Do you need council consent for a bathroom renovation?

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ARTICLE Brian Johns

A question that always requires a bit of thought before answering, seemingly simple but not always the case.

I’m currently working on a bathroom renovation where the existing room is being split in half, creating two bathrooms. In this case, it’s a reasonable shift away from the original bathroom layout, plus an increase in plumbing fixtures, which all requires building consent.

With bathroom renovations, there are two areas to be considered. Firstly, is the bathroom changing structurally? For example, removing an adjoining wall between an existing separate toilet and adjoining bathroom.

A question you should ask, is the adjoining wall structure possibly supporting part of the roof. It is worth a look in the roof space if you own a villa, bungalow or a house built prior to the 70s.

Secondly, changes to plumbing. A consent isn’t required if you are not increasing the number of sanitary fittings. You can reposition a vanity, bath, shower or toilet within an existing bathroom space; move a toilet from a separate compartment to an adjoining bathroom; or remove a bath with a shower over and replace with proprietary shower unit; all without needing consent. However, putting in a tiled wet area shower will require consent.

So on the matter of replacing a shower over bath with a separate shower over bath, and so on, as an extra waste, it would be up to the individual council if building consent was required. A homeowner contemplating this should check with their council first. If you have any doubts about the work to be undertaken, consult an architect, designer, or your local council for advice.

You might be interested in reading: The renovation consent process.

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This article by Brian Johns featured on page 30 of Issue 014 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.

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