Building FAQs

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Building FAQs

  • No. A building for a garage use is constructed to different standards from dwellings. You need to decide what the use of the building is, then build to the standards required. So if you intend to live in a building, it must be built to dwelling standards.

  • Sorry, no we cannot. Check the Yellow Pages and make your own choice.

  • Yes. All plumbing and drainage work requires a building consent. But some minor work is exempt which must be carried out by an approved person refer to guidance document.

  • Electrical and gas work does not normally need a building consent, except for commercial and industrial buildings. Air conditioning systems in commercial and industrial buildings do need building consents.

  • Most building and some demolition work requires a building consent. This includes alterations, additions and new work.

    Building work that does not require a building consent - Schedule 1

    Building work that does not require a building consent - guidance

    But what if my building is very small?

    If the building is less than 10 square metres in size, and has no services in it, and is located at least the height of the building away from any boundary, a consent may not be required. If in doubt, ask the Council's Duty Building Control Officer. All other projects will usually need consent before the work is started.

  • Yes

  • Yes. Fire alarm and detection systems for commercial and industrial buildings all need building consents. So too do sprinklers and similar first aid firefighting systems. You will need to provide smoke detectors throughout your house if you do any building work, even installing a solid fuel heater. No building consent is needed for smoke alarms in detached dwellings.

  • Your designer should work through the New Zealand Building Code to determine this.

    For most single dwellings, no fire wall is needed if all of the building is one metre or more from the boundary and the gutters are more than 650 mm from the boundary.

  • The New Zealand Building Code is a lengthy and complex document that contains information a non-professional may not understand. Unless you know what you are doing, it can be quicker to have the plans prepared by an architect, architectural designer or engineer.

    You can draw your own plans, but they must show all information needed. Thorough investigation of the site and level-taking are all part of the process. Non-professionals who attempt to draw their own plans often become frustrated with the amount of information asked for by Council.

  • Yes

  • Fill out the form application for building consent, complete the application checklist, attach the plans and specifications and lodge them at Council offices. Good plans and specifications detailing all of the work will be required. It is important that fully detailed plans are provided. Your project will be delayed if that is not the case.

    We recommend that you get a Project Information Memorandum first. Complete an application checklist and lodge with the building consent application.

  • Usually less than 20 working days. That time will be extended if the information supplied with the application does not cover the entire job or is incorrect.

    It is very important to lodge good plans and specifications. Delays will occur if poor plans and specifications are provided.

  • The fees vary depending on how big the project is, where it is located and how many inspections are needed. See building consent fees for details.

  • Council does not offer a design service and neither does it give technical advice. You should talk to an architect, architectural designer, engineer or the product manufacturer.

    If you need this advice you should use a professional to draw the plans.

  • Having a leaking home can be very distressing. The remedies and legal position with these is complex. First of all, do not ignore the problem; it will only get worse. Guidance can be found on the Consumer Build web pages - the link is below.

    Leaky home information

  • You should get two building consents. One is for the removal of the building from the original site. The second is to cover its placement on the new site. You may also need a resource consent.

  • No. This information must be available under Section 44A of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). If you are building a new house, or making significant alterations to your existing house, you must apply for a building consent. Building consents contain information such as the applicant's name, address, and the type of building work being undertaken plus plans and specifications. All of this information must be released to any person on request.

    The information is available to the public on Council's web pages.

  • If your house has been flooded then there may be health and safety issues for you and your family. Guidance on restoring a house after flood damage is available from BRANZ. This document has very good information to help you with the clean-up, and also guidance about health matters. Follow the link below to view the guidance.

    Restoring a house after flood damage

  • Contact Council as soon as possible to see if you can pay off the infringement.

    If the infringement is not paid by the date in the notice, you will receive a 28 day reminder.

    See also:

    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
    • What is a Notice to Fix (Section 164)?
    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
  • Any person undertaking building work and the owner of the property involved have committed a breach of the Building Act 2004. It is possible that you will be asked to demolish the work or prove that the building is safe and sanitary. Notice will be issued and prosecution will follow if the notice is not complied with. You may also receive an infringement notice which includes an instant fine.

  • Council has three options:

    1. Extend the timeframe if you show that you genuinely intend to meet requirements of the Notice and that you require more time.
    2. Issue an Infringement Notice (see Infringement Notices) and reissue a new Notice to Fix.
    3. Commence a prosecution for failure to comply with the Notice and for the breach the Notice is requiring you to remedy.

