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Bathroom renovations: Code of Compliance required?

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  • Bathroom renovations: Code of Compliance required?

    We are renovating our bathroom and intend to do the plumbing work ourselves (hubby and Father-in-law have built and plumbed two houses in the past but are both not 'certified'). But we've just been told that we need to get a Code of Compliance from a Certified Plumber.


    We are stripping out an old vanity and shower unit and installing a new bath, vanity and shower. The shower will be in the same place. The bath tapware/plumbing will be where the vanity was but the vanity plumbing will be new.


    We are on our own tank supply and septic tank system, and not connected to mains water at all.


    We are in Auckland (Manukau).


    Do we need a Certificate of Compliance from a Certified plumber? And if so, any recommendations for one near Totara Park, Manukau?


    Thanks, in advance

  • #2
    Shouldn't do. You're replacing like for like by the sounds of it, so a repair in other words.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kiwilassee View Post
      We are renovating our bathroom and intend to do the plumbing work ourselves (hubby and Father-in-law have built and plumbed two houses in the past but are both not 'certified'). But we've just been told that we need to get a Code of Compliance from a Certified Plumber.


      We are stripping out an old vanity and shower unit and installing a new bath, vanity and shower. The shower will be in the same place. The bath tapware/plumbing will be where the vanity was but the vanity plumbing will be new.


      We are on our own tank supply and septic tank system, and not connected to mains water at all.


      We are in Auckland (Manukau).


      Do we need a Certificate of Compliance from a Certified plumber? And if so, any recommendations for one near Totara Park, Manukau?


      Thanks, in advance
      "Like for like" does not apply as an exemption to needing a building consent in schedule 1 of the building act as of the last amendments in 2010. However, plumbing and drainlayers have their own exemptions. Look up the building act 2004 on MBIE's website and then schedule 1 for exempt works. Regardless of whether or not a consent is needed certification of the works may still be required ie someone has to put their name to it.

      You will likely only need a consent for the works you describe if you affect structure or weathertightness.

      The new regime has very little allowance for exemptions but has various levels of consent from simple to rather onerous.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, and what she described is not a structural nor weather tightness issue at all, hence the replacing like-for-like comment. She's replacing an existing bath and vanity, for crying out loud. The last thing you need to do is talk to the council about that, for if you do and they can find a way, they will want to start controlling your business.

        Comment


        • #5
          This site is quite handy
          http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bc-no-consent-schedule-1
          But if I had to guess I would say a consent is required as it is not strictly like for like (there is an additional fitting).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Leftette View Post
            Yes, and what she described is not a structural nor weather tightness issue at all, hence the replacing like-for-like comment. She's replacing an existing bath and vanity, for crying out loud. The last thing you need to do is talk to the council about that, for if you do and they can find a way, they will want to start controlling your business.
            No, aside from the fact you have no scope of works in front of you to know for sure, you're wrong anyway. She is installing a new bath - she is replacing an existing shower and vanity.

            The "like for like" does not apply here for two reasons, firstly, the bath is new, secondly, it doesn't apply to plumbing.

            Aside from that, if the flooring is supported by timber framing then some of the floor framing may need adjustment to support the new bath - without seeing the bath we don't know. Wall framing will probably need to be adjusted to allow the new pipes and fittings for the bath but without seeing a floor and plumbing plan we don't know. If you remove linings to any walls and find decay from either shower, vanity, or exterior window leaks then you're supposed to apply for consent as any exemptions no longer apply. Any of these things will cancel any exemption for consent.

            I understand completely why you would not want to involve the council because is it such a simple job and they add time and cost which is better spent elsewhere. However, illegal works are simply something I will never recommend for obvious reasons.

            If the number of sanitation units remained the same (ie the bath was not added) and framing was not adjusted then as long as a qualified person (under the 2006 plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers act) sign off the plumbing a consent is not required.

            For the works described - Both a certificate of compliance from a registered plumber and a building consent from the council is required.

            Comment


            • #7
              Playing devil's advocate, once the new bath is in and the pipes behind the walls, and the decoration/tiling all neat & tidy, and 6 months down the track it has that lived-in look with a bit of grime and soap scum, how in the hell would anyone know what's been done and when in that bathroom?

