Waikato wide call: 027 935 5435 | Email us: info@kmh.co.nz

4 Renovation Jobs Best Left to Professional Builders

When you first start thinking about renovations to your home, sometimes it can be easy to think "how hard can it be? I can do that myself." But you don't have to look far, to find that inexperience, budget blowouts, time pressures and hidden problems can cause major headaches for the enthusiastic home handyman - and perfect material for shows like Renovation Nightmares!

Before you start tearing down, cutting holes or any general demolition, take a look at our list of 4 jobs that are best left to the building professionals.

1) Planning

Any home renovation projects should be planned alongside a professional builder. A key point here is to strategically plan your renovation.

A professional builder will be able to analyse your project and anticipate any potential problems (particularly with your building site or existing home) and suggest how to best approach the job. Having a step by step plan will ensure the job is done correctly, in-line with applicable codes and legislation, as well as realistic timeframes and material costs.

A builder will be able to alert you to any aspects of your renovation that need professional input - such as dealing with structural alterations.

An additional benefit of consulting with a builder, is that they can often make suggestions around materials that will reap long-term benefits, such as passive energy saving and more environmentally sustainable materials.

During the planning and consultation phase your builder will also be able to tell you if your planned renovations will improve the value of your home and make sure you won‚'t be over capitalising on your property.

2) Any work that will effect the structural integrity of your home.

The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment stipulates that a home owner must use a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) to undertake any work that is essential to the structural integrity or weather tightness of a building. The significant benefit to using a LBP is the protection you receive under The Building Act (2004). In addition, if you also use a Master Builder (such as Kit Markin) you are covered by a 10 year Master Builder Guarantee on all residential work.

Particularly with older homes, it can be difficult to anticipate any hidden problems with load bearing walls or structures. Often it is not until the layers have been peeled back that your builder can see the extent of the remedial work needed. Adding a new door way or window may seem like a simple job, but could have major implications for the structural integrity of your home.

Also, bear in mind - structural work is literally the heavy lifting of building. Your building company will have extra builders and safety equipment to make this type of work much easier, faster and safer than anything the DIYer will have access to.

If there is any question in your mind whether a renovation would be classified as a structural job - always ask a builder! Your insurance company will not cover any work that is not in-line with the Building Code or legislation. You will have to cover any costs to demolish and rectify the non-compliant work as well as running the risk of fines and prosecution. When it comes to selling your home, you may also be required to provide appropriate building consents.

3) Water-tightness

As highlighted since the mid 1990's, many New Zealand homes have not been built to withstand the harsh weather conditions here. As a means of accountability and protection for home owners, the New Zealand Government has included legislation that work impacting the water-tightness of your home, must be undertaken by a LBP. Examples of this include external cladding, roofing and windows and doors. Decks and balconies can also be a source of water entering your home (decks higher than 900mm also need a permit).

Water entering a building through poor materials or workmanship can do significant damage to your home, costing huge sums of money to rectify, so if you are not sure if the renovations you plan to do will effect the water-tightness of your home, you should consult a professional builder.

4) High-use areas

The reality is that any renovations are a disruption to your home life. Purely based on time factors, if you have a renovation that would have a large negative effect on you or your family - such as in kitchen or bathroom areas, it is well worth considering using a professional builder to carry out the work. This ensures minimal disruption and downtime to your home and family.

Using a reputable team of builders to renovate these speciality areas also means they will use appropriate products such as wet area wall linings, to ensure with work is fit-for-use and will last for years to come.

When planning a renovation or considering a DIY job you should be realistic about your building experience - the actual construction itself, budgeting, material sourcing, planning and knowing how to adapt to the inevitable curve-balls a renovation will throw at you. These are skills that professional builders train in and spend years honing their craft.

Spending money on a trustworthy and reputable builder will reward you with with less hassle, building work will be compliant with building legislation, and for those of us that are time-poor - a renovation that won't take up every spare minute you have getting the job finished!

For a free, no obligation quote for your next renovation project, contact Kit Markin Homes today.

Next article:


By Joshua Jennings | May 1, 2019

At Kit-Markin Homes, we understand that interior design and decor is an important part of making your home your own. That is why we work with Hollie to create beautiful, functional, customised interiors!

Hidden Costs of Per Square Metre Pricing

By Joshua Jennings | October 23, 2018

When it comes to pricing up the build cost of a new home, an attractive low price per square metre may seem like a fuss free method of working out your overall cost. However the true cost of building a home is not related to floor area alone, and will vary significantly depending on different aspects…

Common Roof Styles in New Zealand 

By Joshua Jennings | August 9, 2018

When planning the design and build your dream home, usually kitchens and bathrooms top the list of decision making around how you want them to look and feel. But although not as exciting as interior design, the look and design of your roof should also be a high priority. Considering your roof can make up…

Should You Build In The Winter?

By Joshua Jennings | June 20, 2018

Being the heat loving creatures we are, its natural to think that all building projects should take place during the warm, sunny months of the year. Its true that there may be some additional hurdles to building in colder, wetter weather but with careful planning and flexibility there is no reason why you should wait…

Building insurance

By Joshua Jennings | April 20, 2018

These days you can have insurance for anything and everything and it seems to be one of the necessary evils of modern life. But when it comes to a new build or renovation project, one of the necessary costs to include in your budget is construction insurance (also commonly known as contract works insurance). Very…

Building Estimates and Quotes – What you need to Know

By Joshua Jennings | March 6, 2018

At Kit Markin Homes we pride ourselves on openness and transparency and giving our customers the very best service possible.  As part of this commitment to our customers we provide a 10 Point Building Guarantee for every job we undertake. Points 5,6, 9 and 10 all deal with factors relating to building quotes and agreements.…

Renovations and Over-Captialising

By Joshua Jennings | January 25, 2018

When you look at your current home, you may be able to see its amazing potential. You may look at interior design magazines and see the similarities between the featured homes and your own – you can see the chic, modern home, your old, tired villa is yearning to be.   It may have ‘great…

5 Ways to Plan Your Life Around a Home Renovation

By Joshua Jennings | January 2, 2018

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to afford to move out of their home or go on holiday while any renovation work was happening in their home. The harsh reality is that sometimes we have to continue living in our home while improvement work is happening. Unfortunately, choosing to stay in the house…

Should I Build or Renovate?

By Joshua Jennings | November 19, 2017

A home is usually the single biggest investment you will ever make. Most home owners spend a lot of time planning their ideal home, so it pays to weigh the pros and cons around the question of renovating verses building new. Of course your situation is unique and your project will have its own set…