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Converting a workshop into a sleepout

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  • Converting a workshop into a sleepout

    Has anyone had experience in the legal conversion of extra space
    into bedrooms/sleepout?

    I have a 2bdrm property in Orewa that has a large carport with three
    "workshops" at one end.

    Two of the workshops are the same size as double bedrooms.
    The neighbour currently uses a similar room as a bedroom.
    I've always specifically prohibited tenants from using them as bedrooms.

    I think the work required would be:
    - insulation & lining
    - raise the floor level above the carport
    - upgrade the windows & doors
    - already has power.

    What experience have others had with costs and sign off from the council?
    The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

  • #2
    Re: Converting a workshop into a sleepout

    Originally posted by PC
    Has anyone had experience in the legal conversion of extra space
    into bedrooms/sleepout?

    I have a 2bdrm property in Orewa that has a large carport with three
    "workshops" at one end.

    Two of the workshops are the same size as double bedrooms.
    The neighbour currently uses a similar room as a bedroom.
    I've always specifically prohibited tenants from using them as bedrooms.

    I think the work required would be:
    - insulation & lining
    - raise the floor level above the carport
    - upgrade the windows & doors
    - already has power.

    What experience have others had with costs and sign off from the council?
    LEGALLY: You can do whatever you like WITH YOUR PROPERTY!!!
    However, if you want it to be a 'legal building' from the perspective of the being structurally sound, and on the plans, you'll definitely need a building consent.
    That isnt what the council will tell you. The council will tell you that you do need a building consent BEFORE you start work. They are right, and also wrong. You dont need a building consent at all, it just wouldnt be a legal dwelling. However, I do strongly advise seeking a building consent, because without it, you're throwing you money away. When it comes time to sell your property, any work that you've done without a building consent is unable to be valued as 'real estate'.

    A lot of people get around this by auctioning off the site (and thus getting around the disclosure obligations), which is why it is essential for anyone thinking of buying by auction to thouroughly investigate that what they're looking at is actually what they're buying.
    Also, legally, you would be unable to rent out the rooms as 'habitable dwellings', unless the council has signed off the consent. (You could get in some trouble if you try renting them out otherwise)


    Your plans so far look to be accurate. You need to raise the level of the dwelling up about 120mm (from memory ... best to check BIA regs etc) I would advise putting in under-floor insulation while you're at it too. Habitable dwellings in the north island require a minimum of R1.8 external insulation, but it is advised to exceed that. Windows and doors should be straight forward.

    Other considerations:
    You'll need to draw up plans for council. If you know someone who is a draftsman/architect etc, then you're in luck, if not you're either looking at a goodly sum of money, or you could try and do it yourself. As it's existing (no structural change), council will be interested primarily in Clause E2, and H1 NZBC ... You might like to look them up, but basically what you're doing (raising datum above ground, and installing insulation) should meet these requirements. Also council will be interested in waterproofing of the openings, like doors, and windows (flashings etc) This is a nation-wide scare they've got going on at the moment as a backfire of the leaky-building syndrome.

    In fact, now that I think about it, you may be able to get a 'minor consent' from the council. That's where you go in with you're plans, and a planner looks at it and says yea or nay. Saves heaps on costs all round, and your plans wouldnt be scrutinied too hard. You'd have to check with the council on costs, (as they're always going up! , but I'd say you'd be looking at upwards of $80 for a minor consent, and upwards of $500 for a building consent.

    There are various computer programs that you can use to write plans for your project, if you do decide to draw your own plans (and i'm developing one at the moment for our bathrooms ), so PM me if you'd like a recommendation.

