Building team update – 1 September 2022
New procedures with inspections
Builders are being impacted by delays in products coming into the country such as plasterboard deliveries, which is holding up builds.
This means that Central Otago District Council building inspectors are sometimes turning up at sites on the due date for an inspection, and the job is not ready to be inspected.
To help builders and to improve workflows, in addition to our reminder text, the Council will also be ringing the builder who has the inspection booked the day before, just to make sure the job is ready to go.
If they are not ready for an inspection, the job will be rebooked.
It will also mean avoiding a $150 inspection fee for a job that was not ready and will help free up the inspector’s time for other customers. This in turn will reduce the costs for the building owner for additional inspections.
The Council is also hoping this will alleviate the number of failed inspections.
This new procedure started this week in July this year (2022).
Thanks for your cooperation, and for working together to get through this challenging time.
See below for booking an inspection.
Booking Building Inspections - September 2022
Building Inspectors will inspect your building activities to ensure they comply with the approved plans. Some consents will require several different inspections depending on the nature and purpose of the building. The number of inspections required will depend on the complexity of the building and the systems within it.
Once your building consent has been granted and issued, we will send it to you either digitally in a convenient pack for storage on-site. It contains valuable information in addition to the building consent, such as the list of inspections that will be needed for your project.
Building inspection waiting times
Waiting is much easier if you have a guