Frequently Asked Questions

When do entries open?
Monday 9 January 2017

When do entries close?
Monday 27 February 2017

Who can enter the House of the Year?
The competition is only open to Registered Master Builders members with the exception of properties that fit into the CARTERS Multi Unit (Apartments/Duplexes/Terrace Housing) category which can be entered by both members and non member construction companies.

How do members enter?
Online at and click on the Enter Now button which will appear on 9th January 2017. You will need your RMB member ID and password.

How do non members enter the CARTERS Multi Unit Apartments/Duplexes/Terrace Housing) category?
Go to the CARTERS Multi Units webpage and download the Entry Form (the Entry Guide for non members appears on this page also as well as other documents you will need). 

What are the benefits – why should I enter?
The House of the Year is the best promotional vehicle available to you to promote your business. Members who have entered in the past say that the awards have directly increased and improved their business. It is also a great way to recognise the quality work of teams, and to host and thank your customers.

What categories are available?
There are 3 Renovation and 8 New Home categories based on price, a Show Home and a Builder’s Own Home category and a pan industry(open to members and non members) CARTERS Multi Unit category. There are also four national Lifestyle Awards.

Some regions will also offer a local Lifestyle Award which every property within that regional will automatically be entered into. View the categories here.

Can I enter into both the existing new home categories and the Group/Volume Builder categories in the same year?
No you cant. You can choose which category you wish to enter but it cant be both. Note that the Group/Volume Builder categories are not eligible for a supreme award but they are eligible for the lifestyle and the craftsmanship awards.

The new CARTERS Multi Unit category is not eligible for either lifestyle, craftsmanship or supreme awards.

How can I be involved if I haven’t built or renovated homes that I want to enter this year?
Even if you have not built a property you want to enter this year, you could still use this as a hosting and marketing opportunity for potential clients and team members, by joining with your colleagues, sponsors, and industry representatives at your local gala dinner. This is a big night for the industry, and those who attend highly rate these functions and the benefits of networking and meeting with others.

Who is my Regional Branch Manager and when is my event?
Refer to the list of RBMs on the competition website.

Do I need a Master Build Guarantee to enter?
Whilst this is highly recommended, if you haven't got one and your client didn’t sign a waiver, you will need to have them complete a letter stating they chose not to take a guarantee and wish to have their home entered into the competition. Guarantees can not be issued respectively.

How do I get a Master Build Guarantee?
Please talk to Master Build Services on 0800 269 119.

How much does it cost to enter and what do I get for my entry fee?
A single pricing structure per entry has been set based on the following for all categories except the pan industry CARTERS Multi Unit category:

· Judging Fee
· Photography
· Full page in regional supplement
· Web profile via HOY website
· Display Board

Cost: $1600 + GST for members

The fee for the CARTERS Multi Unit (Apartments/Duplexex/Terrace Housing)

· Judging Fee
· Full page in regional supplement
· Web profile via HOY website
· Display Board

Cost: $1600 + GST for members
$2100 + GST for non members


What are the Quality Marks?
The Quality Marks are available to Gold, Silver, Bronze Awards, Lifestyle, Craftsmanship and Category Winners, National Gold Reserve Finalists, National Award Winners, Sapphire and Platinum Award Winners.

They are an excellent way to promote your achievements in House of the Year and can be used on a wide variety of material from vehicles to stationery, the possibilities are endless! These will be sent to you via email on the Monday following local events along with a guideline for their use.

What are the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards?
More than one Gold, Silver or Bronze Award can be given in each category. The highest scoring entry in each category shall be the Category Winner, provided the entry attains a minimum Gold standard.

A Bronze Award means you have achieved 75% of the points available, a Silver Award means you have achieved 82.5% of the points available and a Gold Award is 90% of the points available.

How do I become a National Gold Reserve Finalist?
The National Gold Reserve Awards are given to the three highest Gold Award scorers in each category with the balance of the Gold Reserves comprising the next highest Gold Award winning properties, irrespective of the category they are in– these are our national finalists. These recipients then proceed to the national competition with finalists being re-judged by new national judging panels.

How are entries judged?
There are two levels of the competition. Local entries are judged by nationally appointed judging panels. National Gold Reserve Finalists (a maximum of 100 Residential Gold Award winners) are then re-judged by a new national panel to determine national winners.

Note: Both Volume/Group Housing and the CARTERS Multi Unit categories will only be judged once with those results being pooled with the rest of the Gold Award winners to determine GR Status.

When does the judging begin?
Judging will be undertaken by a national panels of two judges (a builder and an architect) from April to June/early July. National judging will be from September to early November.

How is it that some local supreme award winners do not progress to Gold reserve finalist status, when other Gold or category winners do?
Just because a property has won their local Supreme Award that does not mean that they will proceed to Gold Reserve. They move into the national Gold pool and have to stack up against other Gold Awards in their respective category from around New Zealand.

For instance, if a local property won their House of the Year Supreme Award, they could find others in their Branch in other categories go through – but they themselves do not. That is because the others will be in the top three in their own category nationally.

Who is eligible for local Supreme Awards?
All gold medal winners except for the Show Home, Builder’s Own Home, Group/Volume Builder New Home and the CARTERS Multi Unit entries are eligible.

How many Gold awards are there and how can I find out how close I was or why I didn’t make the cut?
At the end of the competition (after the national gala) all entrants will be sent a feedback graph that will show their score against each criteria compared to others in their category in their Branch; and the average Gold Reserve. This is provided via a bar graph.

When is the National House of the Year national gala?
In Auckland in November each year. The date will be advised via the HOY website as soon as its available. For 2017 it is November 25th.

Why should I enter when the same builders win every year?
The judging criteria mean that every entry is judged strictly against the criteria. Just because a builder wins an award one year, does not mean they will the next. Each year a number of local winners and national finalists were first time entrants - you have to be in to win!

I’ve heard that there is some bias in judging - what have you done to fix this?
The judging process eliminates the potential for bias as all entries are judged against a score card by two judges independently. All judging panels are nationally appointed, rigorously briefed and trained to ensure consistent and high levels of judging throughout the country.

Why can’t non Registered Master Builders enter?
This is a unique membership benefit and marketing opportunity developed by and for Registered Master Builders with the exception of the new CARTERS Multi Unit (Apartments/Duplexes/Terrace Housing) Category which is open to all construction companies. 

If a builder joins RMBA, can they enter this year?
A residential property has to have been built with a Master Build Guarantee (if the property is eligible for a Guarantee or have a waiver or letter provided by the homeowner confirming they did not wish to take out a guarantee). New members may enter properties that were not completed at the time they officially became a member. Properties completed prior to membership are not eligible for entry.

As such a new member will need to have completed a property as a member, in order to enter it in this competition.

Why should I join Registered Master Builders when licensing is now in place anyway?
The Registered Master Builders Association offers a considerable number of benefits to you and your business. Used to their maximum benefit, the discounts available to you through your membership can equate to significant savings across the year – in a lot of cases, this can cover the cost of your membership.

Also, Registered Master Builders has a long standing and credible history in the provision of their highly regarded Master Build 10 Year Guarantees; a good reputation with potential customers (we know this from research); and extensive member and marketing benefits, including TV, print, and radio advertising to promote you and your company’s business.

What does it cost to be a Registered Master Builder?
This depends on the category that best suits you and your business. Talk to your local RBM or Regional Service Manager to discuss. You can generally recover the cost of membership annually if you make use of the many membership discounts available to you.

Who do I talk to about joining Registered Master Builders?
In the first instance you should contact your local Branch. You could also call 0800 762 328 or check out the website