5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Builder


One of the most exciting times in life can be deciding to own a home. You’ll finally have your own space, a place to make unique to your wants and needs, and the privacy and contentment that a home brings. For some people, this means visiting home after home to find what they want. For others, however, building a home means being able to design everything that you’ve dreamed of in a home to fit their needs perfectly.

One of the few drawbacks of deciding to build your home is not knowing how to translate the picture of your perfect home in your head, to paper. But, with the right builder who can communicate well and is highly experienced, you will have the help you need to take that vision and turn it into reality. The key then, is simply finding the right builder for you. To help you do this, it is imperative that you keep the following five things in mind.

Choose your type of builder

Before you even begin looking at builders, you will first want to identify what type of builder you want to go with. Decide whether you want to go with a specialty builder or general home builder. The basic difference between the two is that a general builder will probably have stock homes and plans that they typically build. You’ll be able to customise of course, but the general shape of the house will be set. This will be a faster build, because your builder and crew will most likely have the supplies they need to hit the ground running.

A custom or specialty builder will start from the ground up with you. You will have more decision making power and can customise almost any aspect of your home. The other main difference is that, as is probably obvious, the specialty or custom home builder will need a much higher budget than a general one, and can take longer.  

Large or Small Business

Once you’ve decided on general versus custom, you might want to further narrow your options by deciding on a small or large building business. If you go with a small business owner you may end up having a lot of the work outsourced. This can sometimes take more time, but can also possibly be cheaper.  Small businesses may also be easier to work with as you will be one of a few clients.

Larger business’s best quality is that they will be quicker at building and getting you into your new home. The more contractors on the team, the quicker and more efficient your home will be built. Again though, you will probably see a higher cost by going with a large business contract.  

Be specific with what you are looking for in a home. The more specific you are, the better quote you’ll get on prices, and the better equipped you’ll be to choose your type of builder. Have a set of drawings ready to go before you even start interviewing builders. If you’re looking to build a home in Auckland, a building company such as BRS Limited will have a full checklist to go through with you to make sure your home is meeting all your needs and staying within budget. Going with a company like this can also benefit you long term, as they also specialise in home renovations and already know your home inside and out.

Interview, interview, interview

When you’re interviewing and meeting with multiple builders, it can be easy to lose track of which builders stood out. The best way to keep track of this is to make a list of questions to bring with to each builder. Keep the list of questions the same for each builder, so you can easily compare.

The questions you need to ask should be detailed and specific for what you’re looking for in a home. The more specific you can be with your house plans, the more specific of questions you can ask your builders, which will help you in the long run. Use something like this list of questions to get you started. Make sure that you ask about the good as well as the bad, including questions such as, tell me about the last time that something went wrong in a build, and how did you resolve it? This can help reveal what to expect when or if something goes wrong in your own build.

Licensure and warranties

Every builder you look at and interview should be licensed, but you should absolutely double check before you sign on with them. Make sure their license fits the requirements for your area. Warranties should also be required of your builder. When interviewing, have this as one of your required questions on your list. Ask things like, what is the term of the warranty, what is included, and can you have a written copy to review at home. This will help you compare warranties to help you find the best one.  

See the work

One of the best ways to help choose a builder is to look at what they’ve built. You probably wouldn’t consider buying a car without a test drive first, let alone buy a house without a tour, so why would you choose a builder without seeing their work? Make sure that you obtain a list of references from your potential builder, and actually reach out to every reference. Try this list of questions to ask when calling your references. Along with asking detailed questions about the entire process, ask if they’ll allow you to tour their home. This will give you the best insight into the quality of work. Even if you are not given the okay to tour their homes, you will hopefully be given honest opinions and perhaps even a little advice for your own home.

While this might seem like a lot of work before you even choose your builder, you will be extremely happy that you followed these tips in the long run. Your home is something you will live in for an extended amount of time, perhaps even the rest of your lifetime, so doing your homework is worth every moment of your time. Do the work, and you will have the home that you have always wanted.  


