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Thread: NZ Houses

  1. #1
    ag28com is offline Member
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    Default NZ Houses

    Most houses in NZ seem to be of wooden construction, with very few brick built properties around. Presumably it's a bit easiser to get a mortgage on these types of property than it is in the UK?

    Also, do they tend to require a great deal of maintenance, with external wood treatments and painting etc, and would the exterior woodwork need replacing over a period of time?

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    Default NZ Houses

    Quite a lot of the more modern houses are now being built from brick and tile instead of the wood and steel roof type. No doubt the weatherboard (wooden) houses require more upkeep, as they have to be painted/stained every so often to keep them looking good and to help protect them from the elements. Poor maintenance of weatherboard houses can lead to rotting of the timbers over time, but there are still plenty that have been well looked after and are in good repair after many, many years. A bonus of the weatherboard houses (there are other similar finishes like hardiplank etc.) is that they are often cheaper to buy than the brick ones. One point to look out for, though, is termites (borers) that can chomp their way through a tasty meal of wood. Personally, I haven?t heard of a particular problem with them, especially in houses that are well maintained, so it would just be a case of keeping an eye open. Some of the older weatherboard houses may not have insulation and could suffer from damp in the winter time. It would depend on whether the current owners had taken steps to remedy this.
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    Default NZ Houses

    Certainly cheaper to build in timber. Also easier to modify, I personally see a lot houses with layouts that would not suit but at least with timber a few nails to claw out and maybe a bit of sawing and you've got yourself a new layout or a new extension (load bearing excluded of course).
    For that reason I'll be looking for a timber house.

  4. #4
    NickampJacky Guest

    Default NZ Houses

    Any timber frame house build in the last 10 years has to made from treated timber. The older houses tend to be made from Kauri or Rimu hardwood - these are so hard that you cannot nail Gibboard (plasterboard)to it as the nails just bend, they have to be screwed up, and in some instances pilot holes drilled first as ?the screws still cannot penetrate the hardwood. Good news for a sturdy construction, a blummin nighmare for any alteration works - worth a note Stevey.

    A high proportion of new weatherboarded houses & older ones that have been re-clad, are boarded with cement based planks. Often termed hardiplanks. Once given a couple of coats of good masonry paint, they only need maintained as much as a rendered or pebble-dashed house here in the UK. Another external finish starting to emerge is render on ply (either hand trowelled & smooth, or sprayed and roughcast), which "looks" a more solid contruction and needs painted every so often.

    Any modifications made to house - moving internal walls (even non-load bearing) or changing a boiler location - need approval from building control. This is a rule that you ?must stick to if you ever intend to sell your house. My brother was advised by his solicitor to pull out of a sale as the owner had carried out quite a bit od "DIY", all of which was to an acceptable standard - but hadnt been approved. Retrospective approval can be obtained, but not as easily as getting approval before or during the works.

    Anyone tried allrealestate.co.nz for listings? - bit easier to navigate than realenz.co.nz

    Cheers


    Nick

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    Any modifications made to house - moving internal walls (even non-load bearing) or changing a boiler location - need approval from building control. This is a rule that you ?must stick to if you ever intend to sell your house. My brother was advised by his solicitor to pull out of a sale as the owner had carried out quite a bit od "DIY", all of which was to an acceptable standard - but hadnt been approved. Retrospective approval can be obtained, but not as easily as getting approval before or during the works.
    ?

    Important information. ?Would be worth checking out exactly what you can and can't do without permission before getting stuck into any DIY.

    I looked in on www.allrealestate.co.nz a short while ago for the Hamilton/Waikato area, but most of what it threw up was for Taupo area. ?Guess it depends which area you're looking for.
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    A couple of links with some bits of info on types of houses and exterior finishes for those that would like the subject broken down a little.
    Click here and here
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    selchie's Avatar
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    Default NZ Houses

    There may be another thread or two about house construction materials, in case you can't get enough fun here. I suspect that the newer brick houses are in fact wood frame with a thin brick facade/skin. True brick through and through would be expensive, could make insulating difficult, and (if unreinforced) not be safe in earthquake country.

    Yes, wood siding does require painting now and then. I suspect that it would require even more frequent painting in the land of ozone holes because sunlight is so rough on paint.

    Thanks to Nick & Jacky for mentioning permits for remodels. Be sure that a house you buy has had the proper building permits (or whatever they're called in NZ) for any original or remodeling work. This helps ensure that the work was done up to code, which can be very important for safety when it comes to such things as electrical work. It also covers your hiney when you try to sell.
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    SteveyC's Avatar
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    Default NZ Houses

    Hmm I knew about electrical and heating stuff with regards remodels but was unsure about moving walls. How would anyone know, obviously if you've taken out a supporting wall then you've got problems with the survey should pick up. When you buy a house do you get an original floor plan with the deeds or something? Seems like hard work to regulate.

    Good info tho, you'd be mad to start bish-boshing on your house without professional advice anyway.

    Interesting point about the brick skin. Some houses are advertised as solid brick construction which would imply traditional two masonry skin cavity wall construction or old old house with single skin but like you say, in earthquake territory it sould be a bit odd. Some just say with Brick finish tho and this I would guess is definately timber studs with brick skin/outer. Intersting one, all the more reason to buy wooden house imho.

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    There's all sorts behind brick exteriors! Some houses are prefabricated wood, or molded concrete slabs. Some are blockwork and others are double skinned brickwork.

    If you want to build a house/renovate it etc, then your local council will have regulations on construction. In some areas it's acceptable and perfectly safe to have brick or concrete construction, where other areas require wooden structures due to earthquake activity.

    NZ building regs are very different from area to area. Here in the Waikato, there are many different councils, such as Hamilton City, Waikato District, Waipa District, Matamata-Piako and so on, each with different building regulations. In some places you even need permits to move earth around in your own garden.

    The answer to any building question is: Consult your local council first.

    Drawbacks of the wooden houses are usually high maintenance, meaning having to be painted quite often, and the foundations being piles, which need replacing after a while. Damp can also be an issue in some older homes, which may require recladding to avoid some potential health risks. Make sure when you look at buying, that you get the building inspected by someone who performs moisture penetration tests on the walls.
    Taffy

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  10. #10
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    Default NZ Houses

    Excellent and informative thread, thanks for the info.

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