How To Get The Exact Waikato Home You Want, Without Unexpected Surprises

And Without Spending Any More Than A Generic Land and House Package

John and Jenny saw an ad online

For what seemed to be the house they’d been looking for in Waikato. They talked with a salesman who showed them through a Waikato display home which made them even more excited.

With a sense of urgency, the salesman said, “We’re running a special promotion at the moment that gives you free air-conditioning and upgrades. So, if you’re interested, now’s a great time to buy. Plus, if you want to be in by Christmas, we’ll have to get things started soon.”

The main emphasis seemed to be on getting a Schemed Deposit Letter signed. Then there was a hurry to make minor changes to the plans so a contract could be drawn up. But to avoid making all the decisions now, the contract didn’t include final selections but rather an allowance for each item.

John and Jenny signed and were then fully committed to build (locked in, obligated, no backing out). Only then did they discover the allowances didn’t cover the selections they really wanted. The kitchen benchtop they’d been dreaming about for years was $8k – double the allowance. So their contract price suddenly went up by $4k.


As they dug into the detail, they realised the tiles looked cheap

The fittings felt plastic, the appliances were some obscure brand nobody had heard of, and on and on.

In two minds about what to do John and Jenny concluded, “If we’re going to all the effort and expense of building a new home, we want to make sure we get what we really want.”

The problem was the price had gone up by tens of thousands. And it’s still didn’t have all the premium upgrades that were in the display home they fell in love with.

The Case Against Building A New Home In Waikato

Building your dream house is exciting. It’s the chance to finally get everything you’ve ever wanted in a Waikato home. The exact floorplan, features, and colours that match your lifestyle and reflect your individual style. In short, a house that truly feels like home.

But it can also be a nerve racking time – especially when it comes to getting the house you want – on time and on budget.

So, when you see a Waikato land and house package being advertised with a reasonable price, it’s natural to get excited. Especially when the package includes bonuses like free air-conditioning and appliance upgrades that entice you to buy.

But as John and Jenny discovered (too late), the low advertised price may not provide a full and accurate picture of the final cost. And for too many people, this initial excitement ends in disappointment and financial strain as the costs and timelines blow out.


Why the Majority of Waikato Residents Choose A Land And House Package

(And Many Regret It)

The reason the majority of  Waikato residents choose to build with a Land  And House  Builder is because they think it will be more convenient dealing with one company for their land and house (or that’s what the salespeople told them). Some think it will be more cost effective buying a package (based on low advertised prices). And some simply fall in love with a display home they visit (only to later be disappointed that their home is nothing like the house they thought they were getting).

How Waikato Land And House Builders Work
(And The Potential Problems)

Building with a land and house  builder in Waikato seems straightforward. Pick a block of land, choose a house design, and everything should work out fine. And for some people it does. But sadly, many people feel disappointed by the experience and the end result. And it’s not merely the builder’s fault. The process is flawed from the beginning.

Problem #1

Original Price

The process of building with a Waikato land and house builder often begins when someone visits a display home or sees a land and house package advertised online, on TV, or even on a roadside billboard. Attracted by the advertised price, few people notice the important word “from”. While it is possible to get a land and house package in Waikato for the advertised price, the final house you really want (the one pictured in the ad or demonstrated in the display home) often costs a lot more.

Takeaway: Be sure to ask the price to build the display or advertised home (with all the extras and upgrades).

Problem #2

Vague Contract

Excited by the slick advertising (which often includes time-limited bonuses), impressive display home (which usually features premium upgrades), and fast-talking salesperson, many people feel rushed into signing a vague contract (which of course they don’t realise is vague). The salesperson reassures them they can adjust the design (but probably doesn’t explain the full extent of the cost to make these changes). And that the inclusion ‘allowances’ cover everything in the house. By the time they realise the design and finishes they really want are going to cost (a lot) more, they are already committed with a signed contract.

Takeaway: Don’t sign a building contract that is full of Provisional Cost Allowances.

Problem #3

Standard Inclusions And Provisional Cost (PC) Allowances

It’s true, land and house contracts do make PC (Provisional Cost) allowances for inclusions. But these allowances are rarely enough to cover the inclusions most people fall in love with at the display homes and want in their home.

For example, the standard tile package may include an allowance of $50 per square metre. While these tiles will do the job (and are probably okay for an investment property), they may not suit your tastes. The problem is that a nicer tile may cost $150 per square metre and add $3,000+to the price of your home.

In the scheme of things, an extra $3,000 may not be much. But when you start to go through all the inclusions (carpet, benchtops, sinks, basins, taps, skirtings, architraves, internal and exterior doors, premium paint, facade, alfresco entertaining area, ceiling fans, appliances, and much more), things quickly add up – by tens of thousands of dollars.

Takeaway: Get the full details of all house packages before you decide to go ahead. You can never get too much detail.

