Terry and Judy were looking to add a new room onto the bottom storey of their house. They obtained a building consent to do it two years ago but due to money constraints did not complete the work at that stage. Unfortunately, when they finally found the money to build, they checked with council and found their original consent had expired, which meant they had to start the application process again and pay fees all over again.

When building or renovating, it is important to remember several things:

  • Make sure you apply for a building consent at least a month in advance of when you wish to begin the work. Most councils advise that it will take a month to process building consent applications.
  • Make sure you comply with all of the conditions of your building consent. This includes ensuring all contractors have read the consent and are clear about its requirements. This will ensure your building is built in compliance with the law and that there are no additional problems and/or costs further down the track.
  • Remember that building consents do not stay valid indefinitely. In most circumstances if you do not begin work within 12 months of the consent being issued, the consent will lapse, and you will have to apply for a new one. Some councils also specify timeframes for completing the work which you will need to be aware of.
  • Once you have finished the work, council needs to inspect it and issue a Code Compliance Certificate. Make sure you don’t neglect that step of the process!