9 STEPS TO BUILDING SUCCESS
STEP 1 : Getting The Ball Rolling
The first step, to start the ball rolling, will be a phone discussion, to acquaint ourselves, to have a discussion around your wants and needs regarding your building project, and to make sure we can offer the service you require.
We understand that your time is valuable, so if we’re not available to take your call we will phone you back as soon as possible. In that first call we will gather some information, including your email address, and then send through an email questionnaire for you to complete containing questions that help get us on the same page with the vision you have for your Dream New Build, Home Renovation, Remodel or Extension. It also gives us a background on your project ideas. This ensures our first face-to-face meeting runs smoothly, efficiently and covers everything.
STEP 2 : Our Face-To-Face Meeting
Once we get your email questionnaire back we will organise a time for Ann and Howard to meet with you at your home, to further discuss your project and go through the completed questionnaire in more detail. We will ask further questions about any of your specific needs and requirements for the project. At this time we look more extensively at the overall project brief and the scope of work required. We want to learn more about your vision and dreams, so we talk about what’s important to you and your family and what you’re trying to achieve.
You’re more than welcome to have with you any ideas, house plans and other available information that you would like to discuss. If you don’t have any concept plans, don’t worry, we are happy to organise this for you in conjunction with one of the amazing architects that we work closely with.
At this initial meeting we will also leave you with our Renovation and Extension Information Kit, where you will find more information about Smartway Builders, plus some other items that you may find will give you good ideas, and help you to make decisions.
STEP 3: Sorting Out Your Design and Direction:
If you already have concept plans and / or building consent then this step may not be necessary.
If plans are needed then after the initial site meeting we will have a better understanding of your requirements and visions, so at this stage we will enter into an Initial Design and Drawings Contract with the expected costs and timings outlined for you.
Once you have signed the initial documents, we are able to meet with the recommended architect to discuss your requirements and ideas. In conjunction with you, the chosen architect will be engaged and will then design an initial concept plan based on your requirements. This enables a better visualisation of what your dream new home, renovation or extension will look like based on your ideas so far.
We always work with you and the architect, whether it be our recommended architect or an architect of your own choosing, throughout the design and consent process so all of us; you, the architect and us as your builder, share a mutual understanding of the project.
The initial concept plans created will contain a site plan and set of elevations, along with current and proposed floor plans. The plans often get revised 2-3 times until you are happy with the proposed layout of your home. Remember, your design will evolve over a period of time during which you, the Smartway Builders team and the architect will discuss, digest, think and rework ideas until the best solution is arrived at.
STEP 4: How Much Will It Cost?
If you’re like most people, you’ll want to know as soon as possible that the design you’ve decided on will be within your budget. Unlike most builders, we believe it is wrong to leave cost indications until the consent has been received, as a significant sum of money could have been spent by then on designs,drawings and consent fees … only to find out that the overall cost of the project is outside of your budget.
So, we take the concept plans that have been prepared and agreed by us all, and put an Estimated Ballpark Cost on the work, giving you a better idea of where your investment level will probably sit for your project.
And if the estimated numbers don’t fit your budget, then we can look at ways to adjust the concept plans … so they do fit together. Sometimes it’s just a matter of making things a little larger or smaller, adding or deleting rooms or using different alternative constructions methods. The whole point is to have a good idea of what things will cost, before too much money is spent.
STEP 5: Detailed Drawings and Council Consent
Once you have given the final concept plans your approval, the architect will move into getting your working drawings processed. This involves initiating communication with the council and liaising (if needed) with engineers, surveyors etc., in order to get your project through the door as efficiently as possible.
Once completed (and signed off by you and us), the architect will lodge the plans, detailed construction drawings, specifications etc. with your local Council and we can then get started on your Lump Sum/Fixed Price Quotation, as we now have all the detail surrounding the project. Sometimes there are extra questions or requirements from the council, but we handle all this for you.
Once consent has been lodged with council it will take between 4-6 weeks for consent to be issued, depending on the complexity. If a resource consent application is also needed then our architects will also handle this for you, although you may need to contact your neighbours, to get their feedback.
STEP 6 : Fixed Price Quotation
Now your plans are in council it’s time to put together your detailed Lump Sum/Fixed Price Quote and Building Contract. The quote outlines what your actual investment is going to be, and we make sure we have agreed that prior to your project commencing.
Everything that is included in the price is specified, along with anything that is excluded, so you know exactly what you are getting. There will be some variable items where we can’t determine exact cost now (if you haven’t chosen your shower or kitchen or which tiles you want for example), but once again these are clearly specified.
Of course if your new home, renovation, remodel or extension has any unexpected or unplanned variations that occur and may impact your budget, or you make a change in your requirements, we will promptly update any of the quotes and timelines where necessary so you can make any necessary decisions. We work hard on avoiding surprising “extra charges” suddenly appearing at the end of project.
STEP 7 : Signing On The Dotted Line:
Now that you are happy with the detailed design, all your requirements have been met, and we have the detailed Lump Sum/Fixed Price Quote, we go through your paperwork to ensure everything is taken care of including the signing of the contract for the building work.
Our contract is a standard one based on industry norms, so there shouldn’t be any surprises. It is easy to understand English, not legal mumbojumbo, and we are happy to explain anything you’re not sure about. And we’ll sort out when payments are due at the various stages through the project. Generally speaking, payments are due at a defined and visible stage, that also tie in with council inspections, engineering sign off etc.
We will then agree on our likely start date and prepare for construction to commence on creating your dream new home, renovation or extension.
STEP 8 : The Smartway Building Team Starts The Build!
Once the stamped Building Consent documents are received from your local council we can start to build your dream new home, renovation, remodel or extension, based on our agreed starting date.
Communication is key throughout the building process. A lead builder will be assigned to your project, and we have a full time Project Manager that is responsible for the project delivery, organising contractors, materials and council inspections … and liaison with you. It is important for us at Smartway Builders to be open and flexible with our clients, so even though the onsite team will be your initial point of contact, Ann and Howard are also available if needed.
If you want any changes or variations along the way, we will promptly update corresponding budgets, costs, and timelines. We keep you fully informed and work hard to minimise any unexpected and unforeseen costs during your construction process.
STEP 9 : Your Dream Home Renovation or Extension is Completed:
You have made the final payment, the construction is complete, the relevant areas of the house are thoroughly cleaned, and the “keys” are handed over … so now it’s time for you to take over your new renovated, remodelled or extended home. Although the new build, renovation, remodel or extension is now completed we will keep in touch and call you further down the track to see if there are any minor issues that we can fix to ensure your dream home is still your dream home.
There are also a few final hurdles to clear once your renovation, remodel or extension is complete. We will have spoken to you throughout the process about what happens after passing your final council inspection, including applying for a Code Compliance Certificate. We make it our responsibility, during the final Code Compliance Certificate inspection, that all documentation required by your local building authority is presented to the building inspector … so you don’t have to worry about this.
We Run A Building Business…
In this day and age, finding great tradespeople can be a daunting task. However, your search is over because we are not just your run-of-the-mill building company. We are different, in many ways.
We Run A Successful Building Business
Our business is set up to “perform like a business”, with responsibilities, accountabilities, systems and controls. It came about through necessity and a desire to raise the bar in the building industry, to give a fantastic customer experience … and so everything we do is designed to deliver a better result for our clients.
Our Beliefs, Values and the Quality Of Our Work
The simple fact is that we don’t like to let our clients down …So, if you’d like to form a longer-term relationship with a quality building company who really cares, and who believes in working with you to achieve what you want, then let’s start doing just that. Just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We Take The Time To Listen To Our Clients
There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth! Because listening and understanding is incredibly important in the building industry … so that we can deliver exactly what you want, and minimise issues, concerns and problems.
We listen to what you have to say.
We Aim To Do It Once – And Do It Right
We don’t take shortcuts and we don’t do cover-ups. We follow the New Zealand Building Standards and good practice guidelines, even if your work doesn’t need a Council consent. Our experienced and appropriately qualified people take pride in getting it right first time. In addition, the entire team engage in on-going training and education to make sure they keep up with the latest developments in good building practices, safety issues etc.
We’re Much More Than A One-Man-Band
Our talented growing team of builders currently stands at nine, and it’s expanding further. We have a number of fully trade qualified, New Zealand Government Approved Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP’s), additional trade qualified builders with varying levels of experience and less qualified people as well. They ALL know what they are doing, and how to deliver what you need, when you want it … in a tidy and friendly manner. They’re great people to have in your home, great people to talk with about the way forward and great people at delivering. And we’re proud to have them on our team.
Our Clients Benefit From Our “No-Surprises” Policy
If, whilst carrying out your work, we find anything material that we hadn’t anticipated as part of our initial assessment, we will endeavour to inform you of the implications of this prior to proceeding further. We understand that unknown items can impact the cost and/or time, and we believe that wherever possible you should agree to any changes before they are actioned … so we have a full Variation Capture Process, designed to make it simpler for us all.
Hand Us The Building Process Burden
Our team also includes architects, draftsmen, council consent specialists, structural engineers, fire engineers, plumbers, drain-layers, electricians, plasterers, painters, tilers, roofers, earthmovers, foundation specialists, designers, colour consultants, floor and window cover people to name just a few. We can make your total project happen from start to finish with the least amount of stress to you.
All Our People Are Great People
We carefully select our builders and subcontractors for superb workmanship and shared values of honesty and integrity. Our people strive to achieve an affordable project price and work hard to exceed client expectations.
We’re A “Safe Pair Of Hands”
One of our clients told us that they continued to use us for all their work, because we were a “safe pair of hands” and they felt really comfortable using us. We hope that you will too.
We pay attention, don’t take shortcuts and don’t cover anything up. We treat you and your home well and take pride in what we do.