Restricted Building Work – What can you do?

Homeowners who are about to begin a building project need to be aware of changes to the Building Act, which took effect from 1 March 2012.

To ensure any structural or weathertight work on a property is carried out by competent professionals, there are restrictions in place on who can designbuild and renovate homes. This is known as Restricted Building Work or RBW.
RBW only relates to residential construction, alterations and design of houses and small-to-medium sized apartment buildings. It doesn’t apply to any ancillary buildings such garages or garden sheds or to commercial property.

The type of work which is restricted includes:

  • Foundation and sub-floor framing
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Roof
  • Columns and beams
  • Bracing
  • Damp-proofing
  • Roof and wall cladding
  • Water proofing
  • Design of fire safety systems

You can find work that is EXCLUDED from needing a building consent here…

In order to get building consent for Restricted Building Work, the design will need to be carried out or supervised by a Design LBP, a Chartered Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect.

They will then need to provide the owner with a Certificate of Work memorandum that states who did the design, identifies the restricted work, and certifies that the design complies with the Building Code.

The homeowner (or LBP) must provide this to the local council as part of their building consent application.

  • Restricted Building Work construction cannot get underway until the owner has notified the local council of the LBPs who will be carrying out or supervising the work.
  • During Construction, as each LBP completes their part of RBW (eg the Roofing LBP has put the roof on), they must give the owner a Record of Work memorandum stating that they have carried out or supervised that part of construction.
  • The homeowner must in turn provide this to the local council as part of their Code Compliance Certificate application.


Your Obligations

Homeowners have an obligation to ensure that those they employ are licensed to do the work required.

You risk being fined up to $20,000 if found to have knowingly employed an unlicensed person to carry out Restricted Building Work.

Likewise, unlicensed tradespeople who carry out and/or supervise restricted building work can also be fined.

  • Click here for information about Licensed Building Practitioners
  • or for Restricted Building Work, go here…..

* The Licensed Building Practitioner scheme, administered by the Building and Housing Group, covers designers, carpenters, brick and block layers, foundation specialists, site managers, plasterers and roofers. LBPs are practitioners who have demonstrated to the Ministry that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out quality building work to a high standard. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and there is a complaints system if your LBP has not performed to a satisfactory standard here..

Go to this page for important updates on the Building act – read more here…

Building Your Own House

The good news is you are allowed to build your own house without having to be an LBP. Any work you do still has to meet the Building Code and you will still need Council Building Consent and inspections to ensure you’re building correctly. Click on the link here to find out more…

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