News from the building and construction industry of interest to New Zealand property owners.

The Government is preparing to build tens of thousands of houses for private sale in Auckland as it tries to tackle the city's housing crisis, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The results of a survey released today by the New Zealand Certified Builders Association (NZCB) show that New Zealand homeowners are too laid back when it comes to written contracts for building work and assume being licensed means builders have a higher standard of training, skills and experience than is currently required under the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme.

It's expensive to build in New Zealand and it's only going to get worse. With consents booming, more and more tradespeople and materials are needed, and they're going to cost.

The latest QV costbuilder data shows the average cost of building a new home in New Zealand’s four largest cities has risen 21.09% since the previous peak of 2007, and 1.66% in the year to May 2016.

Engineers are backing calls for the government to tighten New Zealand's steel testing regime.  Experts say New Zealand is a wild west when it comes to steel testing, a view shared by Auckland-based engineer John Scarry.

The issue of substandard steel imports was comparable to the leaky homes crisis and billions of dollars were at stake, Mr Scarry said.

If you're planning a renovation project, it might pay to think twice before you attack that wall with a hammer. Not everything you do to your home improves it, not matter how good your intentions.

Even when you're renovating to suit yourself, not a potential, buyer, it pays to remember that your home is probably your biggest investment and you want to safeguard that.

Real estate agents see the best and worst of home renovations and are well positioned to advise on what works and what doesn't. And they suggest you exercise restraint.

A Government Bill to make homes warmer, drier and safer for New Zealanders who live in rental properties has passed its second reading in Parliament by 107 to 14.