Building Consents Tossed Out By Government

The Government has put together a package which gets rid of low level building consents. According to Government, these exemptions are expected to reduce the amount of building consents annually by around 9000.

Which building consents are exempt?

Sleepouts, sheds and green houses
Single-storey detached buildings have seen an increase from 10 square metres to 30 square metres in this exemption.

Ground mounted solar array panels
This exemption covers both rural and urban areas. In urban areas, panels can now be built up to 20 square metres without the help of a professional. In rural areas there is now no limit in size.

Carports can now be built to 40 square metres without a council building consent. However, they do need to be designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Licensed Building Practitioner must have carried out or supervised the design and construction.

Ground floor awnings, porches and verandas
Awnings, porches and verandas on the ground floor have been included in this exemption. We see an increase of size from 20 square metres to 30 square metres now being exempt from building consents. In similar fashion to carports, they must be designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer and all work and design is to be supervised or carried out by an LBP.

The full summary of new exemptions is available on the Building Performance website.

What does this mean for the construction industry?

We all know how long it can take to get council in for a building consent. However, builders will now have to spend less time waiting to have their work checked off by council. Because of this, builders will have more time and less delays for small jobs meaning far more productivity.

What does this mean for homeowners?

Government expects to see savings up to $18m annually for home owners.

If you take a look at the prices of a building consent on the Auckland City Council website, it is easy to see how the cost of building consents can stack up for homeowners. However, these new exemptions should help to put a significant dent in that.

Not sure if your project is exempt from building consents?

It is the homeowner's responsibility to know whether or not their project needs a building consent or not. Keeping this in mind, if you're unsure, ask. If an LBP is completing the work they will have a good idea of what works does and doesn't need building consents. However, if there is any doubt, check out the Building Performance site for more information.

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