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Restricted Building Work & Licensed Building Practitioners Kaupapa kaihanga whai raihana

Restricted building work

Work that is critical to make a home structurally sound and weathertight is referred to as restricted building work. This includes residential design, construction or alteration work that:

Requires a building consent AND involves or affects:

EITHER
A home’s primary structure

OR
Its weather-tightness

OR
Its certain fire safety design.

You must use licensed building practitioners to design and carry out or supervise restricted building work. These practitioners are registered, required to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and licensed for the type of work they do. Licence classes include:

  • design
  • carpentry
  • roofing
  • brick and block-laying
  • external plastering
  • foundations
  • site.

It’s important you choose wisely when selecting your designer, builder or tradesperson as not all people are licensed.

The rules about restricted building work are part of Council’s role in consenting and inspecting building work. The law requires that each licensed building practitioner who works on your home must provide a Certificate of Design Work or Record of Building Work.

The licensed building practitioners scheme

The licensed building practitioner scheme exists to ensure restricted building work is done or supervised by competent design professionals.
Restricted building work mainly relates to residential projects, and includes both design and construction. The Building Act states an owner must ensure any restricted building work on their property is either done or supervised by a licensed building practitioner.
When applying for a building consent, your application must include memoranda from the practitioners who undertook or supervised the design. At the end of the project, your licensed building practitioners who did the work are required to issue memoranda to both you and Council showing who undertook or supervised the restricted building work.

More information on restricted building work and the licensed building practitioner scheme can be found on MBIE’s website.

Owner-builder exemption from licensed building practitioner requirements

If you’re a homeowner who qualifies for the owner-builder exemption you will not need to be or use a licensed building practitioner for restricted building work on your home, but you will still need to apply for a building consent.

You can apply for this exemption when you submit your building consent application. Any work you do will be listed as a do-it-yourself job on your Land Information Memorandum for any future buyers to see.

All the building work you do must still comply with the Building Code and will be inspected as usual during your building process. You are responsible for the quality of work or any defects.

You must meet certain criteria to be considered an owner-builder. You are an owner-builder if you:

  • Live in or are going to live in the home (this includes a bach or holiday home)
  • Carry out the restricted building work to your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members
  • Have not used the owner-builder exemption to carry out restricted building work to any other home in the past three years

Please note: Before you apply you should ensure you also consider the Resource Management Act 1991.

More information on owner builder exemptions can be found on MBIE’s website.

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