Chatterton Builders – Our Building Processes Explained!

Whether it’s a Build Contract, or a Design Build Service you are seeking – we can assist you every step of the way!

We appreciate that you may be looking for either a design build service, or a build and project management service (if you have already contracted your own preferred Designer).
We are experts in both, having worked with a wide range of architects and designers, each with their own speciality.

The build process will differ slightly where you have your own designer as we are fully integrating another organisation into the mix with their own processes and requirements, and an essential need to ensure communication channels are open and flexible. This ‘integration’ is in order to achieve what we believe we do very well – a productive and motivated relationship, a seamless operation and timely results.

So, if you are wondering where to start or where your project fits in have a quick look at our processes below. Simply click on the stage and it will expand to a more detailed explanation.



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Design & Build Process

Initial Meeting

The initial meeting is important as it establishes whether we could be the builder for you.

  • We talk about your ideas, dreams, and your family’s needs, in terms of both the final product and your involvement throughout the build process.
  • We offer extensive knowledge to help guide your unique build.
  • We talk about how we could help you.
  • You can ask us about our previous work, how we operate, our systems etc.
  • We discuss your budget. We want you to get the best result (your needs and wants) within your budget.
  • Our QS can also undertake a rough build cost following this initial meeting based upon the information you have available at the time, providing you with a ball park investment cost for your dream.
  • If you have plans and you want to cut straight to the pricing stage we can proceed directly to this stage, if you are seriously considering us as your preferred builder. We strongly recommend you find out more about us first to be assured that Chatterton Builders can fulfill your unique needs.

See our work first hand & choose a designer

As well as viewing our work first hand you will be keen to see what designers we work with, if you don’t already have plans. We have a number of architects and designers we work closely with, including our own in-house designer, award winning architects,  and a number of designers renowned for high performing energy efficient homes.

Sign a design contract

If you are using our design service, we will arrange a ‘Preliminary Contract for Design Services’ with your preferred designer.

Produce concept plans & undertake contour survey

Concept plans are produced by the designer in close consultation with you the client and with the builder.
This stage will also involve plan reviews to ensure you get the design you like. Where necessary, we will arrange for a contour survey to be undertaken to assist in the completion of accurate concept plans. This is generally part of our ‘Preliminary Contract for Design Services’ fee.

We undertake an estimate of concepts

Once you are happy with your concept plans you will want to see if they are close to your budget. At this point our qualified QS can do a detailed estimate based upon the general information in the concept plans and any specifications provided. We can also undertake an estimate on concepts completed by others, subject to the detail supplied.

Agree to proceed to full working drawings, soils tests & engineering

Once concepts have been approved we can then proceed to full working drawings. On acceptance of concept plans (and the subsequent estimate) we can proceed to full working drawings. At this stage we may also require engineering on your building site, if it has not already been undertaken. This is necessary for your working drawings and council consent.

Completion of working drawings and material selections completed through online job portal

Your full working drawings will be completed.
Communication lines between client, builder and designer should remain open throughout.
At the same time as working drawings are being completed we will provide you with full access to your own online job portal to complete your house selections.
This software provides an online record of your selections (choices) for all inclusions in your new home that are not specified in your plans. Any selections form part of the contract along with the plans and specifications. However, if you prefer not to use our system we are happy to record your selection choices for you which will again be part of your building contract.
The more selections that can be made, prior to pricing, the more accurate your final cost will be, as the more items identified means the less provisional costings are required.
Our online system also offers assistance through provision of relevant information, plus our client liaison is there to help offer further advice, or research to assist you in your selection choices. We will often accompany clients to certain suppliers to ensure a seamless, attentive process avoiding potential issues and miscommunications. These will include windows, joinery, tiling, heating and, if required, plumbing hardware.

Full pricing, by our QS, based upon working drawings & selections

Once you are happy with your full working drawings our QS will complete a full costing (fixed price) before proceeding to contract stage. This is based upon the plans and specifications from the designer, and the selections made by yourselves on other features. Any items that have not been chosen, or unable to be chosen, will be estimated with a realistic provisional sum and stated as such in the pricing making it as transparent as possible. Prices are sought from suppliers and subcontractors before it is combined into a full price presentation. This can take a few weeks in order for comprehensive prices to be completed by our subcontractors and suppliers, clarifications sought, accuracy checked and the compilation of costs to produce an accurate full fixed price.

