How Much To Build a Sleepout?

Aug 15, 2022

 A sleepout is a fantastic addition to any property if you have the space to create an outbuilding. It not only adds personal value by creating extra space for living, it will also raise the value of your home should you decide to sell.

The cost of a sleepout in New Zealand can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the design. If you are working on a budget our kitset sleepout prices start at around $21,000 for a 10 sqm design and our larger designs start at around $27,000. 

Throughout history, humans have retreated to the great outdoors to draw inspiration, meditation and wisdom from nature. Creating a liveable space in your garden not only creates extra living space around your home it also enables us to connect with the wonders of nature.

Lakeside Cabin Sleepout

What is Considered a Sleepout in NZ?

A sleepout has become a common addition to many households in New Zealand in recent years. In context it is a pretty straightforward phrase that means a building separate from the main house which may be used as extra accommodation. 

They can just as easily be converted into a workspace, a she shed, a man cave, an entertainment space or hobby room. A typical sleepout in New Zealand does not include a kitchen, bathroom or any kind of running water and rely on the main house for their cooking and sanitary needs. 


How Much Does it Cost To Build A Sleepout in New Zealand?

At Outpost Buildings we have a variety of strong and inviting sleepout designs. Our sleepout kitsets come flat packed and include everything you need to construct your sleepout.

Our prices for a small and simple sleepout design structure of 10 sqm start at around $21,000 and our more elaborate and larger designs start at around $27,000. 10 sqm is a good size for a sleepout as it can be used as an extra bedroom for guests, home office or hobby room. Outpost 10sqm Sleepouts floor dimensions are 3.6m x 2.7m so you can easily fit a double bed, drawers and a chair into the room.

We have a range of designs and sizes available to accommodate your specific requirements, your aesthetic and your budget. We also offer free delivery within New Zealand to Toll Transport Depots.

Kit out your sleepout

If you’re truly planning on using it as overnight accommodation you’re going to need a bed or futon to make it comfortable for sleeping, this will likely be your focal point and some cosy bedding will make for an inviting space. Other than that you are pretty much free to design it however you see fit for your need. 

Upcycling and reusing items from places such as charity shops and Facebook marketplace can help you to keep costs down while creating the thrill of finding unique and interesting pieces to make your space feel homely. Cost effective pieces can then be mixed with a few modern items to make it truly your own.

Does a Sleepout Add Value to Your Property?

When you carry out any kind of home maintenance or improvement work it’s likely to cross your mind whether or not this is something that will benefit you if you choose to sell your property in the future. A lot of people might look to adding a swimming pool to their property to add value, but in reality this addition doesn’t suit everyone. Some home buyers might see a swimming pool as more of a headache due to the upkeep and maintenance involved. 

The difference with investing in a sleepout is that the headache and maintenance that buyers may perceive does not exist in the same way. It is perceived as extra, functional space and therefore more of an added benefit than a pool may be. 

Experts in real estate across NZ are currently seeing properties with sleepout additions go for up to $100,000 more than similar homes without sleepout additions. So, as it turns out buyers are seeing sleepouts as a highly valuable asset when purchasing a house in New Zealand. Especially with the current work-from-home movement that has swept the globe with no inclination of subsiding anytime soon.

Do you Need a Building Consent for a Sleepout?

Under Kiwi law a sleepout is defined differently to a tiny house which requires a building permit or consent. As of August 2020 a number of low-risk buildings such as sleepouts, greenhouses and sheds can be as big as 30 square metres without requiring a building consent, as long as it is single storey and detached from the main house. 

Unfortunately there are many exemptions to the rule and it will benefit you to read the Summary of new exemptions on the government website. For example, if you plan to add any facilities for cooking or sanitation to your sleepout, this is considered a fire risk and will then require a building consent. In addition to this if you want to include a loft higher than 900mm off the floor you will also need a building consent. 

We have written a full article outlining building permit rules for sheds and sleepouts in New Zealand to make sure you cover all your bases when planning and constructing your sleepout. 

Does a Sleepout Count as a Bedroom?

A detached building such as a sleepout can be used as extra sleeping quarters and usually shares facilities with the main dwelling. It is used in association with the main house and isn’t classed as a standalone accommodation option. 

If you are planning on selling your house then your sleepout will likely be listed as it is and not as an extra bedroom. Listing your sleepout as a separate building is an addition in itself and will likely add as much value to your property as an extra bedroom would.

How Big Can You Build a Sleepout?

The recent changes to the New Zealand building code implies that you can build a standalone detached sleepout on your property up to 30 metres squared without requiring a permit, as opposed to the early regulations of just 10 square metres. 

If you want to build bigger and have the space, then don’t let these regulations hold you back. You can build bigger, you can add more rooms, a bathroom and even a kitchen if you like, you will just need to apply for a building consent with your local council to do so.

Do You Need Consent for a Cabin?

Much like a sleepout, a cabin will require a consent if it doesn’t meet the exemption regulations under the New Zealand building codes updated in August 2020. 

If you don’t want the extra hassle of applying for a building consent your sleepout or cabin needs to be the same distance as it is high away from any boundaries, fences, walls or other buildings. In addition to this, if your cabin is close to a land boundary, you will need written approval from your neighbours.

Can I Rent Out a Sleepout?

If your sleepout has its own bathroom and kitchen then it’s likely that you will be able to rent it out as a standalone residence. However, if your sleepout does not include its own sanitary and cooking facilities then you would likely only be able to rent it out in the same context as you would rent out a room in your house. Your tenant would have access to your kitchen and a bathroom inside the house. 

To clarify whether or not your specific sleepout would be considered a stand alone rental contact your local council to confirm.

Is a Sleepout a Dwelling in NZ?

Sometimes a minor dwelling and a sleepout can be confused with one another as they both provide extra accommodation on your property. These forms of accommodation have slightly different characteristics in which planning and consent needs to be taken into account. 

In Auckland, a sleepout is considered an “accessory building” and not classed under a “ minor dwelling”. The main difference of a minor dwelling would be the presence of a kitchen or sanitary facilities. A minor dwelling with its own kitchen and bathroom would be considered independent living accommodation as opposed to a sleepout which would be used in conjunction with the main house for use of the kitchen and bathroom.

Get in touch with Outpost Buildings for a consultation on your perfect sleepout design and get started expanding your living space today.

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