Making Your Start Up Session a Success

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CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve taken the first step to making your dream home a reality. Whether it’s a house extension, renovation or new build, rest assured that with 203 projects under our belt, we can help you! ​Since we first started meeting with clients in 2003, we’ve learned that there are a few things which can really help to ensure that our first meeting is successful.

 If you’d like to be one of our A++ clients from the beginning, we’ve shared the tricks of the trade in the following blog post;

The first key to success is ordering a property file from the Auckland Council website. This is a reasonably straightforward process, but absolutely essential, especially for the second meeting where we bring our architectural designer back to your home. A property file is essentially a record of all of the information the council has on file about your property. It can be useful and it can also be absolutely useless, but it is always worth obtaining as can sometimes provide us with valuable information that can save you time and money when we are compiling the building consent documentation for your project. For more information on how to do this, check out our blog post here;
Ordering a property file can save you asnywhere from $750.00 to $67.000.00 + GST depending on the complexities of what is involved with your home extension and/or renovation
Once you’ve ordered your property file, we highly recommend creating an account on or especially if you are considering a large house extension or custom new build. These platforms are an invaluable source of inspiration and especially useful if you know in rough terms what you would like to achieve, but aren’t sure about what you want the final result to feel like. Although not everything you come across will be practical, the time that you spend looking at ideas now will make selecting fittings, colour schemes and finalising interior layouts a hundred times easier down the track. We have an account on both platforms, so if you come across anything that you’d like to chat about, you’ll be able to share the link with us and we’ll offer advice where and when required. As we move further along in the process, we’ll also create an individualised board for you, so that you have a dedicated place to pin any images that are absolute must haves for the construction of your project.

Keep in mind while you are cruising both Pinterest and Houzz that both sites are American and some of the smaller novelty items aren’t actually available in New Zealand.
Don’t get us wrong though, they are still great places for getting exterior facade and interior layout inspiration for your home extension and/or renovation.

Finally, possibly the most beneficial thing you can do, especially if there is dissent between you and your other half as to what you would like to achieve and/or what the budget for the house extension or new build is going to be, is sit down and work out a needs and wants list. ‘Needs’ should be things which are absolute must haves i.e. the trigger(s) that led to you contacting our team and ‘Wants’ should be the things which are the nice to haves but can be crossed off the list without leading to eternal regrets or you losing sleep at night. This gives us a concrete tick list of things which absolutely have to be included as part of your concept plan, and things which are okay to be excluded, depending on budget, site and layout constraints. Don’t be too alarmed if you have more needs then wants or vice versa, we’ll work through the list with you at our Start Up Session and offer recommendations based on 203 projects worth of expertise as to what is feasible and what might be better left for another stage.
A needs and wants list is a great way to get all of your ideas on paper so that our team can do the numbers for you and you can make some decisions before begining your home extension and/or renovation journey
If you have difficulties with any of these steps then please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 09 236 6944 or via email at While none are essential to the success of our Start Up Session, completing one or all of the above help us to be able to deliver you a more comprehensive understanding as to how & why Certified Home Extensions can help you best with your home extension or custom new build. We can’t wait to meet you in the near future!

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