More exemptions from consents for DIY home building projects

The Government has announced a reduction in costs and bureaucratic red tape for DIY and home builders doing small safe projects, leaving councils to concentrate on bigger jobs.

Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres – such as sleep-outs, sheds and greenhouses; carports; awnings; water storage bladders and others will now not require a Council-approved building consent.

This seems like a very sensible change as long as it exempts enough small home jobs..


Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker on larger projects to provide jobs and assist the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

The Government is introducing new exemptions to the Building Act in a move save homeowners $18 million in consenting costs each year, though building work must still meet the Building Code, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa announced today.

“These changes will save New Zealanders time and money and mean councils can focus on higher-risk building work, boosting the building and construction sector in the COVID-19 recovery,” Jenny Salesa said.

“Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres – such as sleep-outs, sheds and greenhouses; carports; awnings; water storage bladders and others will now not require a Council-approved building consent, which will result in 9000 fewer consents to process a year.

“Some of the new exemptions will utilise the Licensed Builder Practitioners scheme, which recognises the competence of these building practitioners and allows them to join chartered professional engineers and certifying plumbers in having their own suite of exemptions.

“Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home, and this Government is finding ways to help build more houses by unclogging the building consent process, making it quicker and more affordable.

“These exemptions are just one part of my broader building system reform programme, which includes Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan, the Construction Skills Action Plan, and Building Law reforms,” Jenny Salesa said.

Most of the new exemptions are expected to commence at the end of August, after the necessary changes to the Building Act have been made.

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  24th May 2020

    I think the previous exemption of floor area was tiny , something like 7sq m?
    30 m2 allows say 5 x6 m , a much better size

    Reply
  2. Pink David

     /  24th May 2020

    This is a positive move. More of this needed.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  24th May 2020

      The council bureaucrats will hate this. They love their power over the ‘little people.’
      However, they will make up for that slight when they give the dwelling an inspection once finished.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th May 2020

        True, the Devil might be in the detail, as yet we’ve not seen it. But does there need to be an inspection?

        And some council bureaucrates themselves might be glad of a reduction in workload.

        When our downstairs loo+shower+bathroom was remodelled into a wheel-in or walk-in loo & shower room the concrete floor needed to be jackhammered up, wall cladding ripped off, rewiring, substantial in-wall re-plumbing, re-cladding, some rebuilding work, adjacent storage cupboard depth-shortened.

        The builder came in to check the apprentice’s work. He rang the council inspector to say it was ok (presume paperwork involved somewhere) & then he asked him when was the plumbing inspector due – he wanted to close up the walls & get moving to another job; flat out doing alterations.

        Next thing he was saying: “Yep, all the plumbing looks ok to me”. “So you can get him to sign that off too, & I can close up & finish?. Ok, great. We’ll finish up here tomorrow. Thanks mate. bye.”

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  24th May 2020

          PS: I was glad to see them go. A rat got in through a hole they left in the foundation wall despite my telling them to block it up every night. The new concrete floor took 3 weeks to dry, instead of 2, so the room was out of commission for longer than expected. And I’ve had water-hammer ever since.

          Reply
          • Wot’s that ?

            The charge for awnings, even shade sails, is totally ignored, I think. It was $250 as I remember, and that was years ago. A friend who was on the council thought that we were having him on about this rule; he coudn’t believe that they’d charge $250 to approve a $25 shade sail that needed three hooks to install.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  24th May 2020

              Here’s a quick explanation – with a possible solution I can try.

            • Is it like when the pipes shudder and make knocking noises after an outage ?

            • Gezza

               /  24th May 2020

              Yes. If I run my kitchen sink tap at full open valve (as I normally do when, eg washing dishes, we have really good water pressure here & I have a large sink), then some time later I run the bathroom vanity tap full bore too, I get water-hammer. The pipes between them bang. Usually just once, but it’s annoying, & one day I may have to get the cladding removed if a leak develops. This water-hanmer has only happened since the bathroom alteration.

            • Gezza

               /  24th May 2020

              The shower had to be moved from one end of the long room to the other & the loo had to be moved about two feet in the opposite direction from where it was. So there was a helluva lot of extra piping & joint work that had to be put in.

  3. Gezza

     /  24th May 2020

    Sounds good. Seems a competent Labour Minister’s got something moving on some commonsense stuff.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th May 2020

      Jenny Salesa probably underrated. Seems to me to be a smart, focussed cookie & a good communicator on the teev.

      Reply
  4. Sleepouts need to be checked, I think, They have people living in them.
    I hope that there will be some checks on these to make sure that they meet basic standards.

    This move wouldn’t be meant to be a vote-catcher, of course.

    Reply
  5. Gerrit

     /  24th May 2020

    Whilst you may not need a building consent, you will still need a code compliance certificate from council if you want to sell a property. Not sure how you are going to get code compliance without regular council inspections and sign offs.

    “Whatever your building project, if a building consent is required the building work will need to be inspected for compliance. Inspections ensure that each stage of the building work meets the requirements of the approved plans and specifications. Inspections occur at regular stages throughout the building process and allow the Building Officers to gather enough information to issue the Code Compliance Certificate when the project is completed.”

    https://www.buildwaikato.co.nz/most-popular/building-consents/inspections-certification/

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  24th May 2020

      Registered builder certifies it as code compliant.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th May 2020

        Sounds right, & sensible. On 1News they showed a young builder & his wife, pleased that he could now get on & finish building or renovating the sleepout in their newly acquired older home. himself. Mention was made of how complex the Code is & he said that was why, when he wasn’t sure of anything, he asked his boss.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  24th May 2020

      Why do you need a code compliance certificate if you want to sell a property? My rule is if you like it buy it, if you don’t f.o.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  25th May 2020

        You dont need CC to sell , just the buyers lawyer and banks want the protections that a CC gives.
        You are welcome to buy it if you overide the lawyers advice and dont need the banks money. But the lawyer would say when it comes time to sell you could find a buyer who then drops out because they listen to their lawyer. Those FO’s are money walking away only leaving the value buyers

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  25th May 2020

          The value is the same. I can do without buyers who need a nurse.

          Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  24th May 2020

    Reading the Herald article it’s not much of a release. You still have to meet the Building Code which is probably about the size of a small library by now and gets added to monthly. The bureaucracy rolls on regardless.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s