Home-build how-to launches


A Queenstowner has launched a website company aimed at demystifying the process of home building.

Hana Deavoll – a project manager for her husband’s construction company with a background in online social media marketing – says Buildme aims to inspire Kiwis to undertake building and renovation projects.

“I was frustrated by the lack of an all-in-one resource for home building in New Zealand.

“Building your own home is a big step and it can be very confusing.

“There are so many decisions to make: What builder should I use? How can I finance it? What level of insulation do I need? What types of cladding can I choose from?”

Deavoll aims to answer these questions and more through easy-to-read articles on her free-to-use website, buildme.co.nz, which she funds through contractors and suppliers advertising their services and products.

The website includes, for different regions of the country, information on building codes, regulations, do’s and don’ts, and, shortly, cost calculators.

Also included is a 15-page e-book, Building in NZ: An Essential Guide to Building Your Own Home.

Home building shouldn’t be a daunting experience, Deavoll says.

“Like anything, if you break it down into small parts, it seems a lot less daunting.

“There are a whole lot of resources on the Buildme website that will help people – whatever stage of the build process they’re at.”

Deavoll’s also started profiling building projects.

That includes her and her husband Sam Deavoll’s home at Queenstown’s entry-level Shotover Country subdivision.

The ‘NZ Homes’ profiles, she says, are not just about high-end, out-of-reach projects.

“We feature projects where people have created their very own dream home, at any place in the scale.

“If someone is feeling hesitant about building, then it’s reassuring to read about those who have successfully done it themselves.”

Deavoll says she bought the Buildme domain name some years ago, but only got motivated to start the company after doing a business course early this year.

In talking to friends, many of whom had bought sections at Shotover Country, she found a lot wanted to build “but it was almost in the too-hard basket”.

“They were a bit scared or they just didn’t know where to start.”

In recent years she’d accumulated knowledge project-managing home builds, as well as the Graze restaurant building at Lake Hayes Estate, for her husband.

That experience also included obtaining bank finance and choosing a section.

“I just thought it would be a way to share the knowledge and inspire other people,” Deavoll says. “I’m still learning as well.

“I wouldn’t say I’m an expert – when I do articles I have to research and call on other experts as well.

“Building a home may be the biggest project you take on in your life, so it’s important to get exactly what you want.

“And I think that’s achievable if you understand the process.”