              Comment


              • #8
                By the way, I'm obviously making that comment assuming the work is done to a professional standard, not necessarily by a paid-up certified plumber, but definitely not a bodge job.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Leftette View Post
                  Playing devil's advocate, once the new bath is in and the pipes behind the walls, and the decoration/tiling all neat & tidy, and 6 months down the track it has that lived-in look with a bit of grime and soap scum, how in the hell would anyone know what's been done and when in that bathroom?
                  I'll have a guess at two possible times.
                  At the next sale of the property.
                  At the next insurance claim for the property.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Leftette View Post
                    Playing devil's advocate, once the new bath is in and the pipes behind the walls, and the decoration/tiling all neat & tidy, and 6 months down the track it has that lived-in look with a bit of grime and soap scum, how in the hell would anyone know what's been done and when in that bathroom?
                    I feel that you are quite correct in that no one is ever likely to know and even if the change was detected the OP may be able to simply swear black and blue that that stuff was all there and they simply replaced it all thus casting the dobt further back down the line.

                    However, I took the OP to mean what was legally required. Were they not concerned with the legal requirement why ask?
                    Plus I don't think it is really appropriate to advise someone to break the law (in many areas there are laws against this too) and given that the penalty is up to $10,000.00 per day (if I recall correctly) it pays to point out the potential downside (no matter how remote this may be) of your recommendations too so as they can make a more fully informed decision.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow, as the OP, I'd like to thank you all for your comments - it's great to get differing opinions and thanks all for the links. However I feel like it's left me more confused than ever! I feel like I *should* do the right thing but that as many have pointed out, it's a lot of red tape and a lot more cost.

                      In terms of the quality of work, we are not concerned, the two doing it are a qualified mechanic and qualified electrician who have been tradies for over 50 years combined who have built three houses from scratch before. So I'm not concerned about the quality of the work, and getting a certified plumber in would just be additional expense that we don't need at all.

                      We think we are going to be okay though as the original plans of the house have a bath and shower in the bathroom, so at some point, someone has removed the bath. So if any potential buyers / Council workers / insurance people take a close look at plans, then they will see a bath in the original plans - we think this is our saving grace!

                      Just out of interest, could an insurance company invalidate a claim because there was no current Code of Compliance Certificate? Even if the damage was nothing to do with plumbing (eg. house fire)?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kiwilassee View Post
                        Just out of interest, could an insurance company invalidate a claim because there was no current Code of Compliance Certificate? Even if the damage was nothing to do with plumbing (eg. house fire)?
                        I note wording to this effect in my latest insurance renewal - though it is along the lines of requirements current at the time as clearly many houses have no requirement for a CCC.
                        That said, insurers used to try and not pay out in a motor vehicle accident if you were out of WOF until case law established otherwise one would suspect that similar principals would apply.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kiwilassee View Post
                          getting a certified plumber in would just be additional expense that we don't need at all.
                          Technically you do need it.

                          Originally posted by kiwilassee View Post
                          We think we are going to be okay though as the original plans of the house have a bath and shower in the bathroom, so at some point, someone has removed the bath. So if any potential buyers / Council workers / insurance people take a close look at plans, then they will see a bath in the original plans - we think this is our saving grace!
                          It might be worth asking them, although perhaps it's tempting fate a bit. Some are quite reasonable about this sort of thing, others complete assholes.


                          Originally posted by kiwilassee View Post
                          Just out of interest, could an insurance company invalidate a claim because there was no current Code of Compliance Certificate? Even if the damage was nothing to do with plumbing (eg. house fire)?
                          Do you want to bet your house on it? You don't need a plumber to do all the work, just inspect and sign off what has been done. It shouldn't cost you much in the scale of things.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My understanding regarding the insurance angle, is that insurance will pay out a claim as long as the non compliance work carried out whether electrical, plumbing etc is not the cause of the claim. For example someone wires in an unconsented stove .If the wiring was the cause of a fire that broke out' then damage caused would not be covered.If the fire had nothing to do with the faulty wiring of the unconsented stove then you would be covered.
                            Disclosure to the insurance company at the time you take out the insurance is best.

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