Stages of the building process
Understand building project stages, from initial scoping and design through to consents, construction and completion.
Last updated: 21 March 2016
If you're thinking about building, renovating or extending a building, take some time to get your ideas together.
You need to understand the building process so that:
Get familiar with the process before you start, so that you can plan well and build safe, healthy buildings for people using them now and any future users.
As well as complying with the Building Act and the Building Code:
Building work is any work done in relation to the construction or alteration of a building. This includes any work on your home, premises or other structure, such as a garage, retaining walls and fences. Some demolition and earthworks also require a building consent.
Generally, the only work you don't need a building consent for is simple or low-risk work.
Certain gas and electrical work is also exempt, but that's because you need someone with the specific qualifications to carry it out.
At every stage of the process ask yourself the following key questions:
Stages of the building process tells you what to expect.
Check if you need a consent includes information about exempt work.
Your local district or city council is your primary point of contact. Depending on its size and the area it covers, there could be many people to deal with or there might be just be one or two. Either way, these are the roles they will cover:
Council processes vary. Ask your contact at the council whether you need to talk to anyone else, and ask about the processes you should follow. Information may also be available on your council’s website.
Resource consent has more information.
Your council can tell you what you will need to do for your project, in relation to the land, resource consent, building consent or any other permits. If you ask them, they will produce a project information memorandum (also called a PIM) for a fee. A project information memorandum can be particularly useful in the design phase of a significant project such as a new residential house or major renovation.
A project information memorandum will tell you what the council knows about:
A project information memorandum can be particularly useful in the design phase of:
When you apply for a project information memorandum, you need to explain:
You should include preliminary design plans with your application. This might include:
You do not need to provide comprehensive, technically detailed drawings and specifications at this stage. They will be required for your building consent application.
The council can request any other information it reasonably requires relevant to the proposed building project. For example, your application should include enough information to determine if there are any associated Resource Management Act planning issues. This includes information such as land contours and drawings showing the sunlight access plane.
You need to apply for a project information memorandum on the prescribed form (below), and pay the council fee. You can also get the form from your council's offices or download it from their website. They may have noted additional information they require, specific to your region.
Your council has to issue a project information memorandum within 20 working days of an application. They can stop the process at any point if they need more information from you.
Application for project information memorandum and/or building consent
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:
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