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Can I build my own home?

Posted 20 months ago | By Latitude Homes

builder DIY kitset

Interest rates are looking pretty attractive right now and there has never been a better time to build. 

The housing market certainly isn't slowing down and investing in new dwellings or building homes as an investment property are very attractive options. For those looking to utilise this time to build, you could be asking yourself “can I build my own home and save on some of the expenses?”

If you are confident of your practical DIY abilities and have the time available, you’ll certainly be able to make significant savings by doing some of the labour yourself or perhaps project managing the work. You will however still need a Licensed Building Practitioner** (LBP) to do the structural work, supervise and sign off on any of the work you do yourself including any electrical, plumbing & drainage works.

Perhaps you have a family member or a friend who is in the trade and could help you with this. 

We deliver the materials, you manage the build yourself.

Every plan that you see on our website also comes as a Kitset plan option and you can see the pricing difference between Full Build, Kitset and Shell Only, these prices reflect the savings you can make by providing some of the labour yourself. 

Let’s take a medium sized family home like the NZ197 Waitomo. This modern 4 bedroom home in the Auckland area would cost $395,720* as a full build. Here we handle the lot, the materials, the project management, the labour and the subbies to a point when we are ready to hand over the keys.

However if you are looking to build it yourself then the Kitset price for this is $144,170*. Thats a huge saving of $251,550* on the full build price, assuming that you have confident DIY skills and you don’t earn an income close to that figure suddenly providing your own labour starts to look very attractive. 

Latitude Homes will supply plans and all the major building materials for your home, ready for you to take total charge of the construction process. We provide everything from frames, trusses and exterior cladding to the plumbing supply including tap ware and even the kitchen and kitchen appliances you’ll require - all at a considerably lower cost than if you purchased the individual items yourself due to our large volume discounts from major suppliers.


Waitomo Plan


What if your construction skills aren’t so good?

Relax, you can still make considerable savings by utilising our Shell Only option. 

Shell Only price for the same home is $244,000*, that's still a saving of $151,720*. Shell Only is the process where we do the majority of the construction up until lock-up stage. Latitude Homes organises getting the concrete floor laid, the frames and trusses erected and the roof and exterior cladding and windows and doors installed. At this point (known as the lock-up stage), you take over to work on the interior and you don’t have to worry about weather delaying your progress either. As mentioned above you will need a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) to sign off on some aspects of work completed by yourself.

Taking advantage of our buying discounts means that you can purchase the interior materials from us to complete the job, we call this Shell Internal. So adding that cost of $48,690* to the Shell Only of $244,000 and you are still saving $103,030* on a full build cost.


couple painting wall together


What about organising building consents, code of compliance and warranties?

All of our Kitset plans are drawn up ready to submit to your local council and in many cases we can submit these for you for a fee. It is important to know that if you are building a Kitset home it is your responsibility to organise your local council building inspector to sign off your code of compliance.

 If we are building a Shell Only contract with you then yes, we certainly submit the plans to be consented before we start any form of construction and we organise any council inspections and code of compliance up until lock up stage where you take over the build. From this point forward you are responsible organising council inspectors for any code of compliance sign-offs relating to the work that you carry out.

With Kitset and Shell Only builds a maintenance schedule will be provided at the completion of each build, this will include our Master Builders maintenance schedule and all warranties for products provided by Latitude Homes. All materials must be installed to the specifications provided by the materials manufacturer and the building consent. Maintenance must be carried out as per the warranty instructions or the warranty may become void.

 Although you or your contractors are expected to have a proficient level of knowledge and skill in building to successfully complete a Kitset or Shell Only build, your local Latitude Homes builder is available for support if required.


Kitset and Shell Only options are a great way to build for yourself and save money.

DIY Kitset and Shell Only homes are one of our most popular building options. Kiwis looking to save costs on their home build love this option due to its affordability and flexibility. If you are looking to invest in a new home and have the required DIY skills and the time to personally invest in doing some or all of the building yourself, then we recommend you look at our house plans on our website then get in touch with your local Latitude Homes builder.  

*prices accurate at time of writing this article and differ per region
** A Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) must sign off and supervise all works. Our local teams will be able to give you guidance on how best to go about this.

Use your DIY skills and save thousands on your home build, talk to your local Latitude Homes builder about our Kitset options.


From our original meeting with Darrin and Sue until completion of the house, we found Latitude Homes to be very professional and dedicated to build us a good home.
Alida Ho