Even if you don’t need a building consent all works must be completed in accordance with the Building Code.
You are likely to need a building consent for any structural building work, new plumbing and drainage, retaining walls over 1.5m, fences over 2.5m, swimming pools greater than 35,000 litres, decks more than one metre above ground level and sheds over 10 square metres. You'll also need one before installing a woodburner or a commercial aircon system.
Some other building work doesn't require a consent - like patios at ground level, small sheds and low decks, maintenance on your house, etc. These rules are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in Schedule One of the Building Code.
If you have a home project in mind such as a retaining wall, fence, sleepout or deck, you can use the tool below to find out whether you need a building consent.
Under the Building Act, it’s an offence to intentionally carryout work that requires a building consent without one, and it’s regarded as illegal work. It is often costly to set right and may put people’s safety or property at risk. Illegal building works may also impact on your insurance cover or house sale negotiations.
Last Reviewed: 28/02/2018