With major renovations often costing more than building from scratch, more home owners -- who are fond of their location but not their house -- are turning to a "remove and rebuild" service.

Jalcon's sales and marketing manager Andrew Olsen says: "It's a growing trend because the cost of renovating often ends up being more than the cost of building new. The cost per metre to renovate is often twice the cost of building new -- plus the home-owner commonly has to accept compromises if they renovate.

"Increasing land values have also helped make this service popular.

"We're doing a lot of work in places such as Pt Chevalier and Remuera where land values are high and houses may be older. People there are deciding they want a modern aesthetic and a modern lifestyle in a lovely location.


"The big thing we hear is we make the whole process easy. We've got about 50 of these remove and rebuild projects on the go at any one time, so we know what we're doing."

Jalcon Homes is a member of the Registered Master Builders Association; and is a family-owned business that has been operating for 20 years.

It is not a franchise, giving clients the financial assurance and peace-of-mind that the buck stops with them.

Olsen estimates about half their remove and rebuild clients have recently bought a property for its location, knowing the home will be unsuitable. The others have generally outgrown a house they've lived in for some time. They include owners of leaky buildings, often built in sought-after locations, who find it's more economic to rebuild than re-clad.

He says another thing clients appreciate is a fixed price cost agreed up front, with typical renovation budgets known regularly to be exceeded by 20 per cent or more.

"We can save home owners cost, time and make the whole process easy. We can answer the questions they didn't even know to ask."

The process starts with one of Jalcon's staff visiting the property for a free site assessment to establish what the options and issues are. Staff can be on site within 48 hours of being called.

Then Jalcon staff work with property owners to determine budgets, project feasibility and home design.


They offer a complete build package with a fixed price contract, working drawings and organises all requirements such as building and resource consents.

A dedicated project manager coordinates the building of the new home. Owners also get unlimited complimentary exterior-interior design advice and colour consulting from Jalcon's in-house designers, Duo Design, who Andrew describes as being adept at "creating the wow factor" in homes.

Jalcon's expertise includes advising whether it's better to demolish an existing home or remove it, given removal often doesn't cost anything if someone's interested in taking it.

Jalcon, unlike some other building companies, don't have standard plans and so don't need to shoehorn people into some 'one size fits all' solution.

"We work with our clients to give them the home of their dreams that fits their budget and fits into their local neighbourhood," says Olsen.

"We create all sorts of homes. They can be as eco-friendly or as future-proofed as a customer wants. We built a two-storey double bay villa on a prime corner site in Pt Chevalier -- I've heard people say: 'Oh, that's the original farmhouse'.

"We have all sorts of clients for this service including young families, empty nesters and older couples whose home no longer meets their needs. We're the contractor, designer and builder for them, and they can have as much or as little input into the process as they want."

He says they've heard horror stories about home owners who've tried to manage an entire demolition or removal and re-build process themselves -- thinking they'll save a few thousand dollars, only to make mistakes that end up costing them hundreds of thousands.

"Unfortunately you don't know what you don't know and all the internet searching in the world won't compare to the knowledge of experience. We also understand the cost implications of any decisions."

Jalcon operate throughout Auckland, from Omaha in the North to Waiuku in the South, and from Maraetai in the East to Huapai out West. The firm not only build homes to replace existing ones; but often build on vacant sections or on subdivided land.

It has won a slew of Master Builders' House of the Year awards and offer the Jalcon Homes' 15 year weather tight warranty in addition to a 10 year Master Builder's guarantee, and a 50 year structural guarantee.

The company has show homes around Auckland open every weekend showcasing the quality of its workmanship with location details on their website. jalconhomes.co.nz