MODBOX FAQs

Location & Site

Is Modbox able to supply or build throughout NZ?


We are currently only completing builds in Central Otago & Southland but are in the process of fine-tuning our systems so we can manage projects from afar. Prior to this, we are reluctant to take on remote work at this stage.




Can you send a kit overseas to be built by local builders?


Not at the moment. The Triboard kit plus some of the accessories can fit into a 20 foot container leaving the rest of the kit to be supplied locally or delivered in extra containers from NZ. We are interested in helping supply affordable buildings to the islands and are currently working on the logistics to make this possible.




Are Modbox builds suitable for coastal areas?


Yes Modbox can build on coastal areas and appropriate specification and finishes will be selected that are suitable for these areas and as per the district plan.




Can you design and build in Jacks Point, Queenstown?


We have not built in Jacks Point before however we are able to by using a registered architect for this area.




Is it the same price to build in all Central Otago locations?


Yes the cost is the same for all locations in Central Otago.




Can you build on steep sites?


Queenstown is renowned for steep, rocky sites and we have tackled some of the best! Our Modbox’s can be built on any type of foundation and ground testing is done to ensure the correct foundations are designed for the site and ground conditions. Click here for more information on ground testing.




Are all Modbox homes built on site or are they built and transported to site (prefabricated)?


Our buildings are built in a workshop as prefabricated modules. They will then be transported to site and lifted into the site by crane. The buildings can also be designed to be relocated at a later date if required. This would be discussed during the design phase.




Do you take care of house removal in preparation for the new build?


We do not do this ourselves however we can recommend a company to you if this is required.





Planning

I am wanting to do an extension on my existing house. Do you do this sort of thing?


Generally, we are only able to supply complete building kits but this can be discussed further with the design team.




Do you have a completed open home available to walk through?


No, Modbox currently does not have a showhome, however we have many completed builds in Central Otago that can be viewed from the outside. Inside viewing by appointment only. Please contact us for the address list.




We are looking to buy a section - are you able to offer any advice at this early stage?


Remember we are not real estate agents which can offer you the best advice in this task. However here are some tips to help you buy the right section suited to our designs: - Visit the site and try to visualise one of our designs on the site. - Ask the realtor for a site plan with dimensions. - Look at our overall dimensions on our house design pages. - Check that the design will fit on the section (allow for setbacks - one at 4.5m at the front boundary and three at 2m. (This is just an estimate of setbacks and will need to be confirmed during the design phase). - Here is a helpful guide by ASB bank which might give you some tips on buying a section. Good luck on your purchase!




What is the process for a site visit to our section to see if this build is possible and feasible?


We ask you to you to go through our inquiry process so you have all of the information you need about our company. Click here to start this process. Once you have completed an inquiry we will then get in touch with you. We can organise a visit to your site to see if A) Modbox is right for you and B) if your site is suitable for a Modbox.




Can I add a second dwelling to my property?


This would be something to check with your local council and we would confirm during the design phase with a Due Diligence Report completed by a planner. Often when a second kitchen sink or laundry is incorporated in the design, it will be classed as a residential flat and trigger resource consents and/or development contributions. Refer to this fact sheet by the Queenstown Lakes District Council on residential flats for more information.




Do we need to organise the building consent application ourselves?


No, this is all taken care of during our design phase by the design team. They will prepare and submit the council documents including the working drawings, engineering documents and a full project specification.





Pricing

Do you have a per square metre price?


No, each price listed is for the standard kit and then depending on the site you situate it on whether it be a flat or hill section will need to be priced independently.




How cost effective are Modbox designs?


Modbox designs are extremely cost-effective because they save approximately two-thirds of the labour content to construct buildings with compared to traditional timber framing construction.




How does the pricing structure work?


Once we have your working drawings completed, we can offer you a fixed price contract, in order for you to apply for financing. Depending on your specific lending circumstances, your lender may or may not front the finance for the design phase of the project. This often works in direct correlation with your Loan to Value Ratio on the borrowing. Please ensure you have the facility in place to fund the design phase whether this be through a lender or finances set aside. We can include the design costs within the final fixed price contract, however, we cannot offer the fixed price until the drawings are complete. The inclusion in the fixed price contract should allow you to claim these costs back from your lender as part of the claim process and incorporate them into the overall project/mortgage cost. Please also be aware that the following items will also need to be included in the design phase budget and do not form part of the overall house design estimates on our website.

