

This is not what you expected… and it is easy to assume this is some form of defect and you expect to get it fixed.

It is highly probable that what you are seeing is an acceptable defect. There are several ways to make a painted wall so there are many variables. There are different types of wallboard that can be used, there are several different standards of GIB stopping and there are a number of methods for applying paint. The combination of the systems used determines the quality of the finish.

The industry term used is called defect tolerance. This means that depending on what system is used there is an acceptable level of defects. Knowing that level will save you a lot of money too. Matching the level of finish you expect to the system that is used is the way to get the result you want.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, in conjunction with the building industry, had produced an excellent document called Guide to Tolerances, Materials, and Workmanship in New Residential Construction 2015. This will give you a great understanding of the quality standard you can expect.

You don’t have to wait until the building is done to decide if the quality is what you were expecting. Speak to your designer and builder about your quality expectations. They should be able to tell you what is achievable and also how it affects your budget.

As well as a set of plans, your designer will produce a set of specifications. This detailed document describes the selected system for each component of your building. By following the specifications as well as the plans the desired quality standard should be achieved.

Tips & Advice

  • Discuss your quality expectations with your designer and builder.
  • Understand the acceptable tolerance for the systems chosen.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

We kick start your new home dreams with a complimentary obligation-free Dreams to Reality Consultation.

During this consultation, we carefully listen to all your new home ideas and make sure we understand your expectations and what is important to you. We then work with you to:

  1. Become clear about your vision of your new home.
  2. Assess your budget and find the best fit for you to achieve your vision.
  3. Create a step by step plan on how to achieve your vision.

To ensure every part of your home meets Homeworx’s award-winning quality standards we use only experienced subcontractors who deal with quality materials, all equal to or great than building code requirements and well within acceptable industry defect tolerances.

Meet Wizard, Our Unique Project Management Software

Posted on July 4th, 2019


We created Wizard, a project management software so that you can be kept up to date with the progress of your project without even needing to leave the house. It is cloud-based so you can stay up to date wherever you are.

This is a unique service that Homeworx provides to keep you in the loop with your build.

How Wizard works for you…

  • Check your project schedule 
  • Check the status of your build
  • View images of your build’s progress

Homeworx Quality Standard: Picture Glass Splashback

Posted on July 4th, 2019

We love picture glass splashbacks because they add personality and style to your home.

Our interior designer can help you find a picture glass splashback that compliments your tastes and style. They can add a personal, more refined, touch to your kitchen.

So, what are they?

Picture glass splashbacks are made using advanced printing technology and special primers that bond ink directly onto glass. These panes of glass are also durable, heat resistant and easy to clean, making them well-suited for areas of frequent use, such as; kitchens, bathrooms, or laundries.

They are customisable to your tastes and come in a range of sizes, or you can even personalise your own. As we are seeing in kitchen design today, splashbacks don’t just have to be utilitarian or for behind your range tops, they can cover large areas in your kitchen as design features. You can also install strip lighting above your splashback to complement the design.

What picture splashbacks offer your home

This is a lively way of adding personality to your home in a creative way. It doesn’t have to be pictures, it can also be textures or patterns, or even just a splash of colour. They can also be sentimental, one of our clients once owned a mandarin orchard so they had a mandarin print splashback installed in their kitchen. Another client loved cooking dishes from all over the world, so her splashback was made from an old-world map. These details help set your home apart from others in a unique way.

7 Costly Mistakes: 3

Posted on July 4th, 2019

3. Not Getting to Know Your Builder

People choose their builders in a variety of ways. It may be that you’ve seen a newspaper ad. You may have visited a display home and liked what you saw, or a colleague at work may have recommended one to you.

In my opinion, there is no correlation between how you find your builder and the success of your build. I have found, however, there is a direct relationship with how well you know your builder. By this, I don’t mean you need to know your builders birthday, shoe size, or favourite movie.

So what do you need to know about your builder? The most obvious thing is: what is their relevant experience? Relevant being the key. Most builders are pretty versatile but builders with experience in the same field of work you need done are likely to be more efficient with their time and be more organised.

Experience doesn’t always mean quality workmanship, so it’s always a good idea to see examples of relevant work so you can assess the quality and workmanship for yourself. Workmanship, however, is more than skin deep. Good workmanship starts at the foundations and works its way throughout the house. I have seen homes that look pristine when they are first finished only to have issues manifest within six months because the basics weren’t done right.

