Frequently asked questions

To assist you with questions that are commonly asked we have compiled answers and resources to help you initially.

How secure is my deposit?

The Chaptr process ensures that the buyer's deposit is kept safe at all times.

Buyer's deposit remains in the solicitor's trust account until such time as the section title becomes available. Standard legal settlement processes follow whereby the buyer completes the purchase of the section and staged payments commence to the building company for the house construction.

Can I use my Kiwisaver?

Yes, absolutely! Normal Kiwisaver and Homestart Grants rules apply.

Homestart information here. For more information, please visit:

Do I need a lawyer?

Yes, it’s important to get your own legal advice before you sign anything.

We recommend you find a lawyer or conveyancer to help you through the buying process. Choose a lawyer or conveyancer before you set out to buy a property – buying can be a fast-moving process.

Both lawyers and registered conveyancers can carry out property transactions (also referred to as 'conveyancing'). Choose a lawyer or a conveyancer based on your budget and the complexity of the purchase transaction. A lawyer is better placed to deal with more complex transactions and any legal issues, for example, any personal, business or financial factors.

Sale and purchase agreements are legally binding documents, and you should consult your lawyer or conveyancer before signing them.

How to find a property lawyer or conveyancer:

Do you use accredited builders?

Yes, all builders Chaptr Group Ltd have partnered with are NZ Registered, and Master Builder, Certified Builder Members or equivalent. Your build will be covered by The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee or Halo 10 Year Residential Guarantee Insurance or equivalent.

Guaranteed peace of mind:

Your home build is most likely the biggest investment of your lifetime. Make sure you protect it.

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.

Master Build Guarantee is designed to ensure you have the protection you need, whatever the size of your building project:

  • Loss of Deposit and Non-Completion: while you’re still building our Guarantee protects your deposit and covers you for non-completion and remedial work (you can choose to opt out of this cover).
  • Workmanship and Materials: your project is covered for defects in workmanship and materials for two years after your building work is completed.
  • Structural Defects: you’re protected for any structural defects including weather tightness issues (rot and fungal decay) for 10 years from the date your Guarantee is accepted.
  • Temporary Accommodation: if your home is unable to be lived in after it has been completed as a result of the damage in your claim, you will be covered for costs and expenses relating to removal, storage and alternative accommodation needed to a maximum value of $10,000.

In the unlikely event that something does go wrong with your home build or renovation, Registered Master Builders will help resolve any issues and finish your home to highest standard.

Only a Registered Master Builder can offer you the peace of mind of a Master Build 10-Year Guarantee.

New Zealand Certified Builders:

Our work is fully guaranteed


NZCB member builders have got your back when it comes to protecting your biggest investment, your home.

They have partnered with one of the largest insurance underwriters in the world, Lloyd's of London, to bring you Halo – the most comprehensive 10 year residential building guarantee on the market. It’s a unique, independent building cover that's only available to people who build or renovate with an NZCB approved builder.

Rest assured that in the unlikely event something happens to your builder or NZCB itself during your building project, you won't be out of pocket. Plus, if you sell your property within 10 years, the guarantee automatically passes over to the new owner.

What are you covered for?

  • Loss of deposit.
  • Extra costs to complete the dwelling.
  • Structural defects for 10 years including weather tightness.
  • Non-structural defects for ten years.
  • Alternative accommodation requirements.

Moving into your new or renovated home should be hassle-free and rewarding. With an NZCB approved builder, you’ll get just that. Our builders are the best in the business with a solid reputation built on the highest standard of knowledge, skills and expertise.

**It is very important to be aware that engaging a member of NZCB does not automatically mean that you will have the backing of the Halo policy. Documentation must be completed with your builder and submitted to the insurer. Confirmation of cover being in place is your receipt of a Halo 10 Year Residential Guarantee Policy Schedule.

What does TC mean?

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (which incorporates the previous Department of Building and Housing) has developed three technical categories for residential foundation design. These categories will set out the foundation design requirements required on flat land in the green zone in greater Christchurch. Information about all Technical Categories is available on the CCC website.

The conditions will apply where repairs to foundations are required, or when foundation works are carried out, such as in a building extension. For more information on implications for building consents consult the local council, building consent department

Technical Category 1 (TC1)

TC1 properties are unlikely to experience land damage from liquefaction in future large earthquakes and ground settlement is expected to be within normal levels. Standard foundations for concrete slabs and timber floors are acceptable.

Technical Category 2 (TC2)

It is possible TC2 properties may suffer minor to moderate land damage from liquefaction in future large earthquakes. Lightweight construction will be required, for example tin not tiled roofs, or enhanced foundations such as stiffer floor slabs that better tie the structure together.

Technical Category 3 (TC3)

For TC3 properties, moderate to significant land damage from liquefaction is possible in future large earthquakes. Foundation solutions are required to be based on site-specific geotechnical investigation and specific engineering foundation design. This might involve deep pile solutions.

What does Site Coverage mean?

Site coverage is usually a percentage of the section, which can be built on. For example 40% site coverage means on a section of 541m2, house could be up to 216.4m2. 55% site coverage means section of 326m2, house could be up to 179.3m2.

What do I need to do first if I want to build a house?

Begin saving and join Kiwisaver as soon as possible. Live within your budget/income. Say no to credit cards unless you are very disciplined and pay off monthly. You need to build your team to support you throughout the process, lawyer, bank/mortgage broker, Chaptr salesperson, friends and family. Referrals from friends and family can be very helpful.

Should I sell my existing house first?

It is usually best to sell first, so you sell for the best possible price, without pressure. You are then a cash buyer and you will know how much money you have to spend. You can usually use your strong financial position to negotiate a better deal for you!

When choosing a House and Land Package, what should I consider?

While home ownership is exciting and fun, there are some big things to figure out first. Discuss your long term goals, look to the future. Do you need to factor family and/or pets into your planning, your time and inclination to maintain garden? Once you have answered the big questions it is much easier to choose the Chaptr House and Land Package that will suit your lifestyle.

What do you need to do while your house is being built?

Watching your home build progress is exciting. While the builders are busy, you will need to organise insurance (ensure you have contents insurance that covers you while moving), utility connections (broadband, phone, power), redirect mail, arrange moving company (or friends and family!). Builder will hand over keys once Local Council has issued Code of Compliance and final inspection and settlement of money has taken place.

How can parents help children onto the property ladder?

Encourage children to save from an early age and join them up with Kiwisaver. Teach budgeting, regular savings and living within your income.

There are a few ways you can help and support once children are settled, have a good work history and responsible enough to get on the property ladder.

  • Provide a cash contribution to enable them to have enough deposit.
  • Provide a guarantee secured against your property, costs you nothing, but you do need legal advice and a child that realises the implications for you, so parents are not at too great a risk. Once the family member's property has increased in value and/or they have sufficient equity in the property you can then be released from the gaurantee by the bank. Usually after 2-5 years.
  • Buy a suitable property and children rent to buy from parents. The rent paying parents costs, money, rates, insurance. Once a certain time or amount of rent has been paid the property can be financed by children through Kiwisaver, Home Start Grant and Bank lending.

There are numerious variations and they can be explored with your bank or mortgage advisor.