  • Engineering. Further details required from Architect to lock in a quotation
  • Quantity Survey/Pricing/Admin Labour
  • BRANZ (Building Research Association NZ) Levy (Paid directly by the client)
  • Department of Building & Housing (DHB) Levy (Paid directly by the client)
  • Building Consent (inc PIM) Deposit (Paid directly by the client)
  • Resource Consent Application Deposit and Planning Fees (If required. A quotation will be supplied by the planner and paid directly by the client).




How does the payment structure work?


A payment schedule is provided in your building agreement which outlines progress payment amounts and when they will be billed.




Is it the same price for the 3 roof style options - Mono, flat and gable?


The flat roof is the most expensive and the Mono and Gable are around the same price. Cladding selections can effect the price for the roofing also.




Is there any cost saving on the pricing when you do multiple units?


There will be a cost saving in the design phase if the designs are similar and can be copied. If the units are built simultaneously then there would be significant savings during the construction phase as well.




What does the pricing exclude?


Our website pricing excludes the following but is not limited to:

  • Foundation costs - this is site dependant and only estimated in our website pricing
  • Resource Consent fees (if applicable to your project)
  • Earthworks Consent fees (if applicable to your project)
  • Development Contributions
  • Planning Fees
  • Topographical Plan
  • Geotechnical Reports
  • Changes to Modbox Designs which incur extra costs as stated in FAQ "How much flexibility is there with changing the designs on your website"
  • Consultants’ fees are not included and will be charged directly to you, these could include Structural Engineer, Fire Engineer, Wastewater Engineer, Planner, Feasibility studies or any other consultants (if applicable to your project).
  • Rock Breaking, excavation and fill removal from site
  • Landscaping and driveways including design
  • Crossing formation
  • Decking and Balustrades
  • Reticulated gas connection & meter install by service provider
  • Power service provider fees
  • Power supply charges to site during the build
  • Telecoms connection fees by service provider
  • Utilities connections to the site
  • Potable water and on site waste water treatment systems
  • Installation of non-fixed appliances e.g. washers/dryers/fridge/TV
  • Window coverings
  • Disbursements such as prints, photocopying, binding, and travel
  • Stamford 10 year Building warranty insurance from the date of practical completion can be added for a premium based on the specific cost of your project





Design, Specification & Inclusions

Do you build Modbox buildings on piles or concrete slabs?


Yes, Modbox houses can be built on any type of foundation and ground testing is done to ensure the correct foundations are designed for the site and ground conditions. Click here for more information on ground testing and foundations.




How much flexibility is there with changing the standard designs?


We have carefully designed our homes to accommodate our unique panel board system. Because the panels are available in only one size, we have designed the modules to maximise the use of the board as efficiently as possible. For this reason we only permit minor changes to the design of our homes, in order to keep build costs reasonable and sustainable. Our standard wall height is 2450mm and due to our panel system we cannot go higher than this. However we have found that increasing the exterior windows and doors to full height give a sense of a higher ceiling and let in a lot more natural light. Changes to our Modbox Designs that are acceptable with minimal cost:

  • Moving exterior joinery including entry door
  • Changing sizes of windows (maximum size without requiring engineering)
  • Changing to full height exterior doors/windows (maximum size without requiring engineering)
  • Mirroring plan/part of plan
  • Overall length of building
  • Insulation
Optional Extras available:
  • 3D views for a custom design
  • BimX Virtual File for walk through
  • Adding features to the exterior - cladding, cedar fascia, pergola etc
  • Landscape design including decks
  • Different Interior door type - barn slider etc
  • Additional wall linings - ply etc
  • Changing to non standard wall & roof cladding
  • Changing to non standard balustrades
  • Changing to non standard decking timber
  • Changing to a non standard entry door style/garage door style/locks
  • Changing to non standard floor coverings
  • Changing to non standard heating options
  • Changing to non standard interior joinery design/specs
  • Changing to non standard hardware
  • Changing to non standard paint colours including wall, interior trims, soffits and ceiling
  • Changing to non standard plumbing fittings including all tapware, vanities, sinks, showers etc
  • Changing to non standard electrical items - switchgear, heaters, ventilation
  • Changing to non standard light fittings
  • Changing to non standard appliances
Different designs or parts of designs can be placed together for larger custom projects to suit your individual needs. This would be a custom design and estimated costs can only be provided, if requested, once the concept is complete. Our design team can help to make this process very stress free. Keep posted for new design releases.