* If you already have working drawings we are more than happy to provide detailed transparent pricing, and an accurate fixed price contract for your build. An agreement is sought at this stage in the form of a ‘Preliminary Pricing Contract.

We present to you your investment proposal

A meeting will be arranged to present to you your full investment proposal. The proposal will document not only the price, but any provisional sums and exclusions agreed to.A meeting will be arranged to present to you your full investment proposal in person. The proposal will document not only the price, but all service provisions, any provisional sums and any excluded items agreed to.

Sign contract documents & pay your deposit

Before any building work can commence we need to ensure all parties are protected. We prepare contract documents and use a ‘New Zealand Certified Builders Association’ Contract which outlines the responsibilities of both parties. We also complete a ‘Disclosure Document’ at this point detailing our company background, who we intend to work on your job and any product warranty information required, plus our insurance details. On signing your contract, a deposit will be required. Once the contracts are signed and deposit paid we can go ahead and confirm insurance policies for the project.

We also apply for an independent ‘10 year Builders Guarantee’ on your behalf. We require this for all new builds and provides peace of mind during and after your build.

Apply for building consent

Once the full build contract has been signed we will organise your consent application, including managing any RFI’s (basically council clarifications or amendments). You will be consulted and informed if any changes are required, or issues identified. Our experience in this process can help speed this process up and remove any headaches.

Confirm build start date & upload build schedule to online job portal

Shortly after contract signing a build start date can be agreed. A build schedule will also be developed and uploaded to your own online job portal, where you can keep up to date on progress.

Project management of your build

Chatterton Builders are experienced project managers and will efficiently manage the build from start to finish. Our dedicated PM focuses on that role, and the builders on site can concentrate on building your home.

Your online client portal is accessible at any time and is an ideal forum for communication as it is trackable and linked to all interested parties ensuring nothing is missed. Any variations can be requested, identified and approved through the online system ensuring everything is tracked and must have your approval.

What we do:

  • Organising timely delivery of materials
  • Managing on site building.
  • Regular communication with you – on site, phone, email (via the online portal).
  • Issue of Progress Payments.
  • Facilitating Site Meetings.
  • Budget Control.
  • Quality Control.
  • Update online job portal.
  • Ensure the builders can remain on site and build efficiently.

What you do:

  • Keep communicating
  • Raise any issues or potential variations as soon as possible.
  • Attend walk through’s (i.e. pre wire and pre plumb) on time as requested.
  • Pay progress payments on time as per contract.
  • Be aware of Health & Safety requirements on site and contact the project manager before visiting to ensure access.

Once your dream home is complete you can have peace of mind that your biggest investment is of the highest quality and the workmanship is guaranteed.

What we do:

  • On completion we will finalise the building agreements and undertake a final quality control inspection with you present.
  • We will present you with the keys to your new home.
  • We will organise for the issue of Final Code of Compliance Certificate from the local Council and the Certified Builders Certificate of Completion for a 10 year Guarantee. We also undertake Warranty Checks as required.
  • We will also provide a folder containing all your warranty information to ensure you are aware of the maintenance requirements for the products used in your home to ensure they remain covered by the warranty.

What you do:

  • Move in to your awesome new home!
  • In the rare occasion there are any issues please contact us ASAP so we can resolve them swiftly.
  • Ensure you are aware of the maintenance requirements for the materials you have chosen for new home, all contained within your warranty information provided.
  • Keep in touch! – We love to hear how you are enjoying your new home!

These men worked long hours in sometimes inclement weather, were fastidious in their work and took great pride in the excellent end result. 

We are very pleased with our new home and would have no hesitation in recommending Chatterton Builders……


………The best part about dealing with Brent was once again his professionalism and his constant communication.

He followed up everything and was very approachable throughout the whole building process. I would definitely use them again.

Roxanne & Charles

new house build couple in new home

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