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The Realities Of Building A New Home - A Customer View

Building a home is a dream for many Kiwis, and building a new home is an ambitious project, especially if it is your first time building. In this blog we take a look at the build process through the eyes of one of our clients and share their experience with you. We want to thank Baylee and her family for documenting their journey with us.


How long does it take to build a home? To provide a realistic answer to this question you need to find the starting point of the journey, for us what made this journey suddenly real was the purchase of our 1200 sqm section on 26 December 2018. From then on it was a matter of working out what we wanted in a home, finding the right plan and building company that suited us, getting the financing in place and then committing to a building contract. We actually didn’t start building until April 2021.

First the Land


We chose to go with Latitude Homes and we are so glad we did. Ross and Lee at the King Country office were amazing to deal with. The plan we chose was the 214 sqm Cook but we completely changed the layout of the kitchen and added a scullery. We also removed the laundry room and added it to the garage, this allowed us to make the main bathroom bigger. We even removed some internal doors between the lounge and dining to make it open plan.

It's really important to make these changes to the plans at this early stage to avoid delays or extra costs later on. Most companies have set house plans, but don’t be afraid to work with your building company to have them altered to suit your needs and the planning stage is the time to do it as depending on the changes you may need new consents done. 

NZ214 Cook Camera 2.1

March 2021

I have to admit I love interior design and the whole process of the colour consult was my favourite part of the whole building experience. Holding the swatches of colours and feeling the textures of my soon-to-be home was so much fun, I got to reference my inspo board on Pinterest and bring it to life with the samples provided by Latitude Homes. I thoroughly recommend going through the colour consult process.

colour consult

April 25 2021

It was so exciting to finally see the area of the home take shape, even though this was just the scraping of the land to prep for the foundations, to suddenly see where your home will be sited on your section makes it all seem more real. It seems an age since we first purchased the land just under a year and a half ago, but with the lockdown out of the way and some life admin delaying our momentum we were finally ready to start!


May 8th 2021

With the site prepped the foundations are now in place and we can finally see the floorplan shape - it looks so big!

foundation framing

5th June 2021

Wow that was quick, we have frames up and the home finally has a shape. We have heard many people say that the build is the fast part, we couldn’t believe the sudden transformation, by the 14th July we had the roof on, windows in and the cladding being applied to the outside, we were just a front door away from lock-up stage and a secure building. We can’t wait to see the interior evolve!



This is where time seems to slow down, there’s so much to do to complete the interior of the home, flooring, insulation, plumbing, wiring, gibbing, sanding, painting, tiling, kitchen installation… and the list goes on! 

Fortunately for us, my hubby is an electrician and father-in-law a plumber, so we saved a bit of money there, we also organised the tiling. Your builder will usually organise this through their contractors and I have to admit that organising it ourselves did take a little longer than expected.

the interior


What’s one cost you didn’t expect to be so much?

Curtains! Oh and concreting, concreting is expensive, it really pays to think about pathways and driveways and how that will affect your costs when it comes to landscaping. If you are going to site your home at the back of your section, you're going to need a bigger driveway.


Did you have any setbacks?

A couple, our bath arrived with a crack in it and so this was replaced - in fact I prefer the one we got to replace it with, and there was a mixup with the bench tops, again this was quickly resolved. Overall we are really happy with the build and again the Latitude Homes team were great. 

How long did the build take?

So overall the build took around 6 months and on Christmas Eve we got the keys to our brand new home, best… Christmas… ever!

xmas move in


  • Try and think about every aspect of your home including the positioning of the sun and where do you spend most of your time in the home.
  • Make any changes to plans right at the beginning, you do not want to be making changes at the time of the build, it's either too late or too expensive!
  • Build an inspiration board as it helps you to communicate your dream home so much more clearly, from house floor plans right down to details like wall colours, lighting and tap fittings, I used
  • Plan ahead! Get your orders in early for curtains or other fittings and get multiple quotes, things are definitely taking longer to get hold of than usual at the moment.
  • Get a mortgage broker, it really does make the process less of a hassle and saves you money in the long run.
  • Allow room in your budget for the unexpected, and allow for extra costs, you can never think of everything at the beginning of the process and they do mount up!
  • Visit your building site regularly, check in with your building team and project manager often, it helps you to understand the build process and plan for any changes that need to be made

Images supplied by Baylee Jade.
You can follow Baylee’s full building journey on her Instagram.


Do you own a section and are wanting to chat with a home builder about your options? Now’s the time to start planning.

Talk to our friendly team of Latitude Home builders today.