On 1 March 2012 a new category of building work called “restricted building work” came into effect under the Building Act 2004 (“Act”). Restricted building work relates only to building work in respect of the structure and weathertightness of a building.
Only licensed building practitioners (“LBP”), for example, a builder registered with the Department of Building and Housing, a registered architect, or a chartered professional engineer, may carry out or supervise restricted building work including bricklaying, blocklaying, carpentry, external plastering, foundations, roofing and design.
It is important to ensure that all work on your building project is completed or supervised by an LBP. If it is not, your building consent and consent completion certificate (previously code compliance certificate) will not be issued and you will have to engage an licensed building practitioners to check the building work, which may add to your building costs. As well, whether you are an unlicensed building practitioner or the owner, you could find yourself in breach of the Act and be liable for the penalties imposed under the Act for not complying with the new requirements, unless you have obtained an owner builder exemption from Council.
An owner builder exemption means that an owner-builder may, once every three years, carry out their own building work under a standard building consent without having to have an LBP supervise the structural or weathertightness aspects of the work. It is also important to remember the implied warranties contained in section 397 of the Act, for example, that the building work will be carried out in a proper and competent manner and that all materials supplied will be new and suitable.
These warranties cannot be contracted out of and remain for the benefit of subsequent owners. If you would like to know more about licensed building practitioners please contact one of our building and construction team experts.