A little goes a long way

by Anonymous Author

Building or renovating can feel like a daunting task, but by following a few simple guidelines, it won’t be long before you are reaping the rewards.

Managing the risks around building and renovating means doing a bit of homework before diving in head first. This can seem like a tiresome task, but will pay off in the long run, and takes some of the pressure off the professionals if you know what you are doing.

If you plan to do any structural building including: new buildings, additions, alterations, accessory buildings — sheds if bigger than 10m2 — and repiling then you need to familiarise yourself with the regulations around building, and the processes involved.

This also goes for any plans that involve: plumbing and drainage, fireplaces, ventilation and air conditioning systems, siteworks for a building, retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or retaining walls with a building or driveway near the top, fences higher than 2.5 metres and any swimming pool fence, swimming pools and decks more than 1.5 metres from ground level.

With every new build or alteration you will need to meet certain standards, even if you are only altering part of a building. The council will not grant a building consent for an alteration to an existing building unless they are satisfied that the means of escape from fire, and access and facilities for people with disabilities have been considered where applicable.

It pays to check with the council in the early stages of your planning. Some of the most common complications when working on an existing building, can be not being able to find the original plans or not having plans for what actually exists.

If you plan on doing the work yourself, a little planning goes a long way and be prepared for changes and delays. If professionals are doing the work, check that they are familiar with the challenges of renovating before starting, and sit back and enjoy the thrill of watching your dreams come to life.