Can Modbox designs be joined to make different configurations?


Different designs or parts of designs can be placed together for larger custom projects to suit your individual needs. This would be a custom design and estimated costs can only be provided, if requested, once the concept is complete.Our design team can help to make this process very stress free. Also refer to the question above regarding ‘How much flexibility is there with changing the standard designs’.




How much flexibility is there with adding or changing windows in the designs?


Moving windows, entry door or changing window sizes including to full height (maximum size without requiring engineering) can be changed. Our standard wall height is 2450mm and due to our panel system we cannot go higher than this. However we have found that increasing the exterior windows and exterior doors to full height give a sense of a higher ceiling and let in a lot more natural light. Refer to the FAQ above on “How much flexibility is there with changing the standard designs”




Do you have any 2 storey designs?


We don’t have any standard 2 storey design options however we can build a standard design on top of a suitable basement construction such as masonry block and include an internal staircase if required. This would be a custom design and estimated costs can only be provided, if requested, once the concept is complete. Our design team can help to make this process very stress free.




Can Modbox buildings be clad in anything?


Our designs have been priced with specific cladding options. However, Modbox designs can be clad in a material of your choice for extra cost, and can be discussed further during the design phase.




What is included in the standard designs?


Our builds include everything so the house will be ready to move into once construction is complete. We organise everything from kitchens to plumbing fittings and everything in between! Please refer to our finishes page to give you an idea of our standard fittings and finishes. See FAQ under Pricing for 'What does the pricing exclude'




What insulation do you use?


For information on the insulation we use please click here




How much flexibility is there with changing the standard specification?


Our designs have been priced with our standard specification options. However, you can have anything of your your choice for extra cost, and can be discussed further during the design phase. Our trusted finishes and fittings are all of high quality and we continue to use them because of this. For more information on our specifications see FAQ above on “What is included in the standard designs”.




Can I take some items out of the contract and supply them myself such as the kitchen or plumbing fittings?


We would need to confirm this during the design phase depending on what the items are you are wanting to supply. We take no responsibility for stock supply or warranty issues for items taken out of our building contracts. We will need confirmation that items will be on site in the time required to suit our construction schedule and to not cause costly delays to the project. Our standard kitchens start at $9455 + gst.




Are your designs sustainable?


At Modbox, we strive to incorporate sustainable practices and products that are energy efficient, help reduce environmental impact and are engineered with high quality whilst providing you with a home that will be comfortable and affordable to run. Our panelboard is produced locally from the Aupouri forest which was planted as a way to prevent erosion of the sand dunes in Northland, eventually becoming a large commercial forest. We use water-efficient fittings and energy-efficient appliances as well as Knauf Insulation which is an Earthwool Glasswool product that comes with a Global GreenTag which is acknowledging the world's best certified eco products. Passive sustainability such as site orientation, natural cross ventilation and thermal mass are developed during the design phase. There are numerous products available on the market including thermally broken aluminium joinery and solar power heating options that can be included for extra cost.





Timeframes

How long will the project take from start to finish?


Concept 2 - 4 weeks depending on architect availability. Developed Design 4 - 10 weeks from completion of the concept Engineering 2 – 3 weeks (during the developed design) Building Consent 25 working days (including 5 days for Requests For Information)This is open to change depending on the current workload of the Council. Resource Consent (if required) 20 working days. This is open to change depending on the current workload of the Council. House Construction (works on site) 14-20 weeks (including 4 weeks contingency/receipt of Code Compliance). For rural locations, steep sections and basement level additions this could extend by 2 - 8 weeks. The design phase may be more simple and quick if you own a flat section and make no changes to the design and specification.