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Building consent exemption for windows and doors

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  • Building consent exemption for windows and doors

    Hi all,
    I've been wanting to replace a backdoor and window with French doors or sliding doors but was told again and again by window manufacturers and builders that I need a building consent. I have re-read the exemption list and under point 8 it states you do not need a consent unless your door is less than 15 years old and has failed, which it hasn't. It also states on the MBIE website that
    "This exemption covers structural and/or weathertightness work as long as the purpose of that work is to install the window or exterior doorway."

    As examples they write: "Following earthquake damage, a builder decides to install a bi-fold door to replace a pair of French doors leading from the ground floor dining room of a 2 storey dwelling. As the wall opening for the new joinery is wider than the existing opening, he needs to install a new lintel to span the opening."

    And: "To gain more sunlight, a home owner decides to install a window in an external
    fire-rated bedroom wall which contains no other openings. As the window will
    be less than 1 metre from the boundary, the owner instructs the builder to install
    a fire-rated window to meet the Building Code requirements."

    Another option I have is to replace the backdoor with a same size aluminium glass door to let light in. No consent required - tick. Then replace a window on the same wall with a bigger window, which I could leave the same width, but would make it taller (550mm at the moment and change to 1400mm).

    Can anyone confirm that neither of these options would require building consent? I will also go and check with the council as I was wondering if we have different rules here in Nelson. Would save me a ton of money in draughtsman and council fees and also could use a builder friend who is not a LBP to do the work, which will cut labour costs in half. Will still build to code of course.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me
    Last edited by Perry; 26-03-2018, 08:15 AM.

  • #2
    the guidelines are just that and the examples seem purposefully ambiguous and a bureaucratis attempt to muddy the waters. (an example is that they say a waterproof shower needs consent when this is not correct as it is still a sanitary fixture (but I always recommend self contained prefinished units as safer). Other examples are they say that a house over 15 years can be reclad without consent which is true but they should also have stated that a younger house can be reclad as long as there is no failure of B2 durability as the cause of the reclad (most younger dwellings fail because they were never E2 compliant in the first place and reclads requifred to restore value)

    The wording that you have to rely on is in Schedule 1 that describes the work that is exempt.


    when it comes to windows you have two options replacement under 1(2) (but this has \the exception clauses such as durability failure) or 8 where new opening can be made or old ones bigger or smaller

    If the work does not need a consent then it cannot be restricted building work (RBW) and therefore does not have to be undertaken or supervised by a LBP. Work under schedule 1 is not RBW.

    As you say building work still has to comply with the building code. This is stated in s42A which also says schedule 1 work cannot make compliance of the house worse than at present which means it can continue to not comply,(as distinct from the building work that must comply).


    by all means check with council (and let us hear what they say)but be prepared for ill inform ed interpretation and have the relevant schedule wording with you.

    p.s why is Perry editing other peoples posts?