How we work

Taking Care Because We Care

Our experienced team of engineers and designers are here to help you through the design phase of your project from choosing the frame through to creating a life-like view of your home. Our draughting team can complete your building consent documentation and our experienced team of carpenters can raise your barn frame on site. We also have a growing network of Building Partners that can complete your build or you may choose to employ a builder you know or even complete the build as an owner builder.

Step 1:

Connecting on Your Project!

Tell us about your hopes and dreams!

To ensure we really understand what you would like and what spaces and functions you need in your barn home, please provide a brief, along with any images, mood boards, and floor plans. Please also include images and aspects of things you ‘don’t’ like. This will help us match your vision with one of our Modular Barn Homes, or Modular Barn Frames. Please note that keeping to our standard modules will save on design and engineering costs, as well as shorten your overall design timeline.

We will also need information on the location of your building platform so that we can site your home in a way that optimizes the site and location. For this, we will need your Lot #, legal description and if on sloped land then we’ll also need a topo survey plan provided by a cadastral surveyor. Information on prevailing winds, views you want to optimize as well as position of potential outdoor spaces, parking and driveway access are all important in developing the site plan. Photos and any videos of the site would also be useful. If needed, we are happy to do a site visit at an additional cost.

It is also important for us to understand any parameters that we need to work within specific to your site, e.g., cladding types, overall height, recession planes, etc. For this, we will ask you to supply an idea of what overall exterior look you are after. While we are not planners, our design team will review the local District Plan and identify any potential planning issues like setback requirements and height restrictions. We’ll also require a current CoT (certificate of title) and any underlying consent notices (don’t worry, we can obtain these on your behalf). Please note that any breach of planning rules may result in the need to apply for a Resource Consent.

Size, complexity, location and level of fitout and finish drive the final build price of your home, so it is also important for us to understand your budget so that we can steer you with both size and design choices to meet your budget. After all, there is no point designing a beautiful home that you cannot afford. We would also recommend that you connect with one of our local builder partners early on so that they can help provide feedback on expected build costs through the design process.

Step 2:

Selecting the Right Barn Design:

Based on our discussions, we will work with you to come up with a suggested floor plan and an appropriate barn to meet your brief. We provide this stage in rough sketch form at no cost, or you can use one of our Modular Barn Home designs if there is a floorplan that suits. At this point, we would suggest that you lay out the barn footprint on your site to see how it looks.

Step 3:

Barn Frame Estimate:

Once you are settled on the barn size, and any other timberframe elements, we can provide you with an estimate for your frame. If you are choosing one of our Modular Barn Homes that we already have full build estimates for we can provide this to you also.

Step 4:

Developed Concept Design (From Modular Barn Home Design):

If you’ve selected a Modular Barn Home design that is close to what you would like, the next step is to develop your concept so that you can visualize the final product and make sure all the spaces work for you. This typically takes us 4 to 6 weeks and involves 2 or 3 iterations. The cost depends on the size of your project and is charged on a sqm floor area basis. For the main home, the price (including upstairs areas) is $25 + GST/sqm and $5 + GST/sqm for covered outdoor areas. Please note that Heritage Timbercraft retains the right to the Developed Concept Designs which allows us to further offer home concepts to clients like yourself to help guide their design process.

For our Standard Service, you will receive a basic site plan, detailed floor plans, realistic elevations culminating in two rendered life-like 3D exterior images, 3 interior images and 2 cross sections of your new home.

We can also include a walk-through tour with life-like 360-degree images in each area of your home. These cost an additional $1500 + GST.

Our team can also help with aspects such as kitchen design, bathroom design, detailed material choice, lighting plans, electrical plans, landscape design, and feature design such as fire pit / exterior seating areas. The cost for this work is at an hourly rate of $85 + GST/hr.

Please Note:

If you’re looking for a custom home design, we quote the developed concepts on a per-project basis. Pricing is based on the floor area of the home and ranges from $50-75 + GST/sqm.

Step 5:

Build Costs:
Once the Developed Concept Design is completed, you can work with a quantity survey (QS) or one of our build partners to estimate your home build cost. These local experts will be able to help guide you to more specific decisions and the cost implications to your build. Some examples include foundation type, cladding and floor choices, kitchen, and bathroom budget. Once you know the price to build your home, you are then ready to proceed to Structural Engineering. We offer a complete quantity surveying service for approximately $1,000 + GST, we can quote on a per project basis for bespoke designs.

