Skip to content

10 things you need to know about building a house

Are you planning to build a house? Or in the early stages of planning a new house build? We’ve written this article to help you plan ahead and explain all the key considerations you need to make. 

Key considerations for building a house

When it comes to building a brand-new house, there is a lot to think about. To simplify your experience, we’ve summed up the following key points: 


Financing a building project requires thorough planning and careful budgeting. The route you choose will depend on your building project and your existing savings. 

One of the most common approaches is to secure a construction loan which is specifically designed to fund the building process. This type of loan typically has a shorter term and a higher interest rate than traditional mortgages. 

Another option is to use personal savings or equity from an existing property. Seeking financial support from family or investors is also possible. 

Whichever approach you take, unexpected cost overruns can strain your finances. To avoid this, we recommend creating a comprehensive budget and contingency plan. A successful building project hinges on a financing strategy that aligns with your financial situation and objectives.



Several factors must be carefully considered when choosing a building site. First and foremost is the location. The site's proximity to amenities, schools, work, and transportation networks will influence its desirability and potential future resale value, as well as your lifestyle when you move into the home. 

The topography is also vital as it will determine how easy and cost-effective the site is to build on. Flat, even terrain is often a simpler option while steep sites can require expensive grading or foundation work. You’ll also need to assess the site's exposure to natural elements such as sunlight, wind, and potential flooding or erosion risks.

Another feature to look for is the site utilities. If the site lacks access to services like water, electricity, gas, and sewage infrastructure, connecting them could be costly and time-consuming. 

Finally, research any local building codes, zoning regulations, and permits that are applicable to your site. These will dictate what you can build on the site and may restrict certain features or functions.

If you decide to build a prefab home, we recommend thinking about all of the above, as well as how close the building site is to the factory. This will help keep your transportation costs down.



Once you have your building site locked in, you can find out more about the covenants and restrictions in place. These may be specific to your site, your region, or the wider region. 

Knowing these limitations is critical for your architects and builders. The sooner you find out what is permitted, the smoother the design process will be. Additionally, it will help to keep the costs down overall. 

To find out more about the covenants your building site is subject to, ask your local council for information. You can also look at the Sale and Purchase Agreement from when you bought the property. 


Building method

There are several options for building a house, including kitset houses, on-site construction, prefab homes, and transportable homes. The right one for your project will depend on your circumstances. 

Kitset homes

Typically delivered as a set of pieces that can be assembled together, a kitset is a relatively quick and simple option. The pieces are pre-cut and come with instructions for your build to follow.  

Conventional on-site construction

On-site construction is the most traditional building method in which contractors work on the building site for the majority or entirety of the project. This requires good access as there will be many trucks and tradies visiting the site. Additionally, these projects are prone to extensive delays caused by weather events. 

Prefabricated homes

Prefabs are a type of transportable home that are constructed off-site and delivered to the final location. Usually, a prefab home is constructed in a factory under tightly controlled environments, meaning it isn't subjected to weather and unexpected delays.


Architect or off-plan

Another consideration is whether to build from a pre-designed house plan or hire an architect to start from scratch. Off-plan is a more cost-effective way to go and makes the pre-construction process more straightforward. However, this will limit how personalised the design is. 

If you choose to work with an architect, you will have far more room for customisation. However, this can be a lengthy process, increasing your total cost and project timeline significantly. 

At Genius Homes, you have options. You can choose one of our existing plans, use them as a baseline and make minor tweaks, or we can create an entirely customised design. Once you choose the layout, you can also select the colours, finishes, and various upgrades. 



Size, shape, and structure play a big part in the cost and functionality of your home. Firstly, consider how many bedrooms you will need from our wide range:

One of the best ways to choose a floor plan is to list all the non-negotiable features and the nice-to-haves. Once you know what is the highest priority for you, you can choose from the existing designs or customise them to suit you. If you enjoy hosting, read our article highlighting the ultimate floor plans for entertaining


Building company

Choosing the right building company will impact the entire project, as well as your experience throughout. Labour is one of the biggest expenses so you need to trust that your builders are skilled and experienced. 

At Genius Homes, our off-site construction method allows us to manage and streamline the project for you. This way we can significantly reduce the costs, complete the project sooner, and take the stress off your hands.


Energy efficiency

When designing a new house, there are several reasons to consider energy efficiency. Firstly, your house will need to comply with the national standards laid out in the Building Code. If you plan ahead for this in the early design stages, you may be able to streamline the compliance process. 

Energy-efficient home design will also allow you to maintain a comfortable and healthy home at a much lower cost. Ask our design consultants for more information about the insulation and appliances we recommend to reduce your home’s energy consumption. 


Construction materials

In addition to the workmanship, the materials used will determine the quality and durability of your new home. At Genius Homes, we use high-quality materials from trusted brands such as Colorsteel, Weathertex, Godfrey Hirst, Earthwool and Gib. 

For more details, see our range of standard inclusions and common upgrades


Resale value

Finally, we recommend thinking about the future of your home and how easy it will be to sell when the time comes. This typically comes down to all of the above factors so we suggest speaking with your friends and family about their experience with selling homes. At Genius Homes, we can give professional advice regarding your design and how it will perform.   


Our building process

Here at Genius Homes, our prefabs are designed to exceed NZ building code requirements. Each prefab home has a 2-year hassle-free guarantee and a 50-year steel frame structure warranty. We also use reputable materials from trusted brands such as Colorsteel, Weathertex, Bradford Gold, Godfrey Hirst and Gib. 

Our prefab building process follows 6 key stages: 

  1. Initial consultation.
  2. Proposal and design-sign off.
  3. Colour selection and council consent.
  4. Construction. 
  5. Internal fit-out.
  6. Site work and delivery. 

Whether you’re looking for your first home, downsizing, or you need farm accommodation, prefabricated homes offer an affordable and convenient alternative to traditional builds. If you want a cost-effective new home but don’t want to compromise on design and quality, reach out to our friendly team today. 

Learn more about the prefab home building process by downloading our Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Prefab Home. It’s full of industry advice to help you make an informed decision when building your dream home.

Download the ultimate guide to choosing a prefab home

The latest Genius Homes

Download our latest catalogue