Points to consider before undertaking a major house renovation in Auckland

March 2, 2020

Major house renovations in Auckland are primarily undertaken to increase its value, resolve any serious issues, enhance comfort, lifestyle and function, or to make the home more energy-efficient. When a decision to renovate is made, it is the ideal time to consider making those renovation ideas a reality. While it is relatively easy to make a list and think of DIY it is important to consider if the project complies with the Building Code, if it needs a building consent and if the project affects any public service facilities.

Renovation Budget

Budgeting for the project is important – it is essential that it is relative to the overall value of the house. For example, a luxury spa in a modest neighbourhood will do little to the resale value of the house. Unless the sole reason for the renovation is to increase the enjoyment of your home, care should be taken to avoid overcapitalisation which can lead to a financial risk. Think about the things that add value to the property – this could be extra rooms, updating kitchens and bathrooms, renovating the basement, and much more. Even if the property is not going to be put up for sale, it helps to think about what returns it will give in the long run.

It is recommended to allow a 10 percent contingency on the costing to finalise a realistic budget. This is more the case when the renovations involve structural changes. Ideally, large renovations are best undertaken by a renovation specialist experienced in providing firm budget options.

Detailed Plan

Once you have identified your design idea and may have engaged an architect to help with the plans it is important to turn to Auckland council to check if you need consent for the project. A detailed plan will ensure a successful renovation. It will help manage the budget and adhere to the timeframe.

Resource Consent

A resource consent is written approval from Auckland Council to carry out a project that has an impact on the environment or could affect other people. A resource consent may come with conditions that help manage the effects of your project. For example, if you remove trees or vegetation to build your house, you may have a resource consent condition that requires you to plant some native trees after building is completed.

Building Consent

A building consent is written approval from Auckland Council to carry out specific building work on a specific site, which must comply with current regulations. It ensures that the proposed work is safe, durable and doesn’t endanger the health and safety of anyone using the building. A building consent is granted if the council is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building code provisions would be met if the work is properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications in the application.


House insurance policies may cover minor renovation works, however do not typically cover major renovations or extensions. It is important to arrange extra insurance before the building work starts. It is also important to ensure that the tradespeople and contractors involved with the project have Public Liability Insurance and determine the comprehensiveness of their insurance cover.

Hiring a professional building company to manage the process from design to completion can take the stress out of it. They have the time and the expertise to understand the Building Code and know how the consent process works. Many of them work with the clients to accommodate minor variations. Renovation Builders specialise in the total design to build of house renovation projects. They have over 30 years of building experience and can be counted to transform your home.

The Renovation Builders Process