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An amendment to the Building Act now allows homeowners to complete ‘Restricted Building Work’ under an owner-builder exemption provision.
Significant changes for the building industry came into force on 1 March with the government’s introduction of Restricted Building Work requirements. The new rules meant that only a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) was permitted to design and carry out structural work and building activities that could impact on a building’s weathertightness.
However that has now changed with the amendment to the act exempting owner-builders. An ‘owner-builder’ is defined as a person who lives in or is going to live in the home, and carries out the Restricted Building Work themselves or with the help of unpaid friends and family members, and has not carried out Restricted Building Work on any other home in the previous three years.
Rotorua District Council building services manager Darrell Holder says most DIY work is minor repair, maintenance or alteration work and does not fall within the category of Restricted Building Work.
“For this type of work nothing has changed and homeowners can continue to carry out these DIY jobs as they always have.
“Restricted Building Work is that which requires a building consent and relates to the primary structure of the home, or affects its weathertightness. Work in this category must only be done by or under the supervision of an LBP unless using the owner-builder exemption.”
Mr Holder says an owner-builder remains responsible for ensuring that Restricted Building Work carried out under the exemption complies with the building consent and the relevant plans and specifications. He says future buyers will have access to information on property files showing that the building work was carried out by the owner rather than a licensed building practitioner.
The homeowner is required to complete a statutory declaration and provide it to Rotorua District Council along with their application for a building consent, or before construction of the Restricted Building Work begins at the latest.
More information on the owner-builder exemption is available from Rotorua District Council or online from the government website www.builditright.govt.nz