    For more information go to http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-notices-to-fix

    See also:

    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
    • What is a Notice to Fix (section 164)?
    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
  • The infringement fine will be sent to the court for collection (just like a parking ticket fine).

    For more information go to http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bomd-penalties

    See also:

    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What is a Notice to Fix (section 164)?
    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
  • If you receive a Notice to Fix you must follow the actions required within the timeframe set out in the Notice. What you have to do will be outlined in the Notice.

    If you have any questions you should contact the issuing officer as soon as possible.
    If you want to dispute the notice, you can apply for a Determination from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. Go to http://www.dbh.govt.nz/determinations-about-determ... for more information.

    See also:

    • What is a Notice to Fix (section 164)?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
  • You need to read the Summary of Rights on the Infringement Notice. This sets out what options you have.

    See also:

    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
    • What is a Notice to Fix (section 164)?
    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
  • Too many items to list here but there is an application checklist available which has to be lodged with each application. A copy is available in the Building Consents forms section.

  • Council is entitled to issue infringement notices for some breaches of the

    Building Act 2004. These and the amount of the infringement fee are set out in

    the Building Infringement Regulations.

    See also:

    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
    • What is a Notice to Fix (section 164)?
    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
  • This is a very important document issued by Council when the building is completed and when Council knows that the work complies with the New Zealand Building Code. It is most important if you decide to sell your property.

    The building consent process is not complete until a code compliance certificate has been issued. A code compliance certificate is issued by Council once all information is provided and is correct, and that all building work complies with the building consent. You should apply for a code compliance certificate within two years of the date your building consent was issued.

    To obtain a code compliance certificate you will need to arrange and have completed a final inspection and complete the application form. A copy of the form was included with your building consent.

    Benefits

    Property owners benefit in a number of situations by ensuring work on their property has a code compliance certificate. These situations include:

    • selling your home
    • applying for loans or other financing
    • applying for insurance
    • safety and peace of mind.
  • A Notice to Fix is a statutory notice requiring a person to remedy a breach of the Building Act 2004 and any regulations made under it, including the Building Code. It is issued under section 164 of the Act.

    The Notice will identify:

    • The property the Notice applies to
    • The name of the owner of the property
    • The name of the person contravening the Act or regulation
    • The activity which contravenes the Act or regulation
    • The timeframe by which the issues are to be rectified
    • What action is to take place.

    The Notice will also contain a statement advising what actions Council may take if the Notice is not complied with within the time prescribed.

    See also:

    • What happens when I get a Notice to Fix?
    • What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the Notice to Fix within the timeframe allocated?
    • What is an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens when I get an Infringement Notice?
    • What happens if I cannot make the payment in time?
    • What happens if I fail to pay the fine within the following 28 days?
  • As from 1 March 2012 most work in relation to a residential dwelling will only be undertaking by a Licensed Building Practitioner. Restricted work falls into three main categories:

    1. Managing moisture - systems that keep the rain or ground water from entering a building and systems like a water proof barrier in a shower that stops moisture in wet areas doing serious damage.
    2. Structure - things like structural framework and bracing.
    3. Fire rating - elements that stop fire spreading or causing a building to collapse.

    Licensed Building Practitioners fall into seven licence classes:

    1. Design.
    2. Site.
    3. Bricklaying and Blocklaying.
    4. Carpentry.
    5. External plastering.
    6. Foundations.
    7. Roofing.

    At this stage there is no allowance for an owner of a dwelling to carry out restricted work.

  • A code compliance certificate can only be issued for a building that has a building consent. The certificate is issued when the building project is completed and Council has completed the required inspections to ensure the work complies with the New Zealand Building Code.

    If you have a building consent but no code compliance certificate then contact the Council if the work is fully completed. A final inspection will be made before the certificate is issued. A Certificate of Acceptance may apply.

  • Not until the building consent has been issued.

  • YES if the building does not exceed 10 square metres in floor area and does not exceed one story, is sited at least 300mm from the boundary and contains no services (cooking, sanitary or potable water storage).

    You can build kitset garden sheds close to the boundary as per MDC's approved exemption.

    Give out a copy of brochure or direct customers to the Department of Building and Housing website: www.dbh.govt.nz

  • Yes but only if the building is under 10 square metres, does not exceed one storey, is located at least its own height from the boundary and other residential buildings on the same site and other residential buildings on the same site and contains no services (cooking, sanitary or water storage).

    The sleepout must be used in conjunction with a dwelling on the property.

    Give out a copy of the brochureBuilding work that does not require a consent

  • Yes. Building Control are interested in how it is fixed to the ground (engineers report may be required) and how close it is to the boundary, or if you are wanting to alter a container.