Tips on Creating the Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Flow for Your Home


Throughout the world, people have to go on holiday to enjoy the weather that’s normal for Auckland. It’s seldom too hot or too cold to enjoy being outdoors. No one loves gardens, patios, decks, and porches more than a Kiwi.

One of the most popular home renovations in Auckland concerns creating a seamless transition between the inside of the home and the outdoor living space. Here are a few tips on creating that perfect flow.

Use the Same Flooring Indoors and Out

If the outdoor space is connected to the kitchen, as is often the case with home renovations in Auckland, the same flooring creates a seamless transition. Tiles make a great choice since it works beautifully in either case and is long-lasting.

Glass Doors Let in Light and Frame the View

French doors, stacking doors, and sliding doors are all very popular. Many people prefer the space-saving benefits of sliding and stacking doors when compared to French doors but hate the track the doors slide on. It’s not very attractive, is uncomfortable to bare feet, and easy to trip on. LevelStep doors are new and installed flush to the ground with nothing impeding the flow.

Add a Secret Garden

Install a private entrance to a small, secluded garden separated from the primary garden by a wall, fence, dense shrubbery, or bamboo. Add a large window or sliders to the garden from the master bath. A water feature will turn this into a favorite spot for private relaxation.

Don’t Forget Covered Outdoor Space

Enjoy the rain by adding a roof to an outdoor room. Add comfortable seating, a small table or two and, perhaps, a fireplace to relax outdoors regardless of the weather.

Add a View to Your Home Office

Bring the outdoors into your home office with a large window. Back your desk up to the window or have a custom desk built into the space. Of course, the drawback to looking out on your magnificent view is that it may be hard to get any work done.

Brs Ltd are experienced renovation builders who could help you to create the perfect indoor/outdoor flow for your home. Whether you are building a new home or interested in bungalow renovations in Auckland. Brs Ltd are dependable, honest, and passionate about their work. Contact Brs Ltd on brsltd.co.nz and discover how they will exceed your expectations.

How to Make a Big Impact with a Small Home


Lots of people in New Zealand, including many residents of large urban areas like Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton, live in a small home, a small room, or just a small space. These smaller homes offer many advantages, including the ability to live in an intimate way, easy and low maintenance, less environmental impact, energy savings, a wider market to sell to and more.

Nonetheless, a small home has its share of drawbacks. Chief among them is the fact that the smaller area tends to create a feeling of clutter, which makes it less comfortable and inviting. Because of this, it can be difficult to know how best to lay out or accentuate a smaller living space in order to maximise its use, look and style possibilities.

If you’re looking for ways to make a big impact with a small home, here are some ideas to get you started.

Small home improvement projects with big impact

1. Enhance your front entry

Adding a new front door will definitely improve your small home’s curb appeal. It may also add to your home’s security and energy efficiency. Others ways to enhance your front entry and impress guests include: creating a stylish yet functional walkway, adding a coat of bright, bold paint, replacing old or rusty hardware, adding a porch, flowers and plants, and so on. Just think of ways to add interest and impress guests coming from the street or drive to your front door.

2. Renovate your deck

If your small home has a deck or porch, consider renovating it. You can start by replacing any old components, such as posts or columns, and then add a fresh coat of paint. If your house doesn’t have a patio/deck, consider installing one to complement your home’s style and improve curb appeal. This will give you an additional living space and make an immediate impact. Professional home extensions in Auckland contractors can help you and guide you through building or renovating a deck.

3. Exterior lighting

Exterior lighting will not only add a welcoming glow to your small home, but also make it feel open and large. So, consider installing energy-efficient exterior lighting to make your living space seem larger and look more stylish.

4. Spruce up your stairs

The staircase is one of the first things people see when they enter your house. Assess its condition and repair any damaged areas. Repairing any broken treads, filling gouges and fixing a shaky railing are projects you can do it yourself, but if you decide to replace the entire staircase then you’ll need to engage home renovations Mt Eden professionals.

