'With existing home renovations I've found that term "Schedule 1" covers a lot of renovations in Porirua, as in no consent required. From a council and consent process, are you able to enlighten others as it might encourage others to start those reno's. '
Rew has asked a pertinent question here. In New Zealand's increasingly over- regulated building environment can this really be true?
Lets unpack this seemingly mystical idea!
The document referred to in this question can be downloaded from here.
Basically it outlines building works that can be carried out in people's own homes without the need for a building consent. These can include: minor plumbing changes within the same room, removal or replacement of windows and doors including replacing a window with a door or vise versa (as long as the opening is no wider than existing), and non habitable external structures.
You do need to be careful however as the works still have to be carried out in accordance with New Zealand building codes and standards, so unless you have an understanding of these you are better off getting a professional to carry them out for you.
If the works affect the structural integrity of the building then it will require building consent.
The works also have to comply with the relevant council town planning requirements.
So just because it doesn't require a building consent doesn't mean that you will not require resource consent also!
A common issue is with decks. Regardless of how high above the ground, decks are considered a "building" under the Building Code, and therefore must comply with district plan rules such as yard setbacks, height recession planes, and site coverage.
You can't necessarily build even a deck close to the ground to the same extent you can with paving.
A good idea if you are planning external features like decks, carports, pergolas and sheds, is check the town planning rules first.
Another area to be careful of is with insulation in walls. Internal wall linings are often used to provide bracing to the building so removal of this can alter the structural integrity and bracing needs to be reassessed. Therefore will require building consent.
Don't be too despondent of the building consent process however. As frustrating and costly as it can often seem. Remember these regulations are there to ensure, safer, dryer and warmer houses. Leaky buildings are the result of lack of regulation and no-one is enjoying the repercussions of these.
My advice is that if you are uncertain about any works that you are considering, ask the council or a professional for advice prior to undertaking them.