To get a good idea of the builder’s workmanship, ask them for four examples of their work and then view two of them. They don’t have to be recent examples. The older the better as that will show you if the workmanship has stood the test of time.

Without a doubt, a good professional relationship between owner and builder is a major factor in ensuring a project’s success.

Of course, what you will have seen examples of are historic works. How does the builder ensure that you will have the same quality? Does the builder have a system for ensuring quality or do they rely on council inspections? Is there a dedicated person responsible for quality control? Does the builder use a quality control checklist?

Now, consider how long your building project will take. They don’t happen overnight so ask yourself if you can work with this builder for as long as the build might take. Without a doubt, a good professional relationship between owner and builder is a major factor in ensuring a project’s success.

Feel free to discuss with the builder how they will work with you during the build and see if that matches your expectations. For example, some builders do not allow clients on-site at all during the build. This policy is great if you intend to go on holiday for the entire length of the build but not so good if you’re excited and looking forward to seeing your new home coming together. When you view examples of the builder’s work there is a good chance that you will meet the owners of these builds. They will be able to give you an insight into how they found the building process and how they interacted with the builder.

Nothing comes for free, so no doubt you will be paying your builder. Depending on the size of your project, you could be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars. You are trusting your builder to manage your money and pass on payments to suppliers and subcontractors.

You absolutely need to know that your progress payments are being well managed, especially if your builder is working on multiple projects. Consider, for example, a company that is running five projects at a time. If each owner pays a monthly progress payment of $50,000 that’s a cool quarter of a million that will be sitting in the builder’s bank account. While this makes the builder’s account look great the fact is that this money belongs to the builder’s suppliers and subcontractors. It is reasonable to expect that the builder should have a robust accounting system to ensure everyone is paid on time. 

Tips & Advice

  • Ask about relevant examples of the builder’s work and view two examples.
  • Does the builder have a quality control process?
  • Consider how well the builder will work with you.
  • Will you be able to work with the builder for the length of the project?
  • Find out how the builder manages your progress payments.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

Homeworx is Hawke’s Bay’s most awarded home builder. We have won more than 100 Registered Master Builders’ House of the Year Awards since 1999. Our reputation for quality is very important to us but we absolutely understand that our quality matters most when we are building YOUR home.

We achieve that special award-winning quality with our quality control and project management software, Wizard. Our dedicated site supervisor checks over eight stages of construction and ticks things off in Wizard as they are complete. YOU get access to this software when you build with Homeworx, so you know exactly what is happening with your build.

When it comes to progress payments we have a unique system where your progress payments are paid into a holding account that is dedicated to your project. Only suppliers and subcontractors that work on your building project are paid from your dedicated holding account.

Homeworx Quality Standard: Laminate Flooring

Posted on July 4th, 2019

We use laminate flooring in many of our homes because it is stylish, durable and comes in a wide range of different colours and designs. Laminate flooring is low-maintenance and easy to install, lasting a long time.

Laminate flooring consists of four layers…

1. This is the coating that protects the layer below it. It provides resistance to fading, staining, water, and wear. It is also relatively more resistant to scratches than other floorings.

2. This is the design layer which is a high-resolution print of, most commonly, wood, stone or tiles. There are many variations to choose from.

3. This layer is called an HDF, or High-Density Fibreboard, it is a man-made product composed of wood fibres. It is extremely dense thus providing strength and stability.

4. A melamine layer that provides stability and also acts as a moisture barrier from the foundation below.

Why is laminate flooring a good idea for your home?

Laminate is a very versatile product. It can suit many different spaces from rustic, classic, to ultra-modern homes. It is also a practical flooring that can handle a bit of wear and tear.

7 Costly Mistakes: 2

Posted on July 4th, 2019

2. Not doing your numbers

Almost everyone has a budget for their new home. It typically goes like this: “If I sell my current home for this much and the bank has said I can borrow this much, then my budget is this much.”

Next comes the wishlist followed by the realisation that the budget is not going to be enough. “No problem! We’ll do a few weird and wacky things that are bound to be cheaper. I bet no one has thought of these before to make the house cheaper! What do you mean the ideas won’t work and that they will make the house more expensive?”
“Oh well, I’m sure we’ll be able to save on things as we go along.”

