7. Repair or replacement of outbuilding

Residential garage

A building consent is usually not required to replace or repair a carport, garage, shed, greenhouse, machinery room, private swimming pool or farm building.

What the law says

Subject to section 42A of the Building Act, Schedule 1 exempts the following from a building consent:

The repair or replacement of all or part of an outbuilding if:

(a) the repair or replacement is made within the same footprint area that the outbuilding or the original outbuilding (as the case may be) occupied; and
(b) in the case of any replacement, the replacement is made with a comparable outbuilding or part of an outbuilding; and
(c) the outbuilding is a detached building that is not more than 1 storey; and
(d) the outbuilding is not intended to be open to, or used by, members of the public.

Guidance on the exemption

This exemption provides for the repair or replacement of existing outbuildings (as classified under Building Code clause A1 – Classified uses) that are not intended for human habitation. These include buildings such as carports, garages, greenhouses, machinery rooms, sheds, private swimming pools and farm buildings.

Check with your council

Always check with your local council to make sure your proposed building work does not have any district planning implications (eg maximum site coverage, yard or setback requirements, daylight access planes or permitted activities). A resource consent may be required and it is important that you obtain this before starting any building work.

If you are building close to boundaries, you need to give due consideration to the Building Code requirements regarding protection from fire; particularly in relation to the external spread of fire to neighbouring property.

Examples where this exemption could apply

A timber weatherboard garage wall is severely damaged in an earthquake. The owner decides to replace the garage wall in the same position using pre-painted, profiled metal cladding.
A farmer decides to replace an old corrugated iron clad storage shed with a new shed in the same position and of the same size. The new shed will have a long-run steel roof and timber weatherboard wall cladding.
The owner of an old concrete block garage, which has part of its roof missing, decides to demolish it. He replaces it in the same position with a new, prefabricated timber-framed garage with pre-finished steel roof and wall claddings.
An elderly couple decide to downsize their deteriorating double garage and replace it with a new single garage. This will occupy part of the footprint of the existing garage.

Examples where building consent is required

The owner of a commercial garage decides to replace an old wooden garage, which is 50 square metres in size, with a new 65 square metre galvanised steel garage. Since the new garage is larger than the original, a building consent is required.
A farmer plans to replace an old farm shed by relocating part of it to the other side of his property and adding a new extension to it. As the farmer is not planning to rebuild in the same locality as the existing farm shed, a building consent is required.
A council proposes to replace an existing masonry public toilet block. Although the definition of outbuilding under the Building Code (clause A1) includes public toilets, a building consent is required. This is because condition (d) of this exemption does not allow the outbuilding to be open to, or used by, members of the public.
The owner of an earthquake-damaged carport proposes to replace it with a garage on the same footprint. As the proposed garage is not a comparable outbuilding, a building consent is required.

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: