DIY, but do it right this summer


It’s that time of the year when many feel compelled to dust off the DIY tools and tackle those jobs that have been put off over winter, Auckland Council building consents general manager Ian McCormick says.

“Backyard DIY projects are as much part of the Kiwi summer as sitting on the beach, but they need a bit more planning,” Mr McCormick says.

“While there are a number of jobs you can tackle without a council consent, these days it’s always best to check in advance.

“If you’re planning something relatively simple like a deck, fence, carport, or garden shed, you can see if there are any restrictions under the Building Code or Auckland Unitary Plan rules here. You can also visit the Auckland Design Manual for a simple guide to some of the planning regulations contained in the Unitary Plan.

“Remember the old builder’s adage ‘measure twice and cut once’. Plan your work carefully and ensure you fully understand what specialised skills, tools, safety equipment and permissions you may need to successfully complete your project.

“By doing it right, you will keep everyone safe and get the outcome you want.

“It’s also important to think about how we clean up afterwards, as building work can have a real impact on our environment,” Mr McCormick adds.

“Concrete waste, paint, and even soil particles can have a devastating impact if they get washed into the stormwater system, streams or the sea.

“Paint brushes should be washed with running water onto open ground which will absorb wastewater and prevent the chemicals from reaching more vulnerable stream or marine environments.

“If you’re looking at tackling something that might require electrical or plumbing work, remember they will need to be done by registered tradespeople.

“Confirming DIY work is compliant also helps property owners ensure they don’t compromise future property sales. If you’re uncertain, you can contact the council on 09 301 0101 to find out more.

“As a council, we’re not out to spoil your creativity, but please think twice about what your job entails before you get stuck in,” Mr McCormick says.

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