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'NZ building code changes support flexible approach to temporary accommodation'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Changes to the New Zealand building code that have come into force this month are a boon for businesses looking to provide temporary accommodation for their workers and for holiday home owners anticipating a busy summer.

SheShed, a business which supplies kitset cabins, says that the changes are very welcome and many rural-based businesses will now be able to provide sleepouts as temporary accommodation for workers, pickers and shearers without the requirement for a consent for the building.

"The changes allow for single-storey detached buildings made of lightweight materials, such as timber, exceeding 10 but not exceeding 30 square metres in floor area," says SheShed Customer Services Manager Sharoyn Reid.

"Products such as our lake cabin are an ideal fit and can also function as additional bach accommodation for the busy summer ahead when friends and family will be travelling domestically for their holidays rather than heading overseas."

The government announced the exemptions to the Building Act in May and estimated that the changes would remove an estimated 9000 consents per annum from local authorities’ building consent review processes.

"Previously customers would come to us wanting a 15 square metre sleepout in their backyard not knowing or having considered that a consent is required for anything larger than 10 square metres. Once they found out a consent was needed they would immediately ask what the biggest shed or cabin option was that didn’t require consent or would flag the project altogether.

"With businesses under so much additional pressure at the moment they need solutions to their need for additional accommodation, office space or a showroom to be quick and efficient. We’re delighted that this change coming into effect means people can get a good quality shed or cabin built on their property much more easily."

SheShed recommends using a qualified builder to put its sheds and cabins together, although it is possible for a competent DIYer with the right tools to do the job.

"We would recommend people contact a qualified builder to help with their shed or cabin because they can have confidence in the result, they can know that it will meet the building code - which is still a requirement - and because the building industry really needs our support at this time. We have had many enquiries recently from builders actively seeking work and know that there are more builders available for smaller jobs such as this right now."

As New Zealand moves between alert levels, interest in cabins and sheds is high.

"A space of up to 30 square metres is big enough that it can fit a range of applications as people’s needs change and are a sensible future-proofing move as business owners needs change and adapt to the wider changes that COVID-19 requires. It’s also a great fit for our kiwi summer bach lifestyle."

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