If a roof fails within its first 15 years, it did not meet its initial durability requirement and therefore cannot be automatically replaced without a building consent.
This information was confirmed as current in February 2016. It originally appeared in Codewords newsletters prior to January 2014.
Our previous advice of amendments to the scope of building consent exemptions in the Building Act 2004 (the scope of Schedule 1) included clarifying the need to obtain a building consent for weathertightness remedial works.
However, there appears to have been some confusion about how these amendments relate to roofing reclad work. This has resulted in the interpretation that all roofing work (including maintenance-type activities on old and existing roofs) requires a building consent.
Under Schedule 1, a building consent is now required for all repair and replacement work (but not routine maintenance work) where the exterior envelope of a building (including a roof) has failed to meet the performance requirements of the Building Code's Clause B2 Durability.
This Clause currently requires that a roof be durable for 15 years from when it was first installed. The amendments to Schedule 1 mean that if a roof fails within the first 15 years, it did not meet its initial durability requirement. It therefore cannot be automatically replaced without a building consent. This is because a repaired roof which is using similar cladding, installed in the same way as the original roof, may also fail to meet the Building Code's 15-year durability requirement. A building consent will help to ensure the roof will now perform to the expected durability standard.
Eventually, all roofs will deteriorate and leak, but roofs normally last much longer than 15 years without requiring work over and above routine maintenance work. As such, the amendments to Schedule 1 or the need to obtain a building consent do not apply for repair work or normal re-roofing where a roof is more than 15 years old. No building consent would be needed if a 'like-for-like' or similar roof cladding is being installed for such roofs.