If you are building for the first time, or maybe it's the twentieth, you might have some questions.


We have done our best to answer the most common questions we face. If you cant find the answer to your questions, get in touch and we will find them for you. 

Otherwise, you can download our building guide through the link at the bottom of the page. 





How long will my home take to be built?

You will get a timeline for your new home, so you know when to expect what.  As a guide, an average time of 34 - 48 weeks is standard depending on the complexity of the home. 

This usually looks like:

•             2-4 weeks Consultation / Concept / Budget Estimate

•             2-4 weeks The Detail / Fixed Price

•             3-4 weeks Full Design

•             4-6 weeks Consent

•             26-34 weeks Construction

•             2-4 weeks Code of Compliance

Please note that times may change due to current building supply shortages. Contact us today to confirm. 

Is my home insured while it is being built?

Homes by Orange Limited carries a company risk and public liability insurance (Builders Risk Insurance) cover for the duration of the build.  After we have handed the home over to you, it’s over to you.

What is a provisional sum?

A provisional sum is an allowance estimated by our experienced team, that is included in your contract for a specific element of the works that are not yet defined in enough detail for contractors to provide a fixed price. Examples can include site works or drain laying.

What if I want to come and have a look at my home while it is under construction?

Of course, you can visit your home during construction.

Please keep in mind that there are health and safety processes enforced and we are legally required to control the building site. On your first visit, we will take you through an induction process pointing out the hazards and procedures you will be required to comply with. 

What is a Prime Cost (PC) sum?

A PC Sum is an allowance for materials supplied by the contractor, but on which the owner has yet to make a final decision. The actual price is to be substituted for the allowance in due course. Examples can include door handles or tap-ware.

Will there be any extra costs over the contract price?

The amount quoted in the signed contract is the final price for your new home. There could be either a Provisional Sum or PC Sum included for some items such as your earthworks, services, engineering, kitchen joinery, flooring choices which will cover the standard or estimated costs only.

If you are to upgrade any items in your kitchen or bathroom or say for example the conditions on your site were not what was expected, or the distance from the services to the house was further than normal, then there may be an additional cost.

How do I use my KiwiSaver? You could get up to $20,000 towards a new build as a grant!

If you need a little bit more to secure your dream, consider using KiwiSaver savings. You may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings (provided you leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your account) to put towards building your first home. Note: You must have been a KiwiSaver member for three or more years and you can only withdraw money to purchase your first home - not an investment property. If you have owned a home before, in some circumstances you may still be eligible to withdraw your savings, if you're in the same financial position as a first home buyer.

After three years of contributing to KiwiSaver, you may be entitled to a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. For purchasing an existing home, the grant is between $3,000 and $5,000 based on $1,000 each year of KiwiSaver membership. However, for purchasing land, building or purchasing a new home, the grant is doubled to $2,000 per year of membership in the scheme, up to a maximum of $10,000 for five years for each member.

The maximum value of grants payable is $20,000 for the purchase of a new property. To be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant you must:

  • Have been contributing the required minimum amount to KiwiSaver for at least three years

  • Be 18 years or over

  • Be purchasing or building your first home

  • Have a household income (before tax) of less than $80,000 per year (for one person), or less than $120,000 per year (for two or more people)

  • Have a deposit that is 10% or more of the purchase price, including the addition of the grant.

  • Be planning to live in the house for at least six months from the settlement/completion of the property.

Find out more about finance options here. 

What do I need to know about a bank construction loan?

If you have an existing relationship with your bank, you may prefer to go through them.

Banks are likely to look kindly on a fixed-price contract with a reputable building company like Homes by Orange (versus small independent building firms), as it reduces their exposure to risk. The more customer-centric banks will guide you through the entire process, making it really easy for you.

Find out more by downloading our finance guide here.


Start by finding the right section...

There are many factors you need to consider before buying a section that will affect the cost of your build, your resale value, and what you can build on that site. These include:

  • Steepness of the section
  • The soil make up
  • Surrounding features
  • Views and sun angles.

