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Decks, roofs, auctions, oh my!

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  • Decks, roofs, auctions, oh my!

    I am looking at a property going up for auction as a potential PPOR for myself and family.

    The property was built and occupied by the builder himself in 1982, then extended in 1989. The extension itself is an extra bedroom, and a roughly 6m x 4m deck has been built from the upper lounge level over the new bedroom, resting on its roof. We don't know when the deck was built, ie if it was simultaneous with the extension, or later. It doesn't seem 22 years old, but hey, it could be. It certainly is not up to code now, (flush with main building, railings probably not code compliant etc) and will need to be replaced in the next few years.

    The roof underneath has some space (60cm reducing to nothing as the roof slopes upward) between itself and the decking, and there is substantial foliage around which has no doubt allowed for leaves etc to accumulate in the space between. There is no way to check the state of the roof underneath, and we can see some rust from the side.

    My assumption on this is that:

    a) as long as the deck was built according to building code at the time, it is legal now.
    b) the roof will need to be replaced at some point and we will need to remove the deck to do it.
    c) When we go to replace it, we will need to build the deck to current code, which is an improvement, and therefore the activity is consentable.
    d) If we don't do anything about it and use as is, it will be a problem if we go to sell it.
    e) This equals a major pain in the arse and we'll need to spend months with council process etc. (Hi Davo36!)

    So my questions are:

    Are my assumptions correct? and
    How much should I knock off what I think is the right price for the property to deal with all this when bidding at the auction?

    Council is Auckland, ex-North Shore.

    Input much appreciated, thanks.

  • #2
    Have you looked at the council plans? Just wondering if the extension and deck are legal. If they are not legal then you could end up with the council telling you to rip both down.

    Don't forget to add in an inconvenience amount into your calculations.


    • #3
      Hi Kyotolaw!

      Yeah that's good advice Dunning, look at the plans the local council office are holding.

      North Shore were known as one of the trickier areas. So bear that in mind.

      Having said that, I'd be pretty sure that you could remove the deck and re-roof without a consent. You certainly don't need a building consent to re-roof. You normally wouldn't need one to remove a deck either. But you would for putting one back...
      Squadly dinky do!


      • #4
        The extension is definitely legal, I've seen the building permit. This was in 1989, so before the 1991 Building Act. As to whether the deck is included in the permit, I can't be sure. If I had to guess, I would say the deck isn't 22 years old.

        Davo36, the consent for putting one back is what I am most worried about! And how to price that?


        • #5
          Surely knowing the roof is good, or making it good, is peace of mind that's hard to put a value on, right? Do you HAVE to re-deck immediately, or can you do that later, after the roof is sorted?


          • #6
            I have 4 months left on a FTT tenancy, and my ideal situation would be to get *everything* sorted before I move in. That includes redecking - the house is not nearly as attractive without the deck.

            Yes, I would want to do the roof, absolutely. What keeps me awake is buying the house, not being able to redeck before we move, and spending months in council purgatory over the issue. We have two young kids and a growing business to manage - I don't know if I can afford to let that stress in my life right now (or more accurately, if my wife will forgive me for adding it...).


            • #7
              You might be able to get away with replacing like with like without need for a consent. It is also a possibility that, if asked, all you are doing is repairs to the deck, not replacing it.


              • #8
                First you "repair the deck". Like for like, but you might as well bring it up to code as you go (but no permit needed).

                While you are repairing the deck, the treads and maybe joists will be up, so you can repair the roof (like for like - no permit needed).

                Job done.

                If no-one can prove the deck was done after 1991 (old building act) then there is no need for an original permit. What's there today stands ad de-facto consented.


                • #9
                  Download google earth, use the time machine function and go back in time, northshore has a lot of details, ie you can move forward or back in time to get an idea of when things appear from the satellite photos.

                  Mileage will vary, also get the council property bag, used to be $20 for a cd or something


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the tips everyone.

                    What we know is that the extension was done in 1989, permitted. The deck is on top of that extension. The deck wasn't included in the permit application according to council records.

                    Google Earth's timeline shows that the deck was there in 1997, no previous photo before then since 1963. Great tip thanks TheFlash.

                    It would be great if we can get away with this not needing a consent, but the alternative is scary...

                    Anyone want to ballpark how much I should discount a bid by for this?


                    • #11
                      Assuming the deck is supported by the roof,I doubt you could easily repair the roof without removeing the deck,all the way down to where its supported.


                      • #12
                        Skid, that has always been my assumption. And I'd want to do it before there was a roof failure also, especially considering the deck on top.


                        • #13
                          An update on this.

                          We bought the house. We were the only bidders at auction, and of course our bid was nowhere near the reserve. Post-auction negotiations ensued, and we bought the house 60K below the reserve, along with a very sweet vendor finance deal (long term, below market interest rate, interest only repayments for many years etc).

                          Our renovations to the property require both resource and building consent. It turns out that the deck violates height-to-boundary rules, along with the house being in a built heritage zone. Affected neighbours were both encouraging and happy to sign off on the changes, so a bullet dodged there. Resource consent came through today, two days ahead of the 20 working day timeframe, so that was a nice result.

                          The building consent is due any day now, and the indications are that it will be relatively problem free, but I will truly believe that when I see the paper in my hands.

                          Because we are jumping through the consent hoops anyway, we have the opportunity to look at the roof when we redo the deck.

                          We're behind timetable on moving in - our FTT expires in a couple of weeks, and we have rolled it into a periodic to avoid moving into a building site.

                          At the end of the day we'll spend more due to the council requirements, but have protected our value by jumping through their hoops. We'll have spent more money, but the way and price at which we've bought the property allows us to do that.

                          I'll update more as our renovations get underway and our total costs become clearer.


                          • #14
                            Hey Kyotolaw,
                            I've just found this thread. Any update on how the renovations and costs have come through? I hope everything worked out according to plan.


                            • #15
                              8 months down the track its interesting to read this and look back at what our frame of mind was when we bought the house and then before we started renovating.

                              Regarding the deck - the council made a change in the building permit which essentially required us to demolish and rebuild it. We were already planning to replace the decking, redo the balustrades, and support it from the ground (as opposed to the roof it was sitting on). However, the council wanted us to replace all the joists under the deck, rather than sliding new ones in underneath it. By this point, demolish and rebuild was the sensible thing, but it caused some ructions with the builder who had quoted on the project fixed price on the pre-approved plans. This cost us an extra $9K in work which was an unpleasant surprise.

                              We were able to inspect the roof underneath and it was in good nick - we repainted it while the deck was off so it should be good for another 15 years or so. The deck no longer is supported by the roof, so less wear and tear there also.

                              We upgraded to a Vitex decking while we were at it (which was another cost blowout - extra $3.5K), but we were convinced it was worth it. The deck was certainly the biggest cause of problems in our renovations - the internal stuff we did pretty much all was done on budget and on time. Finally though the house looks spectacular and the deck is a great feature.

                              Council final inspection was no big drama and the CCC was issued in October.

                              We had agents around to guesstimate the value of the house after our renovations were complete and they came in around $100K above what we spent on the house and the renovations (a good result!), but looking back I was way too optimistic on costings when I was first thinking about buying the house.

                              We love living there though, and it feels good to have both the legal reassurance that the council isn't going to be a problem, and the more important assurance that my young kids aren't going to be able to push over the balustrades. I'm happy now, but looking back there were definitely points where I was tearing my hair out.