In my experience the single biggest cause of stress in Building is not all the building issues such as weather delays, materials not being delivered or someone misreading the plans, it’s the stress of the budget running out.

Get the budget right, the stress will go and you’ll be able to enjoy the challenges that come with Building.

Getting the budget right means having a realistic budget in the first place. This means being aware of what is included in your contract, what extra costs there could be and what other costs you could incur while building that you wouldn’t normally have.

There are many different types of building contracts but if you’re borrowing from the bank there is a pretty high chance they will insist your builder has a fixed price contract. This typically means the cost of your building project will not change (unless you make changes or variations… which both will be costly).

I have, however, seen many disputes between builders and owners relating to fixed-price contracts. The majority of these have been because it wasn’t made clear what was included and excluded from the fixed price, or the contract price included some unrealistic allowances that were adjusted during the build when the real costs were determined.

It is relatively common to have allowances in contracts. This is usually (but not always) for items that you haven’t made a final decision on yet. For example, the contract may include an allowance of $10,000 for your kitchen. If the cost of your kitchen turns out to be $11,500 you will end up paying the builder an extra $1,500 over and above the contract price to make up the difference.

If your contract includes any allowance you should ensure the amount allowed is a realistic representation of its true value before you sign the contract.

I have seen multiple cases where owners have signed contracts that contain allowances only to discover too late the amount is way off the mark. Unfortunately, some builders even use this process to make the bottom line of their quote look cheaper and more competitive. You could end up paying thousands more for your home than the contract price you agreed on.

Allowances in contracts are not just limited to monetary amounts. I have seen instances where a contract allows for 40m2 of driveway concrete, only for the owner to discover their driveway requires at least 80m2 of concrete.

When calculating your budget, have a good think about any extra costs that you may incur that you normally wouldn’t be paying if you weren’t building. Do you need to pay disconnection and reconnection charges for power, phone, or gas? Is your new home out of town so your fuel bill will double with your site visits? Will you be doing lots of baking for the builders and subcontractors? Better still, are you planning on having the roof shout of the century?

During your build, there is a chance you may be renting as well as paying for the mortgage on your new home. Have you allowed for these extra accommodation costs? And, have you budgeted for a few extra weeks rental just in case the construction is delayed. 

There’s a lot to take in, I know. But getting this right means you’re not going to have any nasty surprises. Once the money is sorted, you can then enjoy watching your new home being built.

Tips & Advice

  • Set a realistic building budget.
  • Make sure you know what is included in your building contract, and what is not.
  • Make sure any allowances in your contract are realistic.
  • Budget for costs you wouldn’t have if you weren’t building.

The Homeworx Standard

At Homeworx, we prepare a comprehensive written contract so there are no grey areas or potential disputes.

Your contract also includes a copy of your detailed quote, payment schedule, and 10 Year Master Build Guarantee – which covers you for loss of deposit, workmanship, structural cover and completion cover.

We believe you shouldn’t have any surprises while building, particularly financial surprises. We make sure our Fixed Price Contract is genuine. Unlike many other contracts, we won’t include any allowances that can often be inaccurate or misrepresentation of the true cost (unless you have requested an allowance be included and agree it is a realistic value).

So, with a Homeworx fixed-price contract, the reality is the cost of your home will not change unless you make the changes.

Homeworx Quality Standard: Grey Tint Glass

Posted on July 4th, 2019

Grey Tint Glass

This week we’re shining the spotlight on Grey Tint Glass and letting you know what its purpose is.

We often use grey tint glass because it is a better controller of solar heat than standard glass.

How tinted glass works.

Tinted glass is produced by adding metal oxides to the glass during manufacture. There are multiple different tints you can get, and each has its own characteristics. Tinting glass helps to adjust its relationship with solar heat and light, generally, by reducing glare and heat transmission.

Benefits of using a grey tint.

Grey tint glass is a better controller of solar heat than other tinted glasses. Not only does it reduce solar heat, but it also has a lower light transmission, minimising glare. This is particularly effective in Hawke’s Bay because of its high average sunshine hours and hot summers. Furthermore, grey tint glass also reduces UV rays getting through your windows, keeping you better protected. All this makes for more comfortable living.

