20 Photos And Inspiration One Story House Plans With Finished

Cheapest Way to Build a House Yourself

Simple House Building / April 11, 2020


Michele Powles' finished family home in West Auckland.

We're in. Well we've been in a while actually, but we needed to sort through a few of those pesky building consent things that mean the difference between sign off and not sign off. Plus, we wanted to make sure you were well and truly tucked into the romance of building by watching all those great episodes of Grand Designs New Zealand.

For those of you who haven't been following the journey – we started two years ago buying a section in West Auckland. We engaged an architect, discovered not all architects are created equally, won a case at the Disputes Tribunal and got our money back, engaged another architect, and started over.

The house is on a steep site, which meant extra structural engineering costs were incurred.


When we bought the section we were terrified that we'd paid too much for it. Now, it seems like we got a bargain. The section itself has gone up in price by around $100, 000. But that's Auckland, the rest of you from other parts of the country can roll your eyes and laugh at us now.

Our initial budget was for a three-bedroom build of 0, 000 (everything included), with extra room/living space to add when we could afford it. We discovered just how much cheaper it was to build all at once, so bit the bullet and put our budget up, but with the original design.


Now there's the landscaping to consider.

Happily, we stayed within budget. But we did spend every penny of our contingency.

For anyone who wants to work out how it all pieces together for their budget – here's a very rough percentage breakdown. Remember that we had a steep site so we had extra costs, such as structural engineering. I also wrote all our resource consent and building consents, which saves around $10, 000 in Auckland.

Architect – 5.6 per cent
Geotech and structural engineering – 3.5 per cent
Council fees – 1.8 per cent
Groundworks – 11.8 per cent
Structure (substructure/frame/structural walls/floors) – 14.7 per cent
External (roof/walls/windows/doors) – 21.8 per cent
Internal (partition walls/doors/floor and wall finishes) – 30.2 per cent
Services (electrical/plumbing/drainage) – 6.6 per cent
External works/Sundries (driveway/retaining/landscaping) – 4 per cent


Briefly: If a builder scratches his chin or sucks in breath and says, "that's interesting", you want to be really sure of what you're doing.

Source: www.stuff.co.nz