Extending Your Property

Extending Your Property
  • Written by
  • Helen Brosnan

If you have outgrown your property, extending could be the best solution for you. Getting started may include a top up of your home loan, a revolving line of credit or an application for funding.Some extensions will involve additional requirements including cross lease, consent notice, covenants, easements, and encumbrances. Your local District Plan requirements will also restrict what you can build with rules including yard setback, site coverage, height and earthwork restrictions. If you do not meet these requirements, a Resource Consent will be required and Affected Parties Consents from neighbours may be required. Your extension may also require Building Consent or it may be exempt.

Getting into the Detail

Working with an architect to design your extension is the next step. They will help identify other requirements, for example topographical survey plan, site set out, location of services, geotechnical report and structural design.Concept plans are suitable for Resource Consent applications and Affected Parties Consent processes. Detailed plans are required for a Building Consent application which is approved by your local authority. These are necessary to obtain accurate construction costs for the project.

You need to understand the difference between a cost estimate and a fixed price quote when you sign your building contract/s. If you have little experience it is best to pay for a project manager to co-ordinate the contractors. Then you can focus on choosing your colour scheme and making progress payments.

Ending the Project

During the construction phase, inspections are made by council as detailed in your Building Consent. Upon completion you need to obtain a Code of Compliance Certificate. Once you have completed the extension you can update your insurance, and if necessary, get a Registered Market Valuation.

Extensions can be a great way to improve your existing home to meet the needs of your growing or changing family. These projects can take more time and money than expected so getting good advice early will enable you to plan an extension that meets your budget and timeframes.

Helen Brosnan is a Senior Planner at Cheal Consultants Ltd, Taupō. She is a member of Rotorua Property Investors Association and a full Member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

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