Who are HABiT Home and Building Tauranga?



How do you deal with the leaky homes?

Well it is a touchy subject and unfortunately there is an unknown or a stigma about it which you can’t really put a price on but there is a price to pay. Unfortunately this is affected through the media and through maybe our education. It has affected all sorts of cladding including plaster cladding. It could be polystyrene on a cavity, it could be plaster over brick. Some people just won’t go near it. A lot of people see a plastered house and won’t go near it but if they know what it is made of and its all good then it just helps get one step closer.
It is a touchy subject.
Maintenance, maintenance,maintenance is the key with monolithic cladding. Its a tough one. It comes down to the right people taking them on. I wouldn’t condemn any house but the client need to know the risks, they need to know what they are buying. Its a horrible situation and its been caused by a whole lot of reasons and you can’t point the finger at any one person or anyone thing and we just have to deal with it.

Are you able to provide solutions?

Oh yes definitely, if we are concerned the only way to be really clear is to get invasive investigation, that’s not even a 100% thing. People drill holes and they can check the condition of the timber they can get an accurate moisture reading. We also do a moisture reading on the outside of the cladding which is non evasive but it certainly gives us a picture and an idea of whether its worth doing evasive investigation or not. Then we have people we can recommend, guys that re-plaster it or do repair work. These guys do it all the time, that’s all they concentrate on as its such a big market out there and they have learn a lot and they are experienced as well.

You obviously have good contacts in other industries?

A lot of these guys we have used ourselves and they specialise in the areas that need addressing. We have roofers and builders, we don’t have any ties with them, they aren’t part of us but they are part of our team. If a client doesn’t know anyone, coming new into the area then they need some help with who they can trust. It is no benefit to us to recommend anyone but it is just a service we provide.

What advice you would give a new home buyer?

Basic things I suppose that they don’t think of like where is the sun facing. Tick all your boxes.
Is it the right price? Have you done all your homework? Do you need a valuation? Is it the type of house that may have had p used in it? Do you need to test for that as that is another big cost that people don’t alway think about. It can ruin a house if it has been a p lab. We have people that we can use to test for this and it may be something we look at doing ourselves in the future as well.
Unfortunately it is becoming a more prolific thing in New Zealand.
Its shame I guess its like anything, like the building inspection thing, like what do you have an alarm for, to put someone off from burgling your house, its an insurance thing.
Check all the council papers. Is it legal, did it get signed off?
That’s another service we offer, we do council file checks, for a small cost really its a good thing to clear up before you purchase it.

Do you do LIM reports?

No we don’t do LIM reports as they are somethings that your lawyer can organise or the council do themselves. The LIM report is a Land Information Memorandum and that got what is passed on file, it has more information on the land. The counter file is what we do, the property file check and we grabbed the council information which we go through and we write a report on what information the council have on that. We can see the plans, if there are any and we can note down that Joe Bloggs decided to take a wall down which was a structural wall, where the LIM report won’t show you that. It will tell you what has been permitted but not what hasn’t been. It is important and it also helps us with for example with plastering as to what type it is. It helps us with the construction of it, it may be able to give us an indication as to whether treated timber has been used and to be able to back up what we saw on site.Making sure that the house matches the plans. If there is anything out of whack then like work done without a permit then its is going to back fire on you when you come to sell later on.

Can you get retrospective consent?

Yes but that does depends on the council. Like the Tauranga City Council, they recognise it, Western Bay Council don’t necessarily recognise it.  With the older houses you can get what is called a safe and sanitary or a Certificate of Acceptance depending on the age which really is a basic report saying yes the council will accept it as it is so they aren’t going to give you hassle and say hey you have to do this and that. Its not as detailed as our reports but its a basic report that the council give saying its not an unsafe or unsanitary place to live. It’s about as legal as you can get. The newer houses they can sign it off, it may just be the one last inspection they didn’t get signed off and they can come in and check it and sign it off.

What are the great things about living in Tauranga?

Where ever you go you are by the beach. You have got different types of houses, all sorts of different houses. We have the cheaper houses, the flasher houses, you can be by the beach or in town, lots of different suburbs. A great community place to live in I reckon.
Its just the place to be.
At one stage it was the fastest growing city in New Zealand. I think probably unfortunately it was near the leaky building era. We have learnt a lot since then.
One thing I do like about the area is the variety of houses, its not like Coronation Street or anything like that. Everyone is coming here to retire so it’s the lifestyle so it’s pretty cool.
Work and live the dream at the same time.

What do you love about being a building inspector?

Well compared to building I suppose the simplicity of it. My staff aren’t losing my tools every week which is a bonus and I haven’t got all the tools. All I carry now is my tool belt and ladder, its just so easy.
Pretty much every day I’m getting positive feedback. I guess it’s all my experience that you feel is untapped or hasn’t been used in the past or has gone unappreciated if you like. Now it seems to be getting appreciated. The knowledge and experience I have had is getting put to good use and also the work I do with people. Helping people in one of the biggest financial and emotional decisions of their life, its a big deal. The satisfaction of helping people ease through that process and just making it as easy as possible and as fruitful as possible.
All the hard years that I have done are coming to good use and I can share it. Before I was building houses and giving an end product now I can share my knowledge and everyone gets to have some of it.