Q: Do I need a building consent to do a renovation?
A: If the work is minor and doesn’t affect the structure, and is replacing materials that are ‘like for like’, then possibly not. It really depends on the type of work being carried out, structural or envelop changes and how much restricted building work is involved. It is always best to get a professional opinion as there are a lot of grey areas that do and don’t require a building consent. For instance if you are replacing your roof cladding and a changing from a heavy roof load to a light roof load then you likely do not need a building consent, whereas if you are changing from a light roof load to a heavy roof load you will require one. Then again if you are going from a heavy roof to a light roof, there are different issues that need to be considered for wind uplift. So, even if you don’t need a consent you may still want a professional involved that is aware of these types of issues.
Q: Do I need a resource consent?
A: Resource consents are additional to building consents and are generally required if your intended renovation or addition falls outside of what are termed “permitted activities” with in your property zoning or area. Examples of this may be if you are wanting to build closer than normal to the boundary (building setbacks), Your building encroaches into recession planes (which affects your neighbors sunlight), or you want to build an ancillary flat, but your land area isn’t quite big enough as required under the district plan. These -and other reasons- are why you want to talk to a professional designer that is knowledgeable in town planning, prior to getting any working drawings done, so that you know your ideas are feasible, before you spend any large sums of money.
Q: Where do I start with a large renovation?
A: There are generally 3 main items we start with:
1.Having an clear idea of what is important to you in your home, how you want to use the spaces involved and what their main purposes will be is a great point to start at. Being able to clearly explain the use of the space and how you want it to ‘feel’ can help a designer to plan spaces that will work with your flow, as opposed to providing exact dimensions etc. without understanding the clear use for the space.
2. Have a budget, obviously at this early stage it is not going to be concrete, but it helps immensely in the design process as we are able to ascertain very early if the budgeted amount is viable for the intended design. If not, there are two options as the concepts progress; if the budget is strict then design is modified to the target budget. If the budget is adjustable, then revise the budget to the expected design, if that budget is too high, then revise the design back as required.
3. Define your priorities. This helps us focus in your main considerations and what will be motivating your choices. This can determine what finishes, sub trades, hardware and fixtures would be used. We always ask which of these priorities matter the most (usually 2):
Cost effective options - Will the cost of items be the main decision issue?
High Quality - Will the highest quality finish be the focus?
Project Management -How involved do you want to be in the build process?