Design Checklist

We have put together a checklist for you to ensure you create a house that is specifically designed for your life at home. We answer some frequently asked questions and follow with a step by step guide to building with us.


Entry’s are very much back and they make the first impression. Always a statement in the older styled homes and we have incorporated them in most of our plans with a generous allowance for a timber entry door.


Have you thought about how you intend to live in the home? Are you looking for open plan living or would you prefer the rooms to be separate with some formal areas?


Do you require a formal separate dining room? Do you entertain? Will it get used or will become the least used most expensively furnished room of the house? Make sure that there is plenty of room around the table for the chairs to all be pushed back.


Often considered the most important room in the house and usually the room where the most design time is spent. We introduce you to our Kitchen designing specialists and after listening to your ideas they will provide three-dimensional drawings with quotes so you can make an informed decision. Scullery’s are back and can save a lot of costs as they reduce the need for overhead cupboards, pantry’s and shelving within the main kitchen units.


What size do you require your bedroom to be and is it going to be used as a parents retreat as well? Do you want a walk-in wardrobe / walk through wardrobe or are you happy with cupboards? Do you want a bath in the ensuite?


Is there any reason why all bedrooms are made the same size as each other. Could you have some rooms larger than others? Teenagers require more storage and space than small children, will this home need to accommodate a growing family? Do these rooms need walk in wardrobes?


How many do you want? Would a separate shower room help with the morning rush of a family going their separate ways?


Do you require a bassinette in the separate W.C.? If visitors are using the main W.C. make sure it is placed where they don’t have to walk through the entire house to access it.


Are you going to be able to provide room to keep all those things that never seem to find a proper home like the vacuum cleaner and the brooms? Do you need to house a pram or wheelchair? Would you like a coats cupboard? A walk in linen cupboard is becoming very popular again and another return to an old idea.


Infiniti gas hot water is great for a family and ensures you never run out of hot water. If gas is not piped onto the site then you can use bottled gas. Gas hot water is not considered any cheaper to run than electric. Hot water cylinders today are so well insulated that they give off no heat and therefore can no longer be used as the airing cupboard.


Is it to be attached? We try to avoid the common trap where the garage is the main feature of the home and totally dominates the design. What are the requirements for parking and turning? Is the garage simply for vehicle storage or do you want it to have other uses such as: laundry, gym, storage, working from home? Where do you plan on storing your lawn mower, bikes, tools etc?


Do you want extra insulation/sound proofing inside your home between the bedroom and living rooms, bathrooms, laundry? There is a big trend towards insulating the garage and then it can be used more effectively for other purposes.


Is it your intention to create separate living space for adults and children? Do you need the master bedroom away from the other bedrooms?


Our plans come standard with a 2.7 high stud which gives you the feeling of spaciousness. Most have French doors opening onto the verandahs. Make sure that you consider the placement of furniture when having French doors. Bay windows and window seats add depth to the room and are a suntrap and very inexpensive extra seating they are yet another return to an old idea.

Step by step guide to building your new home with Alena Homes

A brief outline of our design and build process.
Step 1.
At your initial enquiry you will be provided with plans that fit the criteria you have outlined to us. You will also be given a price list and a list of addresses of some of our finished homes so that you can drive past at your leisure.
Step 2.
Lena-Jane and Helen are available at our office or your home to discuss your ideas further and to give you cost estimates on any changes you may wish to make.
Step 3.

Alena Homes offers site visits at no charge or obligation to help you decide which design fits bests and suits the north aspect.

Step 4.

Once we have established a design that suits you we provide an obligation free sketch drawing and quote.

Step 5.

If you are happy with the design and the quote then we engage our draughtsman to provide preliminary drawings. Once we have satisfied your requirements a plan deposit is taken and we proceed to full working drawings.

Step 6.

The contracts are drawn up in conjunction with the full working drawings and once you have executed the contract (signed it and paid 10%) we lodge for building consent.

Step 7.

Building Consent takes 20 working days and during that time we will assist you through the process of selecting all your fixtures, colour schemes, plumbing hardware, and kitchen design.

Step 8.

The site preparation is done while we await building consent. Concrete foundations and slabs are done after consent issues. The frames and trusses are delivered and erected. This takes approximately 2 weeks.

Step 9.

The roofer is next on site. Once the roof is on the builders are able to ‘close in’ which is exterior sheathing, windows and doors. This stage takes approximately 4 weeks.

Step 10.

When the house is closed in we move inside and the gib-board is fixed and stopped. We allow 4-5 weeks depending on the size of the house and the weather as in the cooler months it can take a few days for each coat of stopping compound to dry.

Step 11.

While the builders and Stoppers are working inside and depending on the weather our decorators start on the exterior.

Step 12.

The interior finishings are then done by the builder; Skirtings, architraves, shelving etc, followed by the installation of the kitchen joinery. The decorators now need 2-3 weeks to complete the interior.

Step 13.

The plumber and electrician return to fit off the appliances and fixtures.

Step 14.

Flooring is laid the home is cleaned ready for handover.

* We estimate between 16 and 22 weeks from after we have poured the slab till we hand you the keys. The variants to that are the size of home and weather conditions.


Alena Homes Ltd is a Waikato based residential building company which is owned and managed by Helen Fenwick and daughter Lena-Jane Walls.


New Home Builders Waikato
Traditional Home Builders
Character House Builders
Villa Builders Waikato


Office Location:
146 Ulster Street,

Postal Address:
PO Box 19006,
Hamilton 3244


Office: (07) 838 3928
Follow Us: