Do I need a building consent for a garden shed?

4 November 2019 | Outpost News

A building consent is usually not required for small buildings such as garden sheds, small cabins and sleep outs in New Zealand. But there are some things you need to be aware of to ensure your new building is legal.

On 31 August 2020, additional building consent exemptions were added to the Building Act.

Previously, the NZ Building Act stated that you did not need a building permit for any detached building that was under 10sqm in floor area and this has now been increased to 30sqm.

Single-storey detached buildings include sleep outs, sheds, greenhouses and other similar structures can be built without a building consent. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are not included in the exemption. Any plumbing work to a new or current building still requires a building consent, and any electrical work will still have to be carried out by a registered electrician.

Options include:

1.    Kitset or prefab buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres where a manufacturer or supplier has had the design carried out or reviewed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.

2.    Buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres where a Licensed Building Practitioner is to carry out or supervise design and construction.

3.    Buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres can be built by a non-professional, where only lightweight materials with structural components built in accordance to Building Code compliance B1/AS1 are used.

The team here at Outpost recommend that if you are uncertain at all then you should contact your local council to confirm.

Before checking whether you need a consent for your shed, sleep out or cabin, you need to know:

  • dimensions of the project (height, total area)
  • location on property where the project will go
  • size of the property in square metres
  • total area of your property currently covered by buildings
  • total area of your property currently covered by hard surfaces, for example concrete or paved areas.

Pictured here is the Outlander 10 square metre cabin from Outpost Buildings. This is a great design for a backyard office, hobbies room or sleep out. Click here for more info about the Outlander Cabin

For more information and examples of buildings that do or don’t need consents see this website: https://www.building.govt.nz/projects-and-consents/planning-a-successful-build/scope-and-design/check-if-you-need-consents/building-work-that-doesnt-need-a-building-consent/technical-requirements-for-exempt-building-work/

Buildings bigger than 30 square metres

If your new garden shed or sleep out is more than 30 square meters in floor area then you will most likely need a consent. There are however some cases that you may not need a consent; like if your new building is replacing an old one on the same site. The Outpost team can help you through the consent process if you do need to get one.

Most of Outpost’s designs fall under the 30sqm category but some of our larger horse stables and custom designs may require a consent.

The main purpose of a building consent is to make sure buildings are safe so many of the rules are focused on limiting the spread of fire between buildings and neighbouring properties and keeping people safe.

The fact that most of the buildings designed by Outpost are relocatable makes them less likely to need a consent because they can be moved or repositioned on your site when/if you need to. We do still recommend that if you are uncertain at all then you should contact your local council to confirm.

Pictured here is the Upland Garden Shed from Outpost Buildings. This is a great design for storing your ride on mower, motorbikes, garden or farm equipment. Click here for more info about the Upland Sheds

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/setback requirements, daylight access planes or permitted activities).

The team here at outpost hope that this information has been helpful for you. Please contact us if you have any questions on 0800 688 767 or email sales@outpostbuildings.co.nz