    This can be discussed with the Duty Building Officer

  • If replacing like with like such as weatherboard with weatherboard then no consent is needed, unless the original
    cladding has failed within 15 years of installation.

    When the replacement material is different than the original then a building consent is required as weather-tightness
    needs to be checked and the bracing of the building could be affected.

    All plaster or other texture finish cladding replacements will need a consent because a new cavity is likely to be required
    behind the new claddings.

  • NO if it is no higher than 1.5 meters and it does not support loading other than the ground such as from vehicles or
    buildings, or 3m high in a rural zone and is its own height from legal boundary or existing building and is designed
    by a chartered professional engineer.

    Yes if it is higher than 1.5 meters or if it supports loading other than the ground such as from vehicles or buildings.

  • If the work was done prior to January 1st 1993 then no action can be taken by council unless the work is dangerous
    or insanitary.

    If dangerous or insanitary conditions exist they should be fixed ASAP.

    A building consent may be needed for this work and if so the building should not be used whilst it remains dangerous
    or insanitary.

    If the work was done after July 1992 then a Certificate of Acceptance may be applied for but proof will be required that
    all work complies with the NZ Building Code. Give a copy of the brochure "Certificate of Acceptance"

    _______________________________________________________________

    If the Building Consent is not issued and is still being processed on the property you have just purchased and you wish to go ahead with the proposed work, you will need to provide the following:

    Written advice that you are the new owner and wish to proceed with the work. Councils preference is that a new Building Consent application form be completed for the work and forward onto the person processing the job. Include:

    Details of all people involved. Proof of ownership e.g. a Copy of the Certificate of Title or copy of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

    A covering letter outlining what's to happen with fees to date.

    If the Building Consent has been issued, proceed as above and request inspection as per the inspection schedule.

    Any work already undertaken, that is non-complying, becomes the responsibility of the new owner.

  • The owner of a building may cancel an application for a building consent at any time prior to commencement of the work. Depending on the timing of the request, there may be either a refund or a charge for additional fees, as costs to date will be charged.

    Requests to cancel must be in writing or by email and in the name of the Applicant.

  • A PIM is a report issued under Section 35 of the Building Act 2004, summarising what Council has on record about
    a property that may have an effect on the building project applied for. The report also checks compliance of the project with the relevant Resource Management Plan rules. It identifies what, if any, resource consents will be needed (and that work may not start prior to issue of these consents), any requirements in terms of connections/disconnections to services, any Development Contribution Levies that apply and that the Code Compliance Certificate will not issue without those levies being paid.

    Customer supplies details of a proposed building project. These are circulated throughout Council in order to ascertain Council requirements and potential issues before proceeding further.

  • No. 1st of February 2010 saw a change in the Building Act making PIMs voluntary.

  • No. All fees will be invoiced when the Building Consent is issued. Exceptions are Marquees or Certificate of Acceptance

  • Yes - you may apply for a PIM.

    See "How do I apply for a PIM"

  • Click on link to fees: Fees

  • Up to 20 working days unless further information requested, then this will go into pending.

  • Complete the appropriate Building Consent and PIM application and checklist form

    Building forms

  • Inspections are now part of the flat fee system see the below website.

    Fees

    There is an exception, ie if multiple failed inspections has occurred which results in re-inspections this may incur extra
    fees

  • If the Building is for use by the public or the public can be admitted to it then it is unlawful to occupy the building
    without a Code Compliance Certificate or a CPU. See (a) below

    (a) This is a document issued by Council to allow parts of a building to be used by the public before the Code Compliance
    Certificate is issued.

    Houses and other residential building can be used without a Code Compliance Certificate but the certificate should
    be obtained as soon as possible. See (b) below)

    (b) New dwellings (Spec house) cannot be sold unless they have a Code Compliance Certificate if they have been
    constructed for sale by a Developer or Builder.

  • Certificate of Acceptance may be issued by the Council for work that required a building consent, but has been
    carried out without that consent having first been obtained. It allows for certification of work that has for example
    been carried out urgently because of safety issues, and where there has not been time to apply for and obtain a
    consent because of that emergency.

    It allows for certification of work that has for example been carried out urgently because of safety issues, and where
    there has not been time to apply for and obtain a consent because of that emergency.