5. Freshen up the fireplace

Spruce up your dark-coloured fireplace by painting its surround using lighter-colour brick paint. Also, consider installing stone veneer or natural stone or ceramic tiles to add colour and texture.

6. Upgrade your bathroom

Replace outdated bathroom fixtures, including lighting, and consider painting existing surfaces like the cabinet. If your bathroom is old and badly designed, it may need a complete overhaul to make it spacious. Seek the advice of bungalow renovations Auckland experts to determine what you need to do to achieve an airy and more dramatic look.

7. Update your kitchen

Make a big impact with a small budget kitchen renovation. Consider refreshing colours and various kitchen surfaces and don’t forget to replace your taps. These small upgrades can have a huge impact on the look and functionality of your small home and can be implemented via a DIY project. Major kitchen remodelling projects are best left to licensed bungalow renovation Auckland professionals.

8. Organise your home

Unclutter your home to create more space. Try to organise every room, from the wardrobe to the kitchen, and dispose of those items you don’t use. Install organisers or hire home renovations experts to build organised storage for you.

9. Ensure everything is in proportion

Having furniture pieces and other items that are too large for your small space will make your home feel congested, stuffy and uncomfortable. Choosing new, stylish proportional furniture will not only help make an impact, but also allow your space to function comfortably.

BRS Ltd – Auckland’s most trusted house renovation builders

Does your small home need renovation to create more space? Do you need a deck, new bathroom or any other addition to your home?

Building & Restoration Services Ltd (www.brsltd.co.nz) offers quality and affordable house and building constructions in Auckland. Beautiful home extensions  projects, alterations, bungalow renovations projects, house constructions, home renovations in Mt Eden – BRS Ltd makes these projects easy to complete. We can help make your home renovation or new build a reality. We’ll work with you to find the best solutions that will ensure the planned renovation or new home build meets all your needs, whilst providing cost savings and pleasing results.

Contact us or call now at (09) 5792320 to request a quote or a consultation.

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Home Extension

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There is much to consider before you knock down a wall or start digging a hole in your garden for the foundations for a house extension. Building an extension can be noisy and expensive and is certainly disruptive. You will have to deal with architects, builders, tradespeople, the neighbours, the local council and other national regulatory authorities in Auckland, New Zealand.

Are you ready for the noise and the mess? Can you really afford an extension and do you even need one? You must ask yourself these and many more questions before you begin the process of an extension, the following are just some examples:

Do I really need an extension?

Can I afford an extension?

Will it be cheaper to extend than move and buy a bigger house?

Will I need planning permission?

Can I handle the disruption of a build right now?

With those questions in mind take a careful look at the five things you absolutely must know the answers to before you start home extensions.

1. Do you need planning permission?

Depending on the country or region you live in you may find that some building activities or minor renovations do not require any permissions from the authorities. Research at the planning stage will save you heartache, stress and issues further into your project. There will likely be fees associated with a planning application. Your builder or architect will be able to advise you further.

2. Do you know a good, reliable builder?

Ask friends and family for their recommendations. If no recommendations are forthcoming you will need to do some research. Read testimonials, look for online reviews and if possible ask to view actual work examples of past builds. The cheapest quote is not always the one you should choose. Weigh up the cost against time and reputation where possible.

3. Will you design your extension yourself or employ an architect?

Unless you are a qualified builder or architect, a home extension is probably best left to the professionals. Poor design or construction will not add value to your home.

4. Will your home extension have a significant impact on your neighbours?

Take into consideration the impact your building work may have on your neighbours with regards to noise, dust and access for tradespeople. If you are planning on building up a level or near to a boundary you may need to stay within certain council requirements regarding privacy, access to light and views, for example.

5. Is now the right time for building works in your life?

If you have a baby due soon or have recently had a new addition to your family then maybe now is not the right time to be planning extensive works around your home. Unless of course you need the extension to accommodate a growing family, in which case full speed ahead!

