In May there were a number of new building consent exemptions added to the New Zealand Building Act. These changes came into effect at the end of August and will mean that more work will be able to go ahead without needing a building consent. As it will likely affect both tradies and property owners, it’s important to know what these new changes are, how it may affect your trade business, and how you can position yourself to best benefit from these exemptions.
With around 10 different elements of the Building Act changing, it’s well worth understanding the details so you can pre-empt how it might affect your business.
Here are the types of building work that will no longer require consent:
A Single-storey detached building
Sleep outs, sheds, greenhouses and other similar structures
Ground-mounted solar array panels
Depending on whether it is built in an urban or rural zone.
Up to 40 square metres in size
Up to 30 square metres on a ground floor
A veranda or porch
Up to 30 square metres on a ground floor
An outdoor fireplace or oven
Built up to a maximum height of 2.5 metres, and with a maximum cooking surface of 1 square metre
Flexible water storage bladders, for irrigation or firefighting purposes
Up to 200,000 litres in storage capacity
Small pipe supporting structures
If they only carry water and are on private land
If the general public cannot access it and it doesn't span a road or rail area
A single-storey pole shed or hay barn
with a maximum floor area of 110 square metres
Most jobs still require a Licensed Building Practitioner to carry out or supervise design and construction, which could be good news for builders.
It’s important to note that while the building code is changing, you should always make sure to check local building and resource consents with your local council.
There are some definite positives for you with the consent changes, here are some ways the amendment might affect your quoting on jobs:
Te paperwork involved in building projects undoubtedly adds another layer of stress. With far less consents going through your local council, this should speed up the approval process for the ones you do still have to get.
The time between quoting a job and actually being able to start work on site may now be much shorter. Rather than jumping from client to client and having a backlog of consents waiting to be approved, you can now jump straight into work and use your time where it’s most valuable; on the tools.
Whether you are working on a small or large project for a client, the extra money no longer needed for consents is a huge positive for them. Freeing up precious project budget may mean that they can be convinced to spend more on quality materials to really go for what they want.
With so many unexpected costs that can come up with building works this saving could also be a much needed financial buffer, or even additions to your scope of work.
If you are a very experienced builder, you may not find smaller jobs to be where your time is best spent. Overseeing a junior builder or working on the design elements only, could be the best decision for your business.
Normally your competition is other businesses, now you have keen DIY’ers to consider:
Property owners attempting jobs themselves has always been a possibility. The changes to the consent may now sound like an all too tempting invitation to homeowners. While we encourage giving things a go, rookies may soon learn not all jobs should be done themselves.
Keen DIY’ers still need to consult a licensed building practitioner and ensure that any building meets regulatory standards and that what they construct is safe.
Here are some reasons you could end up with more work on your plate:
Not requiring consent for dream jobs like a new patio or outdoor fire pit might mean that homeowners will be more inclined to push on with home improvement plans.
One potential outcome is that rookies may try their hand at bigger projects. While some of these jobs can be done yourself if you’re particularly handy, they may soon learn the job is bigger than anticipated and call in a pro (you) to help or to fix what has gone awry.
If this happens, making sure to have the right tools on hand for short notice jobs is key. Hirepool have a range of gear that can help you tackle the big jobs.
Understanding what you need to do to make sure your business doesn’t suffer will be key with these consent changes, here are some considerations:
Making sure your business is front and centre with potential clients is key. One of the first things a property owner will do when looking to have building work done, is research. Get photos of previous relevant work onto your website or social media pages so you are seen as the expert.
Now that property owners know consent is no longer needed for certain projects, it could be a great time for you to add these types of projects to your list of offerings. Versatility is important for clients and they are more likely to approach you for other work if you can offer a broad range of services.
With the potential for new work on the horizon, the last thing you want slowing you down is not having the right equipment on hand exactly when you need it. Items such as excavation equipment and scaffolding towers may not be something you own or use frequently, so hiring these from Hirepool is a great cost-effective option to help you get these jobs done smarter.
When a property owner is planning work, they may still be undecided on whether they will get a professional in, or attempt it themselves. Explaining to potential clients that building code must still be followed is a great reminder to them that you are the professional and the job may be best left to an expert like you.
Hirepool is here to help with your trade business. Come and see the team to hire all
gear you need to get your trade job done smarter. Book gear easily online now or call into your local Hirepool branch to chat about if a trade account is right for your business.