Problem #4

Supply Uncertainties

You’ve signed a contract and are now at the mercy of your Waikato land and house builder -- one of fifty or even a hundred clients waiting for their house to be built. As weeks turn into months, supply chains start to break down. “The taps you want are on back order and won’t arrive in the country for several months,” reports your builder casually. “We’ve found something similar but they’re a bit more expensive.” This is repeated for other items too. And suddenly, the price has gone up thousands more.

Takeaway: Ask you builder what they do to ensure supply chain certainty.

Problem #5

Timeline Challenges

As you eagerly drive by your half-finished house, your heart sinks as things seem to have come to a standstill. After several failed attempts to contact your Waikato builder (missed calls and unreturned messages), you finally get to speak with someone who reads off the company PR script, “Yeah, labour is tight. Everyone’s in the same boat. We’re doing the best we can.” You race around trying to extend your rental agreement so you’re not left homeless. And contact your bank to make sure there’s enough ‘fat’ in your finances. But all of this is starting to put a sour taste in your mouth.

Takeaway: Ask you builder about the process they follow to ensure on time delivery.

Problem #6

Ongoing Issues

Months late and tens of thousands over budget, you’re relieved to finally get the keys to your new Waikato home and move in. But as you start to live in your home you notice a few issues. Some of the functions on the stove aren’t working. A wall in the laundry hasn’t been painted properly. And during a recent storm some water leaked through the ceiling in one of the bedrooms. It takes several more missed calls and unreturned messages to report these issues. And even more chasing to get someone to come and have a look.

Takeaway: Ask you builder about the ongoing support they offer (in writing). And if possible, speak with some past customers about their experience during and after building.


A Better Way To Build Your Dream Waikato Home

(Without Unexpected Surprises)

A growing number of Waikato residents (particularly those who have felt let down by land and house builders in the past or heard horror stories from others) have found a better way to build their dream home. A way to get…

The exact house you want – with all the features and finishes you’ve dreamed about – on time and on budget

Expert advice to refine your ideas and guide you in the many decisions involved in building a house

Certainty around timelines and budgets so you can plan your finances (and life) without nasty surprises

And a way to enjoy the building experience – with clear, frequent communication that keeps you in control of the entire process

All without unexpected surprises or spending any extra money.

A Better Way To Build Your Dream Waikato Home

Choosing a custom builder for your dream Waikato home (rather than a land and house builder) is a good start. But like all professions, not all Waikato custom builders are the same. And few have the full complement of practical, on-the-tools and administration skills to manage the complexities of building a house.

During your initial inquiry conversation, be sure to ask about the process your custom builder follows to ensure you get the exact house you want, without unexpected surprises (and without spending any more than a generic land and house builder). Here are some of the things you should ask about:

Step #1

Preliminary Agreement (credited towards your build)

Nobody should be expected to work for free (at least no one that actually knows what they are doing). So, once you are ready to build, you should expect to pay a small fee for preliminary planning work. But you should also expect to get something for your money (in terms of plans and guidance). And any fee you pay should be credited towards your future build (i.e. come off the quoted build price). But this fee should not commit you to anything further (i.e. it’s not a contract to build).

A Preliminary Agreement investment with MH Builders is around $10,000 (depending on the complexity of your plans) and includes:

  • Concept with pricing estimate

  • Design consultation

  • Full, detailed quote with all specifications, working drawings, and construction drawings

With no commitment to go any further, and all fees fully creditable towards your house build, there is no risk whatsoever.

Step #2

Concept Design And Pricing Estimate

Working with a land and house builder often feels rushed. A salesperson (who is usually paid on commission) will show you a catalogue of generic floorplans and ask you to choose. They will assure you that you can adjust the design down the track but may not explain how much these changes will cost. Then they will ask you to choose a level of finishes with vague names like Standard, Lifestyle, Premium etc. And they will give you a price and invite you to sign a contract that is filled with Provisional Cost Allowances (that are likely to change throughout the build).

Working with a custom builder generally starts a lot more slowly because (most) take the time to incorporate your lifestyle and design preferences into your custom plan.

The team at MH Builders guides you through every step of the design process, helping you to clarify and refine your ideas to ensure you get the home you’ve always wanted including

  • All the space you’ve ever wanted, with thoughtful room connectivity to maximise movement while maintaining a sense of warmth and privacy throughout your home

  • A contemporary kitchen with the perfect balance of practicality and personality to make meal preparation and entertaining feel easy, enjoyable, and a little bit fancy

  • Clever storage that puts everything out of sight but within easy reach

  • Designed for your unique block of land to maximise natural light, breezes, and views so you feel connected with nature no matter where you are in your home

  • Energy efficient plan and products so you save on power and feel comfortable all year round

  • Features, finishes, and personal touches that make your dream house feel like your forever home

Based on your Concept Plan we will give you a pricing estimate so you can understand your level of investment. If you have any concerns, we will show you where you may be able to save some money without compromising on the outcome you want. In any case, we will guide you to get both the value and result you want.