    Comment


    • #3
      The main problem with carport/garge conversions will be
      dampness coming up through the floor as most likely there
      is no damp proof membrane under the existing concrete slab.
      This is only a requirement for habitable rooms
      You would need to raise the floor level to prevent water flowing
      in from the outside surrounds
      This could be done by building a new timber floor over the existing
      concrete and providing ventilation to the space created
      Otherwise you could lay Damp proofing over the existing slab
      and pour a new one.
      You height of the roof/ceiling may need to be raised - there is no
      minimum requirement but min 2.1m for flat ceilings would be OK
      if the room is well ventilated.
      If you need any planning advice etc. send me a PM
      I am a archictectural Designer

      Casacamo

      Comment


      • #4
        Also I forgot to mention,
        Check the distance to the boundaries
        A lot of carports & garages are allowed to be built closer
        than 1.0M to the boundary as they are not deemed to be
        habitable rooms.
        If this is the case then fire rated walls etc. will need to be considered
        This can be done with gib board linings - you do not need blockwork

        Casacamo

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by casacamo
          Also I forgot to mention,
          Check the distance to the boundaries
          A lot of carports & garages are allowed to be built closer
          than 1.0M to the boundary as they are not deemed to be
          habitable rooms.
          This is true, but there are a few 'out clauses' where you can get away with it, depending on the height of your building, and the nature of the boundary. (i.e. cross lease boundaries dont count). But yes, it is something to do ur homework on

          Comment


          • #6
            Similiar questions, conversion from granny flat to legal

            Hi all,
            We are planning to buy house with granny flat downstairs. It (granny flat) has no legal papers for rental purposes. Is there any way to legalise it? If yes, how much it will cost?

            One more thing, is there anyway to have the main house and granny flat own separate power meter?

            Thanks in advance

            Comment


            • #7
              The biggest problem with illegal granny flats is that there has
              not been anyone checking during construction that it is up to
              required standards.
              To get it legalized you need to approch the council who can recommend
              a building certifier. They will inspect the building to check things like
              floor construction, insulation, structural elements etc. to make sure
              it meets new zealand building code requirements.
              If it is in a basement then there could be drainage issues which
              need to be looked at.
              It depends on the council but sometimes they will not allow a secondary
              unit on the site other than bedroom/living/bathroom.
              (ie no kitchen) As soon as you put in a separate kitchen they
              hit you with reserve contribution fees etc.

              I don't think there is a problen with getting a separate metere installed
              other than cost. The wiring will probably need to be re-routed through
              the new meter box - unless there is an existing distribution bd/fuse box
              for the flat

              Cheers
              Casacamo

              Comment


              • #8
                3fip, there are, at least, 3 issues; building consent, planning/resource consent and insurance.

                The first is technical and can be overcome (albeit with any rectifying work required) with a safe and sanitary report - that report is for the purposes of the building code. important point - even if you get a s&s report, all it means is that the council files it on the property file/LIM - there is no "retrospective consent" granted.

                The second (planning/resource consent) is more difficult to overcome if your property doesn't come within the criteria in the district plan to allow 2 dwellings (because a granny flat is treated as a second dwelling) or have existing use rights for the granny flat. if it doesn't fall within the district plan criteria or have existing use rights, council won't approve unless you obtain a resource consent which will, no doubt, require neighbours approval. important point - a s&s report is irrelevant to obtaining a resource consent (which is dealt with by a totally separate part of the council). if council grant consent (big if) that is when you need to worry about reserves contribution; you might not even be able to get to that point.

                in terms of the third issue, insurance, it shouldn't be a problem if you have a safe and sanitary report filed at the council - if you separate the dwellings (by putting in separate power and water meters, etc) without telling the insurers you may be uninsured. the insurers don't tend to worry about whether or not you have resource consent because that is nothing to do with the "safety or sanitary" aspects of the property - insurers worry about things like fire rating levies etc etc.

                the first thing to do is check the property file, if you haven't already - the lim oftentimes doesn't tell the full story.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Casacamo & Vern,
                  Thanks, now it is abit clearer. Btw, from your point of view, is it gonna be costly to convert them into legal income? Since most of house with granny is rented without legal permit for income? I mean is it better for me to find cheaper house with space to build 2nd dweling legally for income or house with granny and then convert it into legal income?

                  Many thanks

                  Comment

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