7 Costly Mistakes: 1

Posted on July 4th, 2019

1. Choosing a Design That Doesn’t Suit Your Section

The section you choose may have great views, it may have difficult access, it may be exposed to cold southerly winds, it may be rectangular or odd shaped. Your site may be level or it could be on quite a steep slope, it could be sunny or partly sheltered by neighbouring trees.

Every section is different, even in an urban subdivision there are subtle differences between sections.

All too often I see people buy a section, then choose a plan from a website or builder’s catalogue. This makes choosing a plan easy but there is clearly no consideration of your section with this method of designing your home.

This means your home may not capture all of that view that you expected. Instead of looking across a reserve towards distant snowy ranges you may end up with a view of the neighbour’s bathrooms. An extreme example, I know, but I would certainly prefer a view of the ranges.

Choosing a plan out of a catalogue may seem easy but it could be disappointing when you move in and discover that the dream you had of soaking up the sun in your window seat on a lazy Sunday afternoon is spoiled by the shade from the neighbour’s big Gumtree.

Remember that you are spending a lot of money on your home and you probably want to live there for a long time. You owe it to yourself to spend some time on your home design so it considers all aspects of your section and maximises all its features. The only option to get this truly right is to custom design your home. If you choose your designer and builder carefully, custom designing your home shouldn’t cost any more than a standard design yet still achieve all the aspects of your wishlist.

Ideally, you should choose a designer and builder you relate to well and know they will listen to your ideas. Savings can be made if the designer and builder regularly work together, know each other’s approach and have a natural synergy.

Some building companies will offer to customise plans from their catalogue but they often limit the type and number of changes you can make. It is also important to find out who is doing the customising: is it the builder, salesperson, or an experienced designer? If it’s a designer, is that person based locally or located in a central office somewhere? And what will your relationship be with the designer? Clearly, if your designer is not local they cannot fully consider all your section’s features.

Tips & Advice

  • Start a scrapbook and fill it with pictures from magazines.
  • Make a list of “must-haves” for your home.
  • Choose a local designer who will listen to your ideas.
  • Choose a builder who has synergy with your designer.

The Homeworx Quality Standard

At Homeworx, we specialise in custom-designed homes that are designed and built to suit your section, your lifestyle, and your budget.

Before we start designing we do a site analysis that includes taking site levels, locating boundary pegs, identifying service locations and digging holes to assess soil type and conditions. We also spend time on the site with you so we can understand both you and your site.

We take care of the entire process from design through to completion, and all the steps in between, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the excitement of designing and building your new home.

Homeworx Quality Standard: Tile Showers

Posted on July 4th, 2019

We love tiled showers as they are a great way to add style and texture to your bathroom. They come in a wide array of different sizes, patterns and colours that can really compliment the rest of your space. It is incredibly important that they are sealed properly, if not, leaks can occur causing mold and rot. So often this is not done properly, and leaky showers can cause havoc for homeowners.

We make sure our shower is fully waterproofed before the tiles are laid, so that you can rest assured your shower will take the wear of water and shower products.

What are your options?

Size: Tiles come in a variety of sizes. In smaller showers, large tiles can make the space look bigger. 

Light or dark: Light coloured tiles are good for smaller shower spaces as they make it appear more spacious. Darker tiles are good for making the space feel cosy and moody.

Variation or grain, shiny or matt: The surface finish of the tile affects both how your shower will look and functionality for cleaning. 

Grout: Grout is what fills the gaps between the tiles. It comes in a variety of colours to compliment or contrast your tiles.

Why it could be a good option for you.

Tiled showers give bathrooms a luxurious feel, reminiscent of a nice hotel. They also enable you to do more, from a design point of view, with different colour, size, and variation options you can create the perfect combination.

Builder Jargon: Allowances

Posted on July 4th, 2019

Allowances (sometimes referred to as Provisional or PC Sums) are estimated costs for specifications that don’t have a quote by the time the contract is signed. They are also made if specifications have not been decided upon before the contract is signed.

For example…

If you want to get your contract signed so that your building consent can be sent away, but you have not decided how much of your bathroom you want tiled, an allowance will be put in your contract for ‘x’ amount or value of tiles.

Homeworx and Allowances

We use allowances when specifications are not finalised by completion of the contract.

