My Backyard Subdivision - Part 4: Building

Published by Tony Savage on November 23, 2016

You should be at the stage now where you can starting the building process. This blog outlines all the essential members of your building team and things that need to be considered for compliance.

Essential members of your team to build profitably are:

Your Designer They need to be familiar with the myriad of rules of what is allowed and not get carried away with their own creativity!
Surveyor who can deal with matters like creating access, turning circles, setting out the building platform, establish correct level for construction level, draw necessary easement areas
Earthworks completing earth-moving, compacting, adding metal and retaining walls
Quantity Surveyor Works out the cost of all materials - alternatively use the rule of thumb $1,800 per sq meter for a standard house (at time of writing).
Engineer Works out attenuation requirements certifies good ground, retaining walls and other required works.
Contractors For connections to public sewer water, power, internet, gas and utility contractors, plumber, electrician, concrete (driveway), roofing, kitchen, painting, plastering, tiling, suppliers.

Risks to manage with building projects are disputes with contractors, price rises and regulation changes. This risks increase over time so a key skill is making sure all the pieces move together in the right order and without delay.

There are 3 general types of building options:

Components of Building:

Comply with Building Act

The Building Act regulates things like: Responsibilities of the builder, designer, owner, building consents, where you can build on and where you cannot, code of compliance and unconsented work are all important elements to cover in this stage; only licensed building practitioners can do certain work, so be aware of what work you can do yourself; sets out required builder warranties; a new house cannot be sold without final code of compliance unless a purchaser agrees in writing.

Comply with Council rules

This sets rules like for example how close to your boundary you can build, or requirements for turning circles shows how they are calculated and how to comply. Council will assess your application and address topics such as:

  • Hazards
  • Telecommunications & Power Supply
  • Earthworks;
  • Roading On-site Parking and Manoeuvring;
  • Wastewater;
  • Water Supply
  • Fire Fighting; and
  • Storm water
  • Refer to for example:

    Comply with Environment rules

    This is about how much space can actually be built on within your section. For example, in my subdivision the zoning means a section size can go down to 300 m2. The zoning also sets out rules about trees, rock walls, natural features, etc. These rules are about maintaining the characteristics that influence and enhance people's appreciation of a particular area. These values are derived from the pleasantness, aesthetic coherence and cultural and recreational attributes of an area. Refer to:

    Comply with any rules, covenants, consent notices on the title

    This includes building requirements (size, type),where the title can be subdivided and where it can be built on in the section. Covenants can include all types of rules and prohibitions

    Many developers take early advantage of plan changes. For example a number of recent subdivisions have taken advantage of the UTE zone- a zone between town and country. Another is the Kamo Walkability zone which allows more density and the rural changes to the size of subdivisions. There are changes coming the rural zones that will allow more development as well. Plan changes can be found here

    An outline of the process for a building consent can be found here:

    Click Here to see the Proposed District Plan Changes Brochure

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