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Tiled showers in New Zealand: do you really need building consent?

Building Consent for a Tiled Shower in New Zealand

Before starting your bathroom renovation, it is crucial to check whether you need building consent – especially if you’re installing a tiled shower. You can verify this by calling your insurance company and local council. Not obtaining the necessary consent can lead to significant problems down the line.

Why tiled showers require building consent

Tiled Shower Renovations NZ

Tiled showers require critical waterproofing measures to prevent water damage. The process often includes:

  • Replacing old particle board
  • Reinforcing the floor with H3 plywood
  • Adding extra nogs under the floor joists
  • Applying a tile underlay

Additionally, walls must be lined with Aqualine plasterboard or other wet-area wall linings. The council inspects these elements to ensure compliance with the building code and prevent tile cracking and membrane damage due to floor movement.

What could go wrong without building consent?

Failing to get building consent for a tiled shower can result in:

Insurance issues: Your insurance might not cover water damage if the shower wasn’t properly consented.

Code compliance problems: Without proper inspections, your renovation might not meet the building code, leading to costly future repairs.

Resale complications: Unconsented work can be a red flag for potential buyers, complicating the sale of your home.

It’s essential to have the council inspect your renovation to ensure everything is up to code. For more details, check out Auckland Council’s guide to bathroom renovations.

The importance of council inspections

Council inspections ensure that all work is done to a high standard and complies with building regulations. This step is crucial for preventing issues such as:

  • Water leakage
  • Structural integrity problems
  • Non-compliance with safety standards

Steps to ensure compliance

  1. Order a property file: The first step is to order a property file from Auckland City Council. This file contains important information about your property, including existing plans and consents.
  2. Review the as-built plan: Check your property’s as-built plan to understand its current layout and any previous modifications.
  3. Assess on-site conditions: Inspect the current condition of your bathroom and note any issues, such as water damage or structural concerns.
  4. Design the new layout: Work with a designer to create a layout for your new bathroom. Design costs typically range from $2,000 to $5,000.
  5. Select the right waterproofing products: Ensure the correct waterproofing products are specified in your plan.
  6. Consider structural engineering needs: Hire a structural engineer if your renovation involves removing load-bearing walls.
  7. Apply for building consent: Submit your renovation plans to Auckland Council for building consent. The fees vary based on the project cost.
  8. Plan your renovation timeline: Schedule your renovation once you receive building consent. Bathroom renovations usually take around 4 to 10 weeks.
  9. Ensure quality and compliance: Ensure your builder provides a fixed-price contract and includes a contingency for unexpected issues.
  10. Obtain the required documentation: Upon completion, ask your builder to supply the necessary documents for applying for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC).

For more detailed information about bathroom renovations, check out our bathroom renovation page and blog on how much it costs to renovate a bathroom in NZ.

Renovating your bathroom can be straightforward with the right planning and professional help. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your beautifully renovated bathroom.

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