For example…

If you are not completely decided on what you want in your kitchen but want to get the contract signed and away for consent, we can draw up an allowance sum. This is an approximate of what your kitchen will cost, and we make this sum based off an educated guess. If your kitchen turns out to be more than the allowance, we will invoice you the extra cost. If it turns out to be less than the allowance, we will credit you the remainder.

Before including an allowance in your contract we will discuss this with you and agree on a realistic value.

Common Allowances

Some common allowances in the contract are:

  • Kitchen
  • Tiles 
  • Concrete 
  • Splashback

Design of the Month: Studio 104

Posted on July 4th, 2019

This month we’ve chosen Studio 104 because it is warm and compact; perfect for those who are after something small & low-maintenance or, for those of you who are wanting to downsize. 

The kitchen is open plan, with a large island in the centre for preparing and serving food & drinks from. The dining and living area is also part of the same space, making communal living a breeze.

The main living space is flanked by bedrooms. The large master suite is at one end complete with a double wardrobe and ensuite. At the other end are another two bedrooms and a bathroom/laundry.

Homeworx Quality Standard: Designer Kitchens

Posted on July 4th, 2019

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and if you love entertaining for family and friends it is great to have the best design and products in your new kitchen.

At Homeworx, we have our own qualified interior designer who works directly with you to help you create your dream kitchen.

What makes a designer kitchen different from a standard kitchen?

The main difference between a standard and designer kitchen is that the latter is custom made to suit your needs and lifestyle. There is more scope to change different details and make your kitchen better suited to your personality and the way you want to use the space.

Standard kitchens often have base level appliances and modular cabinetry. Since designer kitchens are customised to suit you, you can decide where you want to spend more or save on individual components.

Why you should opt for a designer kitchen.

A designer kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up paying more, it means you can customise rather than opting for a stock-standard design. You can work with our interior designer to find a kitchen fit for your space and your lifestyle.

Design of the Month: Heron 103

Posted on July 4th, 2019

Heron 103 is an awesome two bedroom design that packs a punch. The focus in this design is living, the whole house is dedicated to it.

An atrium in the centre of the house provides a nice entry point for visitors and is also space for storage to be tucked away in the cupboards. The atrium is flanked by two wings which create a nice symmetry.

The master bedroom is large and equipped with an ensuite. The guest area or second bedroom is small and could double as an office or hobbies room.

Both the master bedroom and the lounge can open out to their patios, allowing for easy outdoor living.

Frequently Asked Questions: How long will my build take?

Posted on July 4th, 2019

Building Time Frames

In a perfect world, build schedules would run according to plan, without delays or push-backs. The sun would shine every day, and the rain would only come once the building is watertight.

Unfortunately, though, this is only an ideal world.

There is a multitude of factors that can delay any build, waiting on suppliers and bad weather first spring to mind.

It pays to have realistic expectations on the time frame of your build.

Winter Wonderland


The time of year your build takes place in can influence the duration a lot. It’s no surprise that winter builds suffer more delays due to bad weather.
But bad weather can strike at any time so it pays to be aware that weather can change the schedule of your build.
Although we cannot control the weather, we prefer to be upfront and realistic with you about any potential set-backs that may come as a result of an angry Mother Nature. 


Suppliers and subcontractors can also play their part in delaying a build. Sometimes by no fault of their own, if there are delays from the manufacturers or other suppliers, then the suppliers will not be able to meet their delivery deadlines.


Practically all new builds will need to be consented to by the council. The building consent process on average takes about a month, and if your build is complicated or the location tricky, it can take much longer. Moreover, that is before you even start building. Structural changes to your build along the way will also need to be signed off by the council.

Homeworx & Building Times

We keep you up to date with your build 24/7 with our project management software, Wizard. On Wizard, you can see your expected build schedule along with a quality control checklist that regularly gets ticked off once stages are complete.

The Homeworx Quality Standard: Double Glazing

Posted on July 4th, 2019

This month we shine the spotlight on double glazing and why it is your home’s best friend.

It’s no big secret that double glazing is superior to single glazing in windows.  It provides your house with better insulation, making the inside environment much more comfortable. We are going to discuss exactly how & why it is such a champion.

What is double-glazing?

Double glazed windows have two layers of glass spaced apart by a gap containing either air or argon gas. This is then sealed, thus creating an Insulated Glazing Unit (IGU). Different arrangements of IGUs have different insulative qualities. These depend on; the emissivity of the glass used, the distance between the two panes, and the type of gas in the gap. Argon gas has stronger insulative properties than air.

