Building consent-do I or dont I need one

You must obtain a building consent before carrying out building work and that includes: structural work, plumbing and drainage work and site work for new houses or alterations, or before shifting an existing building onto a new section.

  • Structural building – additions, alterations, re-piling, demolition
  • Plumbing and drainage ( except the repair & maintenance of existing components)
  • Relocating a building
  • Installing a wood burner or air-conditioning system
  • Retaining wall higher than 1.5meters
  • Fence or walls higher than 2 meters, & all swimming pool fences
  • Swimming pools
  • Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1 meter above ground level
  • Sheds greater than 10 square meters in floor area

Exempt work :

  • Fences up to 2 meters in height (except pool fences)
  • Retaining walls up to 1.5 meters in height, providing they only carry the ground load
  • Small garden sheds – they must be less than 10 square meters and single storey.They cannot include sleeping accommodation or toilet or stored drinking water, and they must be as far from the boundary as the height of the shed itself and the rain water from the roof must not cause ponding or a nuisance to the neighbouring property.
  • Closing in an existing veranda or patio where the floor area does not exceed 5 square meters
  • A patio or deck at ground level
  • Garden trellis less than 2 meters high
  • A small garden pond
  • Maintenance of your house, for example replacing spouting or a piece of weatherboard

Minor building work exempt from building consent:

  • Changing existing household plumbing, including minor drainage work, as long as the work is done or signed off by a Licensed plumber or drainlayer
  • Building or installing a small cabin near to an existing home, as long as the cabin is smaller than 10 m* and does not have cooking or sanitary facilities
  • Removing or changing a non load-bearing wall
  • Building awnings, pergolas or verandas over a deck
  • Installing or replacing windows or exterior doors, provided there have not been weather-tightness problems and there is no change to structural elements
  • Making a home more accessible by widening doorways and building access ramps
  • Fitting out shop or office interiors where the work does not modify certain important building features, such as fire escapes
  • Erecting tents or marquees, as long as they are smaller than 100m* (for private use) and 50m* (for public use) and will not be used for more than a month.

NOTE: This list is not Comprehensive but most of the exemptions pertaining to domestic situations.If you are unsure,ask your Licensed Builder Practitioner or Certified Builder.