Homeowner Frequently Asked Questions


Read the Frequently Asked Questions about entering your home.

Click here to read some information about why you should support your builder in applying for House of the Year.


The Registered Master Builders House of the Year is the building industry’s most prestigious competition. As your Registered Master Builder is considering entering your property in this competition, you may want to know what this will mean for you.

Thank you for choosing to work with a Registered Master Builder, we value your ongoing commitment to building excellence

Who can enter the House of the Year?
The competition is open to Registered Master Builders members only.

What categories are available?
There are 3 Renovation and 6 New Home categories based on price, a Show Home, a Builder’s Own Home category and a Multi-Unit category for apartments, duplexes and terrace housing.

There are also four national Lifestyle Awards. These are the Bathroom Excellence Award, Kitchen Excellence Award, the Outdoor Living Excellence Award and the Sustainable Excellence Award. Some regions will also offer a local Lifestyle Award which every property within that region will automatically be entered.  

Can my property be entered both the existing new home categories and the Group/Volume Builder categories in the same year?
No, it can’t. The builder must choose which category they wish to enter but it cannot be both.

Do I need a Master Build Guarantee to enter?
Whilst it is now a requirement by law for a client to be offered a guarantee, if you didn’t accept one or were asked to complete a guarantee waiver, we will need you to provide a copy of the waiver or a letter stating that you chose not to take a guarantee and wish to have your home entered the competition. Guarantees cannot be issued retrospectively.

How do you protect my privacy?
The competition is designed to protect your privacy. This competition is all about profiling and promoting your Registered Master Builder. As such we do not require you or your family to participate in any form of publicity. We only require access to your home for judging and photography. The photography will be used in a range of promotional activities including the House of the Year Magazines, website, displays boards and competition collateral, media as well as by sponsors. All photos taken will be uploaded onto the House of the Year website.

Will my house be in the media?
House of the Year celebrates and recognizes the workmanship of the builders. We aim to gain some media attention for the builder, and this means homes may be featured across a variety of media channels – print, online and TV. We also never disclose the owners’ information to the media. Media are also told not to publish the address of the home, including any photos where the location can be identified. All photos taken of the home will be released to media throughout the competition. Media are invited to attend regional judging, but only when the judge is judging the property.

If your home is a winner in either regional or national stages, or is unique and interesting for TV, broadcast media may wish to visit the home. This is entirely up to you; however, it’s important to know that media opportunities are highly valuable to your builder, opening them up to more opportunities in the industry. In all media opportunities, owners are not required to be interviewed. However, if you wish to be part of any media interviews (broadcast), our media team can assist you in any preparation for this.

What is 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 that your builder achieved 75% of the points available, a Silver Award means they achieved 82.5% of the points available and a Gold Award is 90% of the points available.

How does my builder become a Top 100 Finalist?
The Top 100 Awards are given to the three highest Gold Award scorers in each category with the balance of the Top 100 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. Top 100 (a maximum of 100 Residential Gold Award winners) are then re-judged by a new national panel to determine national winners.

When does the judging begin?
Judging will be undertaken by a national panel 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 Top 100 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 Top 100. They move into the national Gold pool and must 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 are eligible.

How many Gold awards are there and how can I find out how close my property was or why it 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 criterion compared to others in their category in their Branch; and the average Top 100. This is provided via a bar graph.

When is the Regional House of the Year awards night?
Your builder will be able to provide this information for you so please feel free to ask. They take place in July and August each year.

When is the National House of the Year national gala?
The awards are held in November each year. Please see here for the current date.

Why can’t non-Registered Master Builders enter?
This is a unique membership benefit and marketing opportunity developed by and for Registered Master Builders.

If a builder joins RMBA, can they enter this year?
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.


Registered Master Builders can enter House of the Year and also find Terms and Conditions for the competition on the HOY entry website.