What is a Master Builder and Why Do You Want One?

Last time I looked, Master Builders in Hamilton, Urban Homes, were the most awarded Hamilton builders in the Waikato. They have won multiple Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards in every year they have entered.

Master Builder Awards for Hamilton builder

Recent Master Builder awards for Hamilton’s Urban Homes

They are one example of Master Builders in Hamilton, and throughout New Zealand, who have developed a long-standing reputation for truly exceptional quality. 

That goes a long way to answering the second question, but more on that in a minute.

What is a Registered Master Builder?

Master Builders Banner

Registered Master Builders represents more than 3,000 building companies and builders across New Zealand. They support builders and building companies to be the best they can be, and work to encourage high building standards and exemplary ethical behaviour in the building industry.

Master Builders Have Proven Qualifications, Experience and Quality

According to Master Builders, to become a Master Builder, certain quality criteria must be met. This includes:

  • Building experience
  • Trade and professional qualifications
  • On-site management experience
  • Workmanship: previous clients have been contacted to ensure their work is of a high standard and has satisfied their expectations
  • Financial responsibility: written references have been provided from their bank, accountant and building material suppliers.

Consumer.Org expand on this and state that the main way builders become a registered member, is to demonstrate that they have:

  • A minimum of six years building experience,
  • completed of a carpentry apprenticeship, or a relevant tertiary building related qualification (e.g. B.Arch, B.Eng, NZCB, NZCQS, NZCE, NZCD);
  • and have at least three continuous years as a builder in business on their own account, and/or in day-to-day management of a building business.
Master Builders have a proven reputation

Master Builders have a proven reputation for quality and reliability

In essence, to be a master builder you must be able to demonstrate that you already have a reputation for building house or business buildings to a very high standard, and for exemplary business and financial management. In other words, you can be trusted to build what you say you can, and you will still be around to finish it.

Master Builders Provide Representation and Support

The Master Builders association works with Government and the building sector to develop and uphold the highest standards.

“We are part of every conversation about the built environment – focused on better homes, better workplaces, and ultimately better lives for all New Zealanders.”

Master Builders are a community of builders who meet regularly at a local and national level to support each other, to develop and advance knowledge and skills, and to solve problems together.

It means that, when working with a master builder, you are not working with a lone wolf. They are part of a large community of likeminded builders and businesses, who want to bring the highest quality of workmanship and materials to every build.

Master Builders are a community

If there is security in numbers, master builders bring that to every build.

Master Builders Make a Commitment to Proven Processes

A master builder is also someone who has committed to following a building relationship and process that benefits the building owner.

For example, a master builder will have a checklist and a contract for you to see and to sign, to ensure that:

  1. You become an informed participant in the process
  2. Together you reach agree on project structure and management
  3. You are hiring competent building contractors
  4. Together you agree on price and payments
  5. You both have a written contract
  6. You are able to take control of communication and decision making
  7. There is a process for resolving disputes and keep the project running smoothly

This doesn’t mean that everything will run perfectly every time. But it does mean that the major pillars of a working agreement are identified and addressed prior to starting.

Why do you Want a Master Builder?

In many ways, the above description of what a master builder is, goes a long way to answering this question as well.

Engaging a Master Builder gives you peace that you are working with someone with a solid reputation, and who is committed to the highest quality of workmanship and materials, so that you get a dream home, or exceptional business premises. They are not alone, but are members of a large network of builders and businesses committed to the same goal.

But there are other reasons why you will be glad you worked with a master builder.

The main one is their guarantee.

The Master Builders 10-Year Guarantee

Master Builders state that the Master Build 10-Year Guarantee protects a homeowner when renovating or building a home. The Guarantee covers the homeowner for ten years and starts at the time they sign the contract. 

The Master Builders guarantee ensures that you, as the building owner, are protected for 10 years, regardless of whether the builder is still in business.

Further, Master Builders state that they are one of the only organisations that provide this level of cover. 

“The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee has protected more than 140,000 homes over the past 25 years. Whether your new build or renovation is big or small, our guarantee can be tailored to suit your needs.”

The Master Build Guarantee is proportionate to the size and cost of your build, and usually costs less than 1% of the total build cost.

Master Builders describe four main aspects of their guarantee.

  • Loss of Deposit cover protects you if your builder is unable to complete your building work and you lose your deposit. 
  • Non-Completion cover protects you if your builder is unable to complete the building work, and you have to pay more than the original contract price to get your work finished. It also covers you if any remedial work needs to be done on the work carried out by your builder so far. 
  • Structural Defects cover protects you if an issue with the expected standard of the work carried out by your builder results in Structural Defects to your home, including a problem with the weathertightness of your home (Rot and Fungal Decay).

  • Materials and Workmanship cover protects you if there is a problem with the expected standard of the work carried out by your builder or with the materials that have been used in the building work. 

This guarantee is enough reason alone, to go with a master builder.

But wait, there’s more.

Registered Master Builders House of The Year Awards

You might be wondering how awards given to builders are good for consumers? The simple answer is that this level of competition drives builders to be the best.

Take some time to look through the results of the 2021 House of The Year Awards. You will be amazed! The imagination and inspiration, breathtaking beauty, not to mention the quality and presentation has to be seen to be believed.

Because I live near Hamilton I checked out the Master Builders in Hamilton who featured in the awards, and the homes that were awarded. I was not disappointed.

CARTERS New Home $1 Million – $1.5 Million

CARTERS New Home $1 Million – $1.5 Million

New Home $1.5 Million – $2 Million

Hamilton has had a reputation for being dull and dreary. I take my hat off to the Master Builders in Hamilton that have done so much for so long to turn this around. These homes are bright and beautiful and their awards are well-deserved.

Formula 1 racing drives innovation in cars. Moto GP results in faster, more agile and safer motorcycles.

The Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards creates healthy competition for precision, excellence, creativity and beauty. And we all benefit from it.


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