Step #3

Design Consultation

One of the benefits of building a custom home in Waikato is that you get exactly what you want. But this can be a double-edged sword because it requires making lots of decisions along the way. To avoid the overwhelm that people feel with other custom builders, the team at MH Builders provides an Interior Designer to help you with every decision including colours, appliances, lighting, flooring and more. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, you’ll actually enjoy the process. And you’ll get a home that matches your lifestyle and personality.

Step #4

Quote and Specifications

Unlike land and house builders that provide a vague quote filled with Provisional Cost Allowances (that usually end up costing way more), the team at MH Builders takes time to give you an accurate quote that includes every detail (including all your selections). This usually takes 2-3 weeks because the prices are not mere estimates, they are real, locked-in prices. While other builders suffer supply chain and labour issues (that compromise your timeline and force you to choose alternative products at different prices), Clint and his team at MH Builders spend hours liaising with their network to secure the best product pricing and availability, and schedule contractors so you can be sure you’ll get exactly what you want – on time and on budget.

The only Provisional Cost Allowances relate to things like site preparation that can’t be accurately priced until work begins (as you can never be totally sure what’s under the ground).

Along with the quote you will receive complete construction drawings. Your quote and construction drawings give you financial certainty without obligating you to anything whatsoever (i.e. there is still no commitment to build).

Step #5

Purchase Section

Building a new home involves several council and legal obligations including an Auckland District Law Society sale and purchase agreement. The team at MH Builders will help you through every step to ensure you meet your legal obligations.

Step #6

Building Contract and Consent

Building a new home involves several council and legal obligations including an Auckland District Law Society sale and purchase agreement. The team at MH Builders will help you through every step to ensure you meet your legal obligations.

Step #7


With supplies and sub-contractors locked in, construction progresses efficiently and predictably. You can follow every step with weekly updates and a monthly onsite meeting. And Clint and his team at MH Builders are available anytime if you have questions.

Unlike land and house builders that attempt to juggle dozens of houses at once (where you are just one of many customers), the team at MH Builders focuses on quality over quantity. You’ll deal directly with Clint (the owner) from start to finish. And he’ll build your home with pride and passion as if it was his own.

Building a home involves hundreds of steps that need to be completed in perfect sequence by dozens of tradespeople. While many custom builders may be skilled on the tools, few have the management experience to keep their projects on time and on budget. Clint’s extensive management background has enabled him to create detailed processes that make keep build running like clockwork.

Step #8


With guidance and support from MH Builders experienced team you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the building process. Now it’s time to move into your new home. When you receive your keys, you can be confident your home has passed at least 3 rounds of rigorous assessments (including Code of compliance). Clint will personally show you around your new home, explain how everything works, and give you a detailed pack that includes your plans, colour selections, warranty information, and key contact information.

Like to Get Ahead of the Queue & Save 6 Months?  Complete the Design and Foundations Process Now, & Eliminate Build Costs Further Increasing Over Time

If you’d like to hit the ground running as soon as your finance is confirmed, we can start designing and costing your new home today so you can review the details with your bank to attain finance approval, and be in control as to what builder you want to work with once the plans and specifications are derived.

Via our MH Builders Design and Estimate Service we will define your plans and specifications to determine a fixed price quotation, which you can take to your bank to seek finance approval. What’s more, the Preliminary Agreement costs will be credited from the Fixed Price quotation.

The advantages of this include:

  • You’ll only pay for the Preliminary Agreement processing (Engaging Architectural Designer for the plans, engage interior Designer, engage QS for costing)

  • Design and costing phase typically takes 4-6 months for a design and build, therefore you can complete this process in preparation for finance approval to then move to start planning the build.

  • Once the preliminary process is completed, the fixed price quotation is good for 3 months, so there’s no pressure to sign a build agreement.

  • You can walk away at any stage (there’s no commitment to sign an agreement)

  • You’ll own the IP for the plans and specifications, and can therefore sign with any builder (very few builders offer this service as typically they will want to own the plans and specifications).

  • Preliminary Agreement costs are credited from the Fixed Price quotation.

Curious about exactly how it works? Download the 4 step process here

Your First No Obligation Step To Getting The Exact House You Want, With No Unexpected Surprises


You now know why so many people feel disappointed when building a new home (especially when dealing with a land and house builder). How they end up paying thousands more than their original contract, and still don’t get exactly what they want (or thought they were getting).

You also now know that many custom builders lack the management skills to deliver your home on time and on budget.

And you’ve seen how MH Builders management experience and detailed processes ensure you get the exact home you want with no unexpected surprises (and without spending any more than a generic land and house package).

The next step is a no obligation Discovery Session with Clint (the owner) where he will answer your questions, help you clarify and refine your ideas, and provide information to help you build the home of your dreams. It is completely free and without obligation.

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