Why double-glazing is a good option for your home.

It can halve the heat loss through windows in your house, making a substantial difference to your power bill. Another bonus of double-glazing is that it reduces external noise, which is handy especially on streets with lots of road or pedestrian noise.

Design of the Month: Panorama 112

Posted on July 4th, 2019

Panorama 112 is a small two-three bedroom home perfect for those wanting a modern, low maintenance home. With two double bedrooms and a third single bedroom, which could be used as a study, this design can work for many people.

Kitchen, dining and lounge are all situated in the one room which is basked in light due to the many windows in the space. The lounge opens up to a large covered patio, extending the living space from inside to out.

A lot of great features are attached to this design which use space smartly. A laundry area tucks away neatly off to the side of the kitchen. Beside that is a recessed space for a fire, which would do an extremely efficient job of heating the kitchen, dining and living space during the winter. Two bathrooms, including one ensuite, make this house very functional, especially if guests are staying.

Builder Jargon

Posted on July 4th, 2019

All industries have their own jargon, and the building & construction industry is no exception. For people outside of the industry, it is sometimes difficult to know exactly what certain terms mean. A lot of this jargon makes its way into contracts as well. We have taken the liberty of explaining some of these builder jargon terms to help you better understand what your builders or subbies are going on about!


This week we are explaining what variations are and how we handle them.

Variations are so common in building that it is rare for a project to have none. Yet, some builders don’t do a great job at explaining to their clients what ARE and what ARE NOT variations. This can lead to disputes over costs, which can get ugly. 

So what ARE they?

Variations are extras or changes that are not included in your contract. They are very common and often come about when a client wants to upgrade or change a specification..

For example…
Diane and Peter are building a three bedroom home. They want to make a window in their master bedroom larger to let in more light. This is considered a variation.

Why do they incur a fee?

Any variation made creates administrative, or even re-design work. In the case of Diane and Peter, their variation creates both:

  • Size changes will need to be reviewed by the architect to see whether or not light and insulation requirements are still met
  • A change in window size may alter the bracing plan, thus the structural integrity of the building
  • Changes will need to be sent to council for approval and may incur a fee from council
  • The entire plans will need to be re-drawn
  • The previous purchase order for window joinery will need to be cancelled
  • Window and joinery will need to be re-quoted and re-ordered
  • All of these changes have to be communicated to the builders on the job

Even simple variations require work for the building company.

For example…
Diane and Peter also decide they want to change their bathroom and kitchen fittings from silver to black.

Administrative work required from building company:

  • Fittings will need to be re-quoted
  • Previous purchase order needs to be cancelled
  • Price increase must be calculated
  • Black fittings need to be re-ordered (in some cases this can alter the schedule of the build if products cannot be delivered when required)
  • Plumbers pack needs to be changed
  • All of this must be communicated to builders

Homeworx and Variations

Before we proceed with a change as a result of a variation we will discuss extra costs with you and how it may affect your project schedule. Variations must also be signed off by you either on our mobile app or a variation form.

Design of the Month: Espresso 214

Posted on July 4th, 2019

With ample space for family living and entertaining, you can be sure everyone in the house will have their own space to wind down and relax.

Two living areas give you options for entertaining. Use the two spaces as open plan or shut off one room from the other. The kitchen is spacious and open with a large scullery that can be used as a pantry, or to hide away clutter.

The bedrooms are separated by the living area; giving those in the master bedroom space from guests or children in the remaining bedrooms and vice versa. 

This design also accommodates the space needed for a fireplace, so that you can stay toasty and warm during the cold winter months.

Homeworx Quality Standard – Underfloor Insulation

Posted on July 1st, 2019

Quality is not just good design and workmanship… quality materials are equally as important. We are going to be taking a look at some of the materials and products we use that make Homeworx homes a cut above the rest.

Underfloor Insulation

This month we are taking a look at underfloor insulation and why it is essential for comfortable living and energy efficiency in New Zealand homes.

Here at Homeworx we often use RibRaft flooring because not only does it make your home more comfortable to live in, it can also increase energy efficiency, thus reducing your power bill.

So, what is RibRaft flooring?

