Do I need a building consent?

A building consent is required before building a garage unless the detached garage falls under certain exemption criteria.

If the garage falls under any of the below exemptions, you may not need a building consent

  • Buildings up to 10 square metres in floor area
  • Single-storey detached buildings exceeding 10, but not exceeding 30 square metres in floor area, constructed of lightweight materials
  • Buildings up to 30 square metres in floor area using a kitset or prefabricated building where a manufacturer or supplier has had the design carried out or reviewed by a Chartered Professional Engineer
  • Buildings up to 30 square metres in floor area where a Licensed Building Practitioner is to carry out or supervise design and construction.

If the garage is closer than its own height from either the boundary or a residential building a building consent is required

Before you start building please make sure you meet all the exemption requirements

All exempt work must comply with any other relevant legislation, such as the Building Code, the Resource Management Act 1991, and the Waimakariri District Plan.

What information is needed?

Specific information to include in a building consent application for a residential garage:

  • Site plan including the location of the proposed garage and the other buildings on-site.
  • Garage construction details. These are often a proprietary design as they are generally not designed to the same Standards as a dwelling (i.e. not NZS3604).
  • Firewall construction details if the garage is to be located within one metre of a boundary.

Note: Using a qualified draughtsperson or architect should lead to reduced processing times and costs.

Guidance documents for the rebuild in Canterbury

From February 2013 there was a change to how the foundations are to be designed for Standalone Importance Level 1 Garages if they are to be built in land categorised as TC3 land or land which may be subject to liquefaction.

These foundations are to be designed as TC2 type slabs/foundations with supporting evidence of the ground bearing capacity, i.e. shallow soil investigations are required to show the ultimate bearing capacity is greater than 200 kPA. Alternatively a specific design can be determined by applying the 1/100 year design event loadings at ULS (Ultimate Limit State).

Where these buildings are located in TC2 land, TC1 type foundations can be used (standard NZS3604:2011). This should be reflected in any building consent application lodged with the Council from 25 February 2013.  For more information please visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.