Building Inspections FAQ

Below are questions and answers related to building inspections. Please contact us if you have any further enquires.

The inspection process

When called, a Building Officer will visit the site to undertake an inspection of the work to establish if the work complies with the building consent. Council uses a range of electronic check sheets to assist in our inspections. Typically, 50% of all inspections identify shortcomings that require additional inspections. If your consent was applied for after March 1 2012, you must identify all licensed building practitioners involved in the project before starting work. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the correct LBPs are doing the work. If there are any questions, you should discuss this with your LBP.

What inspections do I need?

When your application is being processed, we will identify what inspections will be necessary to enable us to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that compliance will be achieved. Each inspection will be identified along with the requirements for that particular inspection. When you receive your building consent, you should read it fully. If you have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible. We will be happy to discuss or explain the process. Missed inspections may mean that a code compliance certificate cannot be issued. Council is always keen to avoid the need to refuse to issue a CCC.

Inspections by others

Sometimes it is necessary for specialists to conduct inspections in addition to the inspections carried out by the Building Consent Authority. If a specialist inspection is necessary, you will generally be advised before the consent is issued. Typically, these types of inspections may involve having a geotechnical engineer confirm ground stability, or having an aspect of specific structural design checked by a registered engineer. When applying for a building consent you can detail your proposed inspection regime for consideration. Please ensure you read inspection requirements and are familiar with them before commencing work.

How do I book an inspection?

Building inspections are booked through Building Administration on 03 433 0300. You should provide as much notice as possible to avoid delays.

For an inspection to take place, the approved plans and documentation must be available on site. N/B: If we arrive on site and the documentation is not available, we will not undertake the inspection. We will however; bill you for our time.

On the conclusion of all inspections, the outcome of the inspection is recorded on the electronic inspection report.  It is preferable that the owner or an agent be available on site for all inspections. While we appreciate that this may not always be possible it is mandatory that for final inspections the owner or their representative is on site.

What if the inspection has not been approved?

If an inspection is failed, the work to be rectified will be recorded on the required items report. Another inspection may be required to inspect the remedial work. All re-inspections will be charged at the current rate in the Council's schedule of fees and charges. If the work is not remedied to comply with the Building Act or the Regulations to the satisfaction of the Building Officer, a notice to fix and an invoice for the notice to fix may be issued.

What is a notice to fix?

A notice to fix is a formal notice issued by the Building Consent Authority advising that certain works have not been carried out in accordance with the Building Code. If a notice to fix is issued, you are required to address the issues identified within a prescribed timeframe to prevent further action being taken.

A notice to fix may:

  • require the owner to apply for a building consent, or for an amendment to an existing building consent
  • require the owner to apply for a certificate of acceptance for building work without a building consent
  • state that all or any building work must cease immediately until the responsible authority is satisfied that the specified person is able and willing to resume operations in compliance with the Building Act 2004 and Regulations.

It is possible for other matters, besides those listed above, that relate to remedying a contravention of the Act or regulations, correcting a building warrant of fitness, or complying with procedures in a compliance schedule to be included in a notice to fix.

The Building Act provides significant fines in relation to a notice to fix. It is our preference to work with builders & owners etc. to have any non-compliance resolved amicably and quickly. If a notice to fix is issued, a letter identifying and explaining the process will accompany it.

Do I need a final inspection?

Yes, all Building Consents require a final inspection. You should ask for a final inspection when you consider all the work is completed and apply for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). If you have not applied for a CCC within 2 years from the date that the Building Consent was issued Council will be in contact to discuss your progress. If you cannot complete the work within this time frame, it is essential that you contact us to discuss possible options. When all work has been completed in accordance with the Building Consent, a Code Compliance Certificate will be issued. If not the BCA can refuse to issue the CCC.