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Quick guide to building

From choosing a design and finding the right plot of land to seeing it all come together, building a home is an exciting time – one you’ll always remember. Chances are it won’t always be smooth sailing, but with plenty of advance planning, you can hopefully avoid the majority of potential pitfalls.

We’ve put together this guide to make sure your building project is memorable for all the right reasons.

Before you make the decision between building and buying, consider these factors:

  • Building your home gives you the freedom to choose everything you want, from the floor plan to the lighting fixtures and tap fittings
  • Any building project takes time, so you might end up paying rent while your home is being built
  • You’ll spend a great deal of time visiting the block regularly to check progress
  • Unfortunately there can be unexpected costs involved with building, including initial site preparation or attending to things not covered in your building contract
  • There can also be unexpected delays when building, due to bad weather and other unavoidable factors

  • You have so many options available that it can be difficult to make a decision
  • Look at display homes to consider pre-existing designs
  • Research ideas on dedicated websites like houzz or Pinterest
  • Talk directly to a building designer or architect if you want something unique
Learn more about designing a house
  • Involves buying an apartment or project home usually based on an architect’s impression and floor plan
  • There are a variety of factors and risks you should consider 
Learn more about buying off the plan
  • If you’re not rebuilding on your existing block, choose a block of land that’s compatible with the house design you want
  • Your block will impact building costs
  • It can be useful to hire an expert to inspect the site before you commit to buying 
Learn more about choosing your land
  • When designing your home or buying off the plan, consider ways to increase the eco-friendliness of your new home
  • Research solar powered heat or lighting, water saving devices, rainwater tanks and use of insulation 
Learn more about creating a green home

Remember these key points when choosing and employing a builder:

  • Check that they have a current license
  • Get at least three quotes to compare prices
  • Make sure the builder is insured
  • Check that the builder is financially secure
  • Ask for references and to see examples of past work
  • Ask your family and friends for any recommendations
  • Once you’ve chosen a builder, get an itemised quote for the work
  • Agree on progressive payment stages (in general there should be five payments)

Important documents when you work with your builder

Complete these important documents that are meant to protect you and set out your mutual expectations during the building project:

There are a number of significant costs involved with building your home. Learn more about these costs and why you have to pay them:

Keep reading

Guide to renovating

There’s a world of difference between sprucing up a home with a fresh coat of paint and undertaking major renovations. If you’re considering the latter, it’s important you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

Learn more

Avoiding renovating pitfalls

You’ve decided to renovate and know what you want to achieve. Before you start, plan to avoid these common renovating problems.

Learn more

Avoiding building pitfalls

Regardless of whether you’re a first-timer or have had homes built for you in the past, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure your home is built on time, on budget and with everything as it should be.

Learn more

Related products

Whether you rent or own your property, we have the insurance solution to cover your building and contents.

Learn more

Reach your savings goals faster thanks to a great variable rate.

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Ensures your loan can be paid off by you or your beneficiaries in the event of death or terminal illness.

Learn more

Important Information


Applications for finance are subject to the Bank's normal credit approval. Full terms and conditions are included in the Loan Offer. Fees and charges are payable.

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