Getting Started

The Fowler Homes Building Advice

What to look for in a builder

The difference between good and great is attention to detail. Choosing the right people to build your new dream home is a big decision, whether you’re a first home builder or a seasoned homeowner there are certain points you’ll want to consider.

Ask Questions

First off, talk to friends, family and colleagues and see what recommendations they can make about the local builders and group house building companies in your area.

Your mortgage or insurance broker, banker or even realtor may also be able to help. Set up a meeting with those you wish to speak to.

At Fowler Homes the initial client meeting is a conversation about your section, your budget and your wish list.

It is a great time to ask any questions that you may have about our house building process, or even just building in general for your area.

Initial Client Meeting

At Fowler Homes, the initial client meeting is a conversation about your section, your budget and your wish list. It is a great time to ask any questions that you may have about our build process, or even just building in general for your area.

Clearing sites and knocking down an old home is not something all group home builders are set up for.

As with building on a steep sloping section, so check that the builder has the capability for this. Manpower and expertise for the job are something to ask about. Fowler Homes can do all of the above.

Other Questions May Include

Who would run the job, will I be updated on the progress and how often?

Your Fowler Homes Project Manager will communicate via Buildertrend and/or phone & email on a regular basis, often weekly.

Once all your selections are made the construction process is taken care of for you, any variations made during the build will be clearly communicated.

Will I be sent photos of the progress of your house, and who do I talk to if I’m unhappy about something?

All communications are managed through Buildertrend App & your Project Manager. 

Our teams are always available via phone and email. 

When would the job start, finish and who advises you of any delays?

A Fowler Homes build typically takes 10-12 months but may be greater depending on several factors specific to your build. All communications managed through Buildertrend App & your Project Manager.

How long will it take to get plans drawn up, and how long will the building consent process take?

At Fowler Homes, your first step is Concept Plans; you will work with our team on the floor plan layout and elevations of what your home could look like from the outside.

Giving you time to make subtle changes this would take approximately 2 weeks. You will then move to more detailed plans allowing for pricing of the build. These plans are used for suppliers and trades to accurately price the build and are used to assist your selection process.

These plans take approximately 4 weeks. Once the plans are confirmed and specified to what you want included the team move onto Building
consent plans and application. All decisions are locked in, and the council process takes place.

Time for this varies around the country between 15 & 50 working days, your local team will be able to give an accurate estimate. Total time is typically 10-15 weeks.


Look for a builder who is a Registered Master Builder.

This mark of approval ensures certain quality criteria are met by the builder including building experience, trade and professional qualifications, on-site management experience and of course workmanship.

Only a Registered Master Builder can offer you peace of mind with a 10-Year Master Build Guarantee on residential work.

Contract & Budgets

It is important for you to understand what the contract includes and how to look for and avoid hidden costs.

At Fowler Homes, once you have confirmed the house plan for your new home and selected your fittings and finishes, our suppliers provide us with full quotes that are specific to your build. This allows us to provide you with an accurately priced build contract.

A detailed Master Build contract will be drafted which outlines the total price of the build, and how the payments will be staged throughout the process.

At this point, you will be able to review your Contract and make any additions or deletions dependent on your specific budget.

Provisional Sums

Check for any provisional sums in your contract – these are amounts of money that are recorded in your building contract but for which the builder does not yet have an accurate final cost for.

Provisional sums are typically used for earthworks, because below-ground site conditions may be unknown until we break ground.

Landscaping may be a provisional sum to allow for landscape design and changes during your project.

Any other provisional sums may be due to design selections not yet confirmed by you when your contract is signed. Ideally, your contract will include as few provisional sums as possible to provide you and your lender (if applicable) with financial certainty.

Once the work relating to each provisional sum is agreed upon or completed, you will receive either an invoice for an additional amount or a credit back. At Fowler Homes, we manage this with as much transparency as possible.

Final word

We encourage you to be diligent when selecting a home builder for your project and ensure that you fully understand what is being presented to you, and the service offered.

Your local Fowler Homes team is ready to talk you through our process and answer any questions that you may have.

There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t yet met. We love this quote as our clients often become lifelong friends.

All our homes are built with a 10-year Master Builder guarantee. Individual product guarantees will also apply.

To set up an initial meeting with one of our local Fowler Homes teams, please get in touch today. It would be our pleasure to guide you through the exciting process to design and build your new home!