2.1 Single-storey detached buildings less than 10 sqm

Sleepout

A building consent is usually not required for small buildings such as garden sheds, cabins and sleepouts. 

This exemption covers the construction of small detached buildings such as garden sheds, greenhouses, cabins or sleepouts.

Before you begin, please read the notes for single-storey detached buildings.

The Building Code requires building materials, components and construction methods to be sufficiently durable to ensure the building (without reconstruction or major renovation) satisfies the other functional requirements of the Building Code for the life of the building.

What is exempt

  1. A 9 square metre sleepout is constructed in the backyard of a residential dwelling. It is more than its own height away from all boundaries and the associated residential dwelling, and does not contain cooking or sanitary facilities, or a potable water supply.
  2. Owners of a childcare centre intend to build a 10 square metres detached building to serve as a staff retreat area. The proposed building will be more than its own height away from the boundaries. It contains no potable water supply and no facilities for cooking or sanitation.

What needs consent

  1. A rural land owner decides to erect a 10 square metre sleepout on a property that does not have a residential dwelling on it. This sleepout would require a building consent as it is not associated with a residential dwelling.
  2. A building owner erects a kitset garden shed that is 2 metres high. It is located 1 metre from the boundary. This garden shed would require a building consent as it is not its own height away from the boundary.
  3. A home owner decides to build a detached 10 square metre sleepout on the back of their 1000 square metre section. The sleepout floor level is 900 millimetres above the supporting ground and the apex of the roof is 3.5 metres above the floor level. The sleepout is also more than its own height away (4.4 metres) from the house and the boundaries. The owner decides to optimise the sleepout space by including a loft of 8 square metres as a study area. As the proposed floor level of the loft is more than 1 metre above the supporting ground, a building consent will be required.

What the law says

3. Single-storey detached buildings not exceeding 10 square metres in floor area.

1. Building work in connection with any detached building that:

(a). is not more than 1 storey (being a floor level of up to 1 metre above the supporting ground and a height of up to 3.5 metres above the floor level); and

(b). does not exceed 10 square metres in floor area; and

(c). does not contain sanitary facilities or facilities for the storage of potable water; and

(d). does not include sleeping accommodation, unless the building is used in connection with a dwelling and does not contain any cooking facilities.

2. However, subclause (1) does not include building work in connection with a building that is closer than the measure of its own height to any residential building or to any legal boundary.

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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: