05 Jun 2020
Now Is Not The Time To Cut Costs, Warns Building Industry Expert.
“Your first mistake as a buyer is to assume that all builders build the same – because they don’t,” says South Island Golden Homes licensee Dean McGuigan. “Builders need to meet the minimum building code – Golden Homes provides standards higher than the minimum, which we believe provides you with a superior home and better value for your dollar.”
“A lot of builders are quick to quote per square metre rates to win customers but that’s just a race to the bottom. It compromises the quality of the client’s house. To get it to that price the builder has to compromise the quality of the fittings and materials or products that go into the home.”
McGuigan says major events like the Christchurch earthquake, Auckland’s Convention Centre fire and the leaky homes put a spotlight on weaknesses and often lead to a change in industry practice or building codes.
Engineered rib-raft foundations – which are structurally stronger and less likely to crack or shift in an earthquake – are standard at Golden Homes, along with a fire-retardant roof underlay. “While the roof underlay we use is more expensive, it stops a flash fire should a fire enter the roof cavity,” McGuigan explains.
An example of striving to be ahead of the building code - “Golden Homes was the first to put double glazing into our homes as standard before it was compulsory. It does cost a touch more but it’s significantly better and now you wouldn’t dream of building a home without double glazing. A pre-cladding product called HomeRAB Thermal is used instead of building paper which has better acoustic and thermal properties, and steel frames are used instead of timber to ensure walls are strong, perfectly straight and won’t twist or warp over time.
McGuigan says home buyers – especially first home buyers - are very motivated to do the right thing but most people don’t really know what that is. “So, a lot of them shop based on price. Golden Homes’ catch phrase is ‘a better home you own’ and we’ve gone through the house and thought about ‘how can we do this better’ without drastically changing the cost of building.”
“It’s the little things that I’m proud to put into a house that actually makes the difference,” McGuigan says. “People need to look beyond price and examine how the house is actually constructed; what are the bones of the house, what’s in behind the walls.”
So, what is McGuigan’s final piece of advice for those looking to build? Price is important, yes, but the materials that go into your house and the products used are even more important so do your research and choose your builder wisely.