We understand that your time is valuable, so we will always respond to your call or email as soon as we can. Initially we will gather some basic information, including your email address and then send through a questionnaire for you to complete containing questions that help get us on the same page with the vision you have for your dream custom new build or home renovation or extension project. This ensures our first complimentary face-to-face meeting runs smoothly, efficiently and covers everything off.
Once we have reviewed your completed questionnaire, we may organise a time for our team to meet with you at your home, to discuss your project in more detail. We will ask further questions about any of your specific needs and requirements for the project. At this time, we will look at the overall project brief in more detail and establish the full scope of work required. We want to learn more about your vision and dreams, so we talk about what is important to you and your family, what you’re trying to achieve and ultimately how you want it to look and feel.
We will then prepare meeting notes to confirm what we have heard, outline the scope and advise on next steps, the associated outputs and relevant costs to complete the next stage.
Align Dreams with Budget
This important step is where we look to prepare an initial floor plan (if applicable) based on your dreams and conduct an analysis of all the areas relevant to your specific site, including wind zone, access, location, slope, scope of works. Our Quantity Surveyor based costing system then allows our pricing team to prepare an initial pricing indication, which provides you with a better idea of where your investment level will likely sit for your project. We present these numbers to you and once you have all of the information, you are able to make informed decisions on what is a priority and most important to you and your family. If the initial pricing indication does not fit your budget, we can look at ways to adjust the plans and scope of work. Sometimes it is just a matter of making things a little larger or smaller, adding or deleting rooms, or using alternative materials or different construction methods. We will assist with a revision of the numbers to work out the financial impact of doing or not doing something, to hopefully get to a number that you and your financial lender (if required) are both happy with. The whole point is to have a good idea of what things will cost, before too much money is spent. The output of our costing exercise is a document that you can take to your financial lender to assess your situation and secure funding.
Detailed Designs / Consents
When we have your dreams and budget aligned and a scope of works has been agreed, we will draw up a contract for the design and build of your new dream home, renovation or extension project.
Once you have signed the documents, we would then engage an architect and any specialists required for your particular project (engineers, surveyors, planners, etc) to discuss the brief and prepare the required drawings and consent applications (if applicable). We have a number of architects that we work closely with, however we are also happy to work with someone that you have engaged directly.
Once the detailed design pack is 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 Estimate Price Range, as we now have all the detail surrounding the project. Sometimes there are extra questions or requirements from council that are called RFI’s (Request For Information), but we handle all of this for you.
Once consent has been lodged with council it will normally take between 4 – 6 weeks for consent to be issued, depending on the complexity. If a Resource Consent application is also needed then either our architects or specialist planners will take care of this for you, although you may need to contact your neighbours to obtain their feedback.
Your plans are now completed and/or in council, so it is time to complete a revised costing exercise to put together your detailed Estimate Price Range Contract. The quote outlines what your investment is likley to be, and we make sure we have agreed that prior to your project commencing.
Everything that is included in the Estimated Price Range is specified, along with anything that is excluded, so you know exactly what you are getting. There will be some additional variable items where we can’t determine the exact cost now (if you haven’t chosen your shower or kitchen, or which tiles you want for example) and again these are clearly specified.
Of course if your new home, renovation or extension has any unexpected or unplanned variations that occur and may impact your budget or timeline, or if you make a change in your requirements, we update any of the quotes and timelines where applicable.
Once the Estimate Contract is signed off and we have consented plans available we can begin the planning phase for your project. We will advise you of our likely start date and prepare for the construction work to commence on creating your dream new home, renovation or extension.
(Communication is key throughout the building process. A lead builder will be assigned to your project and will work alongside our Project Manager on delivering your project. We also operate a cloud-based tool called BuilderTrend that allows us to schedule, manage and track your project. This assists us with the organisation of all subcontractors, materials, council inspections, engineering inspections, etc as required. It is important for us at Smartway Builders to be open and flexible with our clients, so even though the Project Manager will be your main point of contact (with support from our Lead Builder), we have a full team in the office working hard to deliver for you too.
If you want any changes or there are variations along the way, we will update corresponding budgets, costs and timelines. We work hard to keep you fully informed during the construction process.
After your final payment the construction phase is complete and the relevant areas of the house are cleaned and “the keys” are handed over. You get to enjoy your dream new home, renovation or extension. Over the next 12 months we will fix any minor issues to ensure that your dream home is still your dream home. There are a few other items we will complete and tidy up, like processing all of the paperwork from the various specialists that have worked on your project and submit them to the Council so they can review and issue your Code of Compliance Certificate, so you don’t have to worry about this.