Q&A

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Answers To Your Building Questions

Who is responsible for the NHBRC Certificate?

Who is responsible for the NHBRC Certificate?
I bought a property from a registered complex on sectional title and commissioned a house to be built by the developer and owner of the complex. The entire project has been successful and I can fully recommend the developer as an astute and worthy builder.

Building a granny flat: Where do I start?

I have the opportunity to build a house/granny flat on my parents' property which is reasonably large. Where do I start? Who do I contact to see what size house/granny flat can be built? How do I contact them etc? I would really appreciate any advice you could offer me.

Building a perimeter wall: What are the restrictions?

I want to build a perimeter wall around my corner property. Are there any restrictions as to the distance of the wall to the street? Especially for the corner closest to the street?

Building extensions and a granny flat: SIPS system

I am considering building an office (perhaps future live in a flat) above my garage; can I use a SIPS system to do this?  Can you advise on the requirements for the office floor/garage roof (i.e. the platform on which to build upwards upon)? 

Deck awning: do I need a plan?

I have erected an awning over my deck about 10 years but I am selling the house now.  The person that is buying the house wants a plan or a letter to state no plan is needed. Do I need a plan?

Do I need building plans for a louvre awning?

Do I need building plans for a louvre awning size of 6m x 4m, to be installed in my backyard. The two sides will be attached to the buildings exterior wall, rest is pole support? The paved floor is continuous with the rest of the paved yard.

Do I need plans for a Wendy House?

I am looking at putting a wendy house in the garden for my daughter to stay in.  Are there any problems or advice you would give me about doing this? I was also wondering how I go about getting plans for the municipality to approve and the approximate cost of all of the plans/approval?

Do we need building plans before erecting a wooden fence on the street side of our property?

Would we require building plans before erecting a wooden fence on the street side of our property?

How far can we build from a municipal drainpipe?

I have been told that if you want to build then you need to be a certain distance away from the pipe. Can I get permission to build closer and what steps can I follow to do the right thing?

Owner Builder: Satisfying the bank

I am in the process of building a new home for myself - not to sell. However, the financial institutions will only approve the building loan if I have a builder who is registered with the NHBRC. Since I would like to use my own qualified builder (who at the moment is not registered with NHBRC) - is it possible for me to register? Or what would you advise in order for the banks to be happy?

Should I make an upfront payment to my builder?

Is it generally expected to make an upfront payment to a builder before he has started with construction? What is the normal building industry practice?

Swimming pool not on original house plan: What should we do now?

We recently bought a house which was built in the early 60s. The swimming pool on the property was never included on the building plan lodged with the local municipality. How do we go about fixing this problem?

Weep holes and rising damp: What should I do?

I live in an area where the water table is high. As a result, I have paint bubbling, at the bottom, on the inside of an exterior wall. I assume this is a result of rising damp. I have noticed that newly built homes have weep holes, at intervals, along outside walls.