Step 6:

Structural Engineering:

Once your design has progressed to where you have confirmed your floor plan layout, window and door openings, internal linings, and external claddings, we are ready to complete the SED (specific engineering design) and bracing calculations for your home. At this stage, we will require you to obtain and provide a Geotechnical Report (we can assist in liaising with geotechnical engineers, whose pricing will be on a per project basis). Our engineering team uses this report to complete the structural engineering on the frame and foundation. The structural engineering costs are typically in the $6,500 + GST range for most designs, and we will provide a quote for bespoke homes. This engineering normally takes 4 to 6 weeks and will overlap with the Building Consent Documentation phase. Our timberframes are designed for most situations but timber sizing and connection details can be impacted by your final floor plan design and site specific conditions such as wind, snow load or earthquake load. This is assessed during the engineering phase. If the costs for the changes to our Modular Frame or bespoke frame estimate provided (in Step 3) is < $1000 we will absorb the costs but if it is more then we will provide a quote to adjust the frame to meet the specific engineering requirements and will incorporate these into the building consent documentation.

Step 7:

Timber Frame Contract:

Following engineering, Heritage Timbercraft will supply a set of timber frame drawings which includes timber sizes and connection details showing the barn frame for your home. We will also include the following in the contract:

  • Price and payment schedule
  • Timber species
  • Timber texture and edge finish
  • Engineering of the frame, bracing and foundation engineering responsibilities
  • Delivery address
  • Additional services such as:
    • Oiling or staining the frame
    • Raising the frame
  • Our 10-year structural guarantee
  • Agreement to photograph the raising and the finished home for promotional purposes.

Note that Heritage Timbercraft retains the IP of the post and beam frame.

Step 8:

PIM – Project Information Memorandum:
Prior to commencing with the Building Consent Documentation, we always recommend applying for a PIM with the council. Incorporating a PIM into your project planning is not merely about compliance; it’s a deliberate move towards an informed, efficient, and successful building process, reflecting our commitment to excellence and your satisfaction. A PIM can identify early adherence to the RMA and Building Act, encapsulating all legal and regulatory standards vital to your project. The PIM also provides comprehensive insights into your land and site characteristics, including potential hazards, drainage, zoning, and other factors that may influence the design and build.

Step 9:

Building Consent Documentation:

The next step is to prepare your barn home working drawings and documentation for the provisions of obtaining a building consent. Our experienced team will progress forward with preparing the necessary plans, specifications, and supporting documentation required for your building consent application. We will provide a fee proposal for your project but a guide is $100 + GST/sqm up to 150m2 and then an additional $50 + GST/sqm up to 250 sqm with a further $25 + GST/sqm up to 450 sqm. Note this does not include council fees, specialist contractors, or surveying costs. We can provide a quote for our Design service and if you would like to go ahead, we will supply you with our Design Agreement for approval.

Part of this process includes preparing the site plan, which includes working with you and other contractors on both stormwater and septic system design, drainage, retaining walls (if any), power, and water supply. There are many decisions to make from internal and external linings, flooring, windows, heating, ventilation, as well as bathroom and kitchen planning. Our design team will help talk you through each of these stages. Providing we have all the necessary information upfront, or in a timely manner, then this stage typically takes 12 to 16 weeks to complete.

Step 10:

Application for Building Consent:

The last step is for our engineer and design team to review the documentation and for you to approve the plans and specifications. Once you are happy, your Building Consent is ready to be lodged. Our design team will prepare, lodge, and administer the entire application on your behalf ‘as your agent’. Part of this process is to work closely with the council and address their RFI’s (requests for information), which is all part of the standard processing. Overall, the consenting process generally takes 20 to 30 working days to complete by the council but can take between 30 working days and 120 working days depending on specific requests or information required by the council.

Step 11:

Building Consent Issued:

Congratulations! You are now ready for site works, services, laying your foundation and starting your build.

Step 12:

Cutting & Test Fitting Your Frame:

We usually start cutting the barn frame before building consent is issued so that we are ready when you are. We often mill our own timber on site and handcraft your frame at our base at Mohaka River Farm in Hawke’s Bay. You are welcome to visit us and see the timber frame being cut. This typically takes 4 to 12 weeks depending on your frame size. Once complete, we are ready to transport the frame to site.

Step 13:

Raising Your Timber Frame:

As soon as the foundation has cured, we will arrange delivery with you and your builder and will come to raise it over 2 – 5 days. With the structure in place, a full weatherproof shell can be achieved quickly.

Step 14:

Completing Your Home:

If you’re not working with one of our Builder Partners, you will need a licensed building practitioner and a team of carpenters to complete your building, or you can choose to complete it yourself as an owner-builder using contractors as required. Having building materials booked ahead of time and planning your project well ahead makes a significant difference in completing your project on time.

In conclusion, building a barn home is an exciting and rewarding experience. Our step-by-step process ensures that your barn home is tailored to your specific needs and preferences, while our additional services and cost estimates make the process as seamless as possible. With our assistance, you can have a barn home that is a perfect fit for you.

We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with you to become a proud owner of a unique Heritage Timbercraft Home!