  • If the Council is prepared to accept an application, it will be necessary to lodge detailed plans and specifications
    of the work just as one would for a building consent application. Hand out a copy of

    Information on Certificate of Acceptance

    Certificate of Acceptance

    Application checklist

    Fees need to be paid at time of lodging the COA see MDC website - fees- building

  • There is an excellent web site to help people with that and other matters. The site is called Consumer Build and
    below is the link.

    www.consumer.org.nz/topics/building-renovating-and-home-maintenance

  • The Building Code requires all water supplies to households to be potable which means that the supply must be fit for
    human consumption.

    Roof water and bore water may need treatment.

    Owners must satisfy Council that water supply is of a potable quality, test results will be required.

    Also, a Resource Consent may be required to sink a bore and take water. Refer to Duty Planner.

  • Information on "leaking homes" is available from the Department of Building & Housing Weathertight Homes Resolution
    Service, toll free helpline on 0800 324 477 or on their website (see link below) Consumer build, has additional information
    on the subject.

    www.dbh.govt.nz/weathertightness

    www.consumer.org.nz/topics/building-renovating-and-home-maintenance

    If you wish to seek advice from an appropriately qualified expert, you should contact one of the following. Look in the
    yellow pages for numbers.

    § A consulting engineer
    § A building consultant
    § A registered master builder
    § An architect
    § An architectural designer
    § Institute of Building Surveyors

  • Maybe, depends on circumstances, location, numbers etc

    Refer enquiry to the Duty building Officer

  • If you are undertaking restricted building work (as identified by the MBIE) a Licensed Building Practitioner will be required.

    Please click on the link below or direct your inquiries to the Department of Building and Housing's Licensing call centre
    on 0800 60 60 50.

    **Refer to restricted work at the start of these FAQs for more information***

    Link to more information on Licensed Building Practitioners

  • Water Temperature: The Building Code acceptable solution G12/AS1 requires the storage water heater control thermostat
    to be set at no less than 60 degrees Celsius to avoid the growth of Legionella bacteria.

    For safety reasons: the hot water at personal hygiene outlets (e.g., bath, basin and shower) is to be delivered at no
    greater than 55ºc maximum except for schools, childcare facilities, old people's homes, institutions for people with
    psychiatric or physical disabilities and hospitals where the temperature is to be no greater than 45ºc.

    Washing Utensils - for Commercial Premises:

    All utensils used in the preparation of food should be thoroughly washed and sanitised using an approved detergent
    sanitiser. The sanitising rinse cycle of a dishwasher should be a minimum of 10 seconds.

    Temperature if washing Utensils:

    · By hand - 43°C minimum

    · By Machine - 60°C

    · For the sanitising Rinse - 77°C

    **Any further enquiries refer to Environmental Health Officer***

  • All new dwellings require smoke alarms. Alterations to existing dwellings will also trigger the requirements for
    smoke alarms.

    Smoke alarms need to be installed within 3 meters of each bedroom door and on escape routes on all levels.

    Solid fuel fires

  • Generally all new buildings will require double glazing.

    It still may be possible to use single glazing, by using the calculation method as per NZS4218:2004

    The calculation method allows the insulation in one part of a building to be traded against the insulation in another part
    of the house. You should discuss this with your designer as they will be required to provide calculations demonstrating
    compliance with NZS4218:2004 with Building Consent applications.

  • Any Fence higher than 2.5 meters will need a building consent.They may also need resource consent check with duty planner.

  • Second hand Logfires are acceptable for rural properties larger than two Hectares provided the fires are less than three years old and the manufacturers installation instructions are provided.

    If the fire is older than three years and has been checked and passed for safety by one of our approved testers
    they are permitted.

    Second hand Logfires are acceptable for properties smaller than 2 Hectares provided the fires are less than three years old, the manufacturers installation instructions are provided and the fire complies with the Ministry for the Environments approved list.

    If the fire is more than three years old it can still be installed if it has been checked and passed for safety by one
    of the approved testers and appears on the approved logfire list from the Ministry for the Environment

    This information will need to be supplied at the time of lodgement

    Ministry for the Environment list of approved Logfires

  • Contact Timaru District Council who appoint all IQP's for the South Island. They also have a list of all approved IQP's on the website link below.

    www.timaru.govt.nz

  • Council is unable to supply copies of these or provide access. The public should go to NZ standards for the latest/current version.

  • Refer questions about Earthquake prone buildings to Geotechnical Engineer check Property file and look for RISK folder under Compliance

  • When new lots are created the titles for the new lot will usually have to be in place and seen before work can start.

    For other cases generally no, however there are some situations where building work may proceed prior to the issue of a resource consent for land use or subdivision.

    This may be discussed with Duty planning or Duty Building because each case is different. Enquirers will need to show details of their plans prior to any decision being made.