It is a pod flooring system whereby the construction of your building sits ‘on’ the ground rather than ‘in’ the ground. Because of this, your building will be seismically strong which means it is far less susceptible to earthquake damage. The RibRaft system is comprised of polystyrene pods. Steel reinforcing rods, plastic spacers, and concrete mix.

How RibRaft benefits you.

As RibRaft is a form of underfloor insulation, it impedes temperature change which helps you maintain a comfortable environment indoors, year-round. Furthermore, because less energy is required to heat and cool your house, you will spend less on power.

The efficiency of installing RibRaft means that time, labour, cost, and waste savings are made. This is because there is far less excavation and digging work involved.

Live your dream with Homeworx

Posted on June 27th, 2019

Bayleys Real Estate have contacted us about a number of outstanding sections they have available in the Havelock North/Hastings area.

These sections are in a rural to semi-rural setting and offer elevated views with tranquil surrounds. The perfect canvas on which to build your dream home.

Contact us for more information and click the link below to view the amazing sections.

Sections for Sale

Design of the Month: Pukeko 185.2

Posted on June 6th, 2019

Awesome House & Land Opportunity – Havelock North

Posted on May 24th, 2019

This awesome section has expansive views from the Ruahine’s to the Pacific Ocean and everything in between. An excellent spot to build your dream home!

For more information contact us 06 843 8834 or via email info@homeworx.co.nz.

Design of the Month: Pukeko 185.2

Posted on May 21st, 2019

Pukeko 185.2 is an awesome option for people wanting comfort and practicality in a home.

Four comfortably sized bedrooms offer plenty of space for a growing family or visiting guests. 

There is plenty of storage throughout the house with multiple hallway cupboards plus in-built wardrobes in all of the bedrooms. A spacious scullery off the side of the kitchen makes room for kitchen appliances and food prep.

There are multiple access points to the outdoor living area. Kitchen windows open up to the patio with a plinth on the outside window, perfect for serving food and drinks from to family and guests in the entertaining area.

Design of the Month: Heron 238

Posted on April 16th, 2019

Heron 238 is a stylish and modern design. A great option for a family not wanting to skimp on their entertaining area.

Plenty of large windows offer this house light and sun filled indoor spaces. What’s more, the layout is designed to have all living on one side, grabbing the all-day sun, with bedrooms and bathrooms down the opposite side.

Entertaining is made easy from the spacious open-plan kitchen with large scullery off the side. The kitchen is the heart of the home in this design, acting as a bridge between living and bedrooms. 

Living extends from indoors to out, with two separate patios that jut out from the living area. This makes it easy for you to soak up the sun and enjoy the fresh air.

Design of the Month: Pacific 202

Posted on March 4th, 2019

Pacific 202 is a great choice for people wanting a great flow throughout their living area.

Family, dining and kitchen areas are open plan, and two large doors open up the formal lounge to connect all the spaces. There is also plenty of space for family with four bedrooms, or three bedrooms and an office, each with built-in storage, the master with a walk-in wardrobe.

Pacific 202 allows for plenty of storage. Several cupboards are located throughout the house, and a separate laundry and walk-in pantry in the kitchen help to keep household clutter out of sight. This plan also features a covered patio to provide protection from that hot summer sun.

Outdure Decking

Posted on December 14th, 2016

We have just completed this awesome deck on a new home in Waimarama. What a great summer the owners are going to have. Can you think of anything better than relaxing on this deck and taking in the sea views?

We have used a special decking on this deck which is called outdure decking. Outdure decking designs and supplies premium decking, exterior tiles, turf and subframe systems for all exterior spaces. Outdure decking is made from recycled wood and is of high standard. It is a safe alternative to tropical hardwoods. It also has the highest non-slip rating but there is also no nailing or re-staining required with an added bonus of no splinters.

Explore your wildest New Home Dreams

Posted on October 14th, 2016

Have you ever wanted to see and explore lots of New Home Ideas and view lots of different show homes? We are offering you a guided group tour to the Gold Coast to do exactly that!

A show home display village is a must if you are wanting to check out some of the latest floor plans and interior trends. This is the opportunity to view the wide range of contemporary and affordable homes that could suit you.

One of our designers will travel with you to the Gold Coast and take you through multiple display villages helping to open your mind with ideas and options that you can do. In this time, we hope to create the trusting connection with you that Homeworx works hard to achieve.

To register your interest and get more details, contact us now!