We’re happy to come and look at the section you are interested in. We can provide advice on whether it would be a suitable site for your home and will help translate the complex technical reports that are provided by the real estate agent as part of the property’s information pack.

It’s our job to help you position your home on-site for the best passive solar results, to minimise wasted space, maximise the views and work with the contours of your land to limit costs.

We may also know about other sections on the market that may better suit your needs and can also recommend experts involved in sub-division if you see a property large enough to be sub-divided, or own a property with sub-division potential.


Jo’s tip: “Be sure to get a list of the section’s covenants and any geo-tech information from the real estate agent before viewing the site. These will be important for considering what you can build and where on the site.”

What’s involved in developing a concept design?

This is the fun part where you brief us on what you want so we can help turn your dreams into a design.

How many bedrooms would you like? How many bathrooms? What style of home do you like - traditional or contemporary, minimalist or full of character? What are your ‘must haves’ and what are you prepared to compromise on?

Ru’s tip: “Bring along a scrapbook that illustrates all the features and styles of homes you like – either in hard copy or digital format. Sometimes pictures paint a thousand words.”

Pop in and say hello
We may start from scratch to create your own masterpiece, add your personality to one of our existing plans, or work from a home plan in our Ready-to-go range - whatever suits you best. Consider the floor plan that fits within your budget, as the style of home and exterior finish can generally be tailored to suit. To help get you started, check out our great range of plans.

At this concept stage, we can provide you with advice on a whole number of factors to consider, including: the best use of the section, sun and outdoor living, street appeal, access and garaging, entrance, ease of flow, functionality, use of space, kitchen layout, number of bathrooms and their layout, storage, and energy efficiency.

You will also want to consider the changing needs of your family and how you will use your home in the future. For instance, families with young children may like the bedrooms close to the master while it may be more appropriate to have the bedrooms further away when the kids are older.

Resale is an important factor when designing your dream home. Research the trends and talk to your Homes by Orange consultant about the features new home buyers are looking for in the current market.

How do I get to the budget estimate stage?

Once your concept is signed off, we provide a budget estimate.

When you are happy with your concept and the estimated budget, you give us the go-ahead by paying a small ‘authority to proceed deposit’ that is taken off the total price


When can I secure the fixed price for the bank and our peace of mind?

After we fine-tune all the details we provide you with a fixed price quotation, something your bank may also need.

At this stage you might choose to increase or decrease your budget for the kitchen, or choose more expensive carpets - which will alter the price. You can see all this information laid out plainly in one of the most detailed building agreements in the industry - so you know exactly what you are getting.


When does the build start?

First, it is the full design and off to council

The Homes by Orange team will fully manage what can sometimes be an onerous building consent process so you don’t need to worry about it. This includes preparing working drawings and liaising with engineers to obtain all required consents. After we complete the full design drawings, the consent application is sent to council for approval.


Then the build can begin

Once we have consent back from council, we give your home plan to one of our experienced builders. We have a team of preferred builders and will recommend one best suited to your type of build.

You will meet with your project manager and builder and then the construction can begin. Homes by Orange project managers are fully qualified builders and look after your build from start to finish. They will be your main point of contact while your home is under construction, at the ready to answer any of your questions and will be in touch with you several times each week.

You can also arrange to visit the site during key stages of the build to see progress first-hand, or check in online at any time using RAVE, our interactive online tool which allows you to follow the progress of your build. 

When can I move in?

This is the day you’ve been waiting for! Once your house has been completed to our exceptionally high standards and the council is happy that the home has been built in line with its building consent, we can give you the keys to your new home. You can now move in, with the peace of mind of a 10-year Master Builders Guarantee.

Finding the building process confusing?

We are dedicated to making the process of getting you into your new home enjoyable and stress-free – and dare we say it, even fun!

We have created a New Home Building Guide to help answer all your questions. Get it by clicking on the link below.

“A big thanks to the team at Orange - delivered a top quality home. No hidden costs, no surprises. We would not hesitate to recommend to build with Orange.”

- Barry and Rowena

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