Building a Home for Retirement

Helen Ling, mortgage broker

Many people nearing retirement decide that they will be better off in a near new or brand new home, and in particular built on flat land. A new house is much easier to live in, as the layout and all the fittings modern, the plumbing is all mains pressure, the light fittings are all modern LED, and the house is fully insulated and warm and easy to live in. Most new modern homes have a heat pump, which is an ultra efficient means to heat and cool a new home.

People nearing retirement also generally choose to live on flat land, as this is just much easier for access and it makes it much easier to move around on the property. The homeowner generally also gets to choose the layout of the property, and they can make sure it is just perfect for their long-term needs. A new home is very attractive for couples that are nearing retirement, and for most people the financing of this is very straightforward. Helen Ling, a mortgage broker who specialises in mortgages for retirement homes, believes that this trend is evergreen and is not likely to change any time soon.

It is generally advised that the homeowner use as a mortgage broker, because the broker can simply make certain that the mortgage that they end up with or whatever financing is appropriate for their changing circumstances. In most cases homeowners upgrading to a brand new house will be able to sell their existing house which often will be freehold. While the new house will probably be considerably more expensive than their old house, they can use the fact that their old house is freehold to make a sizeable deposit on the new house and keep their borrowings to a minimum.

If they have been careful with their savings they may have saved enough to ensure that they can build a new house and not even have a mortgage, and in this case the poor old mortgage broker will not even be needed. This is a very attractive solution for homeowners, as they will be left presumably with enough cash to have a reasonable retirement plus they will have a brand new house that will have minimal maintenance requirements for many years and will be very cheap to power and run and very pleasant to live in. If they have played their cards right then they could end up in a brand new house with no mortgage and a tidy cash pile that will take them through their retirement, and they should be able to have a very comfortable life even on the government pension. This group of house buyers are not a very good target for mortgage brokers, particularly in Wellington and Porirua.

The Humble Nelson Drainlayer

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In Nelson the drainlayer is largely regarded as the unsung hero, particularly after they have been called out it short notice to repair a blocked and overflowing sewer pipe. The householder is generally in a panic because they have no way of dealing with the problem themselves, and so they are always due to be relieved when the drainlayer has done the work and very happy to pay they generally fairly high fees that are charged.

Repair work can be lucrative for the drainlayer sector, but the work is always pretty disruptive for the drainlayer, as it is always urgent and almost always occurs at inconvenient times.

The best work for drainlayers Nelson in terms of convenient times is installing new drains for a new property. This is specialist work as it has to be done to a high degree of professional competency, which means the drainlayer needs to carefully work through the issues of slope for the drain, and exactly how to tap into the main sewer line in the neighborhood. The work is also physical, and sometimes there is insufficient space on the property to get in a mechanical digger, and so the drainlayer must do the digging work by hand.

The drainlaying profession is highly regulated, for obvious public health and work quality reasons, and so the drainlayer will have to put up with his work being inspected before they can backfill the drain. This is of course to the drainlayers benefit, as if the work has been inspected by a fully qualified inspector then the drainlayer will not be held personally responsible if there are some problem sometime in the future.

The Nelson drainlayer will probably find there’s a new house build on an existing property will have some complexities, particularily if the drainlayer has to work around existing drains and sewers. The problems can become very difficult if a sewer needs to be replaced from an existing bathroom or toilet all the way out to the main neighbourhood sewer line, as this can often mean excavating a trench by hand then difficult and tight working conditions.

Pretty much every job that the drainlayer works on will involve working with or near raw sewage, as even installing a new drain for a new house will require tapping into the existing main sewer line. Every other tradesmen on a building site who’s this as does every householder who watches the drainlayer workout, and for this reason most people in any community how have a very large amount of respect for the humble Nelson drainlayer.

Constructing A New House

 Work is able to start on the construction of a new house once all of the consents have been attained from the local City Council. Depending on the location of the property the developer may have to carry out any number of tasks set out by the council in order to comply with their consent, for example in a flood prone area the developer may have to build up the land under the house buy as much as half a metre.

In most cases the builder will have to put some sort of solid foundation down to support the concrete floor, and 1 typical technique is called Rib Rafting, which involves hammering a large number of posts at least two metres into the ground.

Once the land under the house has been prepared and compacted, then the Builder can start by laying out the boxing for the concrete foundations and floor. To the untrained eye this can lock very complex given that it includes large blocks of polystyrene and a lot of Steel reinforcing laid and tied and trenches between the blocks of polystyrene. In actual fact all this is really just a collection of concrete beams with steel crossing the building, with the polystyrene providing a boxing so that when the concrete is 
finally board all that is left is a nice slick polished floor, with drainage Plumbing installed where required.

Once the concrete floor has set and cured,  generally after two to three days,  then the builders can start work. This will generally involve erecting all of the timber frames and roof trusses that have been prefabricated offsite. The job of the Builder at this stage is to make sure that all the frames are erected true and as accurate as possible, and they also must do this work as safely as possible.

 In a previous era the Builder will cut and assemble the frames on site, and then erect the frames using a hammer and two or three large boxes of 4 inch nails. She was obviously a time-consuming and exhausting job.  The modern builder will receive all the framing and roof trusses delivered on site, and all I have to do is stand them up and then nail and together using the ever-present nail gun. This is it vastly faster then for the previous generation of builders.




 Once the frame is up then the next important step is for the door Joinery and  and window Joinery to be installed, and then for the roof to go on, and in most cases in New Zealanders is generally long run roofing iron laid over roofing battens and roofing paper. Once the roof has been installed satisfactorily then the outside cladding should be installed,  imitate that point the house is able to be locked up.

 From then on most of the work required by the Builder best to install the internal lining on the walls and ceilings and then to fit and finish the house and perhaps build the parts around the outside.