Under the current Building Act there are regulations which affect the design of your new kitchen even if you are just replacing the existing joinery.
These regulations also affect the design of stairs, windows, doors and bathrooms, and vary depending on the use of the building. Some of these regulations are quite complex especially regarding Plumbing work, Electrical work or installation of gas appliances.
It is important that you are aware of these regulations before starting your project because under the current Building Act the final responsibility for compliance rests with the Home Owner and failure to comply may affect your Insurance Policy if you have to make a claim, and may also complicate the sale of the property several years down the track.
Some aspects of your project may require a Building Consent from the Council, like alterations to the position of Plumbing fittings and the removal or re-positioning of walls (even if they are not load-bearing). Other aspects of the kitchen are governed by regulations and must be carried out by registered tradesmen, but do not require a Building Consent, like Gas installation, Electrical work and Plumbing.
If you do require a Building Consent you will have to plan your project in advance and be prepared to wait several weeks for the Council to process the application, the Council can make you un-do work that has been started without a Building Consent at their discretion, so it pays to follow the rules. The documentation and drawings required for a Building Consent have to be detailed and accurate, even filling out the application form incorrectly can cause delays in the application being processed.
The days of doing small DIY projects on the spur of the moment and not worrying about a permit, or sketching a plan on the back of a cigarette packet are a thing of the past…but don’t panic! Your Designer can advise you what is required for your project, and if the documents we provide will be adequate, or whether you need additional drawings from an Architect or Engineer.