Opting to extend your home rather than move can add value and save you the effort of having to move. Whether your extension is a garage conversion, creating a usable loft space, adding a conservatory or building on an entire new master suite section to your home then the effort will be well worth the temporary sacrifices in noise, dust and privacy!

Considering a building project is both exciting and daunting. Choose recommended companies to assist you or do lots of research and read testimonials to get an idea on the reliability and quality of the services on offer.

BRS Ltd are experienced with garage conversions Auckland-wide as well as other types of home extensions. Visit www.brsltd.co.nz for gallery images of previous projects and details on how they can assist you with your Auckland home renovations. As well as renovations, BRS Ltd can advise on the most suitable home additions for Auckland homes.

5 Things to Know Before Starting a Home Extension


A home extension is one of the most exciting home renovations you can do. But it is also one of the most expensive and challenging. There is the potential to run into a lot of problems and you run the risk of going over the budget. So, before you get too excited, make sure you know what you are getting into and how to prepare for the challenges ahead. Here are five essential things to know about additions or extensions to your Auckland home.

1. Why are you doing it?

Different homeowners will have varying reasons for building a home extension. Knowing exactly why you need the extension will help you to plan better. You might be expanding your home to add some much needed space. This is common for homes with large or growing families. You could also be expanding to add value to the house. This is common when you are planning to sell off the house. Another reason could be that you want more space but don’t want to move from the neighbourhood.

Whatever your reason, make sure you talk it over extensively with your contractor so that you can plan the project in line with your objectives.

2. What is your budget?

Cost is a big part of planning a home extension. Your budget is one thing you should spend a lot of time on. Sit down with your contractor and draw up an estimated budget, making sure to include everything, even the unexpected. This will ensure that you don’t run out of money mid-extension.

Remember that other associated costs might also go up. For example, your home insurer might charge you more premium. The overall cost of home maintenance is also bound to increase. Consider these related costs when drawing up a budget.

The most important thing is knowing how much money you are willing to spend. Once you have that figure, you can work within that amount to achieve your objectives. Ask your contractor for ideas on how to bring costs down.

3. What is the timetable?

Next to the budget, the timetable is one of the most important planning aspects. Plan the timetable according to the different stages of the project. For example, the survey and design process could take one and a half months. The planning part itself could take more than two months. Another one and a half months for working drawings and permit approvals. Maybe an extra month to tender the project and kick start the building process.

4. Amenities

Amenities include gas, drainage, water and electricity. Know early on what changes will be needed to them and whether new installations will be necessary.

5. Design

Get as many design ideas as possible before you start. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest are great sources of inspiration. The final design should be one that is practical but also beautiful.

Experts in Auckland Renovations

At BRS Ltd we pride ourselves on our ability to turn our clients’ dreams into reality. If you’re looking for top experts for home renovations in Auckland, just contact us. Our services include bungalow renovations and home additions for any Auckland property.

Visit our website at www.brsltd.co.nz to see our services in full and to send us an enquiry.

5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Home Extension


You love your neighbourhood and your children are at great schools but could you do with an extra bedroom, a home office or studio space or a self-contained apartment area for an elderly relative or family member? If you don’t want the hassle of preparing your house for sale or the upheaval of moving then a cost-effective solution is to look at extending your current home! Here are some of the things you need to take into consideration before you start any work.

1. Planning permission and neighbours

Depending on the work you want to carry out and the proximity to your neighbours you will need to consider the impact your renovation will have on them. For example, if your renovations mean your property will extend upwards and potentially block out some of their light then this could be an issue.

Building too close to your mutual boundary could also be problematic. In your application for council planning permission your neighbours will be notified and permitted to lodge any objections, which you may be instructed to accommodate in your home extensions. Choose a registered building firm with experience in building extensions and additions to be sure that they can deal with the local council and paperwork that goes with planning permission.

2. Cost vs time vs quality

It is very important to weigh up the overall costs incurred against the expected time to complete the project and the resulting quality of the work. The cheapest quote may not result in the best quality job. A promise to complete your project quicker than competitors may again result in a rushed job and poor workmanship. In most cases it is worth paying a little extra to get a renovation completed to the best standard achievable with the longest lasting results.

3. Services and drainage

Your building firm will need to take into account the location of existing drainage and utilities like access to water. Depending on where utilities are their position could add costs to the overall build. If your renovation includes adding a sleepout with a bathroom and kitchen then these factors become all the more important.

4. Decide what the purpose of your house extension is

Is your extension to be an additional bedroom or a fully fitted out private master en suite? Will it be more cost effective to build up or out? The renovators you engage should be able to discuss possible options and likely costs with you at an initial free consult in your home.

5. Find a quality building firm

The best way to get a quality and reliable group of builders to carry out your extension plans is to have them recommended by a friend, colleague or family member. If no recommendations are available, research local companies and read as many reviews as you can, and maybe ask if it is possible to view previous works and speak to the owners. Get a free quote or consultation to meet them the company and see if their philosophy fits with your dreams.

Building and Restoration Services (BRS) Ltd are Auckland based renovation builders who specialise in a variety of home renovations, additions and bungalow renovations in Auckland. From new builds to garage conversions in Auckland, BRS Ltd have you covered. For Auckland home additions they use their 287 point checklist to keep your renovation under budget and on target. Contact the friendly team at www.brsltd.co.nz for a free in-home estimate.

The Pros of Renovating Rather Than Moving House

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Sometimes a growing family and a desire to have a home with more space or modern features may make homeowners think about moving house. However, what if you love the area you live in and have great neighbours and friends living close by? People then start to weigh up the pros and cons of moving to a new home or renovating their existing one.

If you live in Auckland and the surrounding region, the housing market is particularly competitive, so here are some of the key things to think about when deciding to move or renovate in Mt Eden and elsewhere in Auckland.

1. If the location is of great importance, it is better to renovate than to move. Additionally, if new homes are expensive, then renovation can be the ideal option.

2. How much space do you actually need? Can you have a garage sale to get rid of some unwanted items to make your current living area less cluttered? Then you will have a clearer picture of how much space you actually have and where you could increase the space quickly and affordably.

3. Consider if moving will affect your real estate taxes. Property taxes vary from one location to another. If moving increases your property taxes, then renovation is the way to go.

4. Costs. The cost of remodelling a home is much lower than the cost of moving to a new one. It is even economical as you are adding value to your existing home that will benefit you when you come to sell your property. Renovating increases a home’s value and gives it a personal touch. It allows you to change the existing features by adding new ones.

5. Sometimes moving can mean lots of hassles right from packing to unpacking. Changing your mailing address, voter registration, driver’s license and more will need updating when you move house.

Now that you are thinking about renovating, getting some expert advice and help can turn your ideas into reality. Just search online for ‘home renovations Auckland‘ or ‘home additions Mt Eden‘ to find BRS. BRS Ltd offer the best home renovations in Auckland and here’s why!

BRS have a proven track record of accomplishment in every renovation project they have handled. The use of high-quality renovation materials coupled with professional contractors guarantees every client a successful renovation story. In fact, they work to exceed customer expectations in every project presented to them. Their experience and skills make them worth employing.

If you have a villa or bungalow in Auckland that needs renovating, BRS will tailor their services to fit any budget.They also use modern technology and tools to ensure that they provide quality renovations that will give an entirely new look to your Auckland home.

They have highly innovative contractors that understand the importance of living in a modern refurbished home. Their Auckland home renovations include interior and exterior additions and extensions to bungalows, villas and other types of housing.

Their processes are quick and involve no major hassles. This means you will not be inconvenienced for very long during renovations. They are available to make everything run smoothly from the beginning to the end of your Auckland home renovation project. Giving a fresh new update to a home is never easy, but with BRS it is all simple and hassle-free. Just visit the BRS website at www.brsltd.co.nz, to get your free quote for home renovations in Auckland!