Quick guide to product substitution

About this document

  • Published on 21 March 2016
  • Of interest to Carpenters, Designers, Architects, Building certifiers, Chartered professional engineers, Structural engineers
  • 1st edition


If you are a designer, contractor or building owner considering product substitutions, this guide may be of use to you.

Designers, contractors or building owners may consider using other building products to those specified or requested for any number of reasons including personal preference, price or availability.

However, if you are thinking about substituting a product you need to:

  1. consider the legal context, particularly any additional obligations you might incur from product substitution
  2. consider the broader implications of using a different product to that specified, including whether it is fit for the same purpose and still meets the owner’s needs
  3. implement any changes; for example, if substituting the product requires an amendment to a building consent.

We summarise these steps in this guide to product substitution.

Making changes to your plans has information on what you will need to do if your building plans change. You may need to apply for an amendment to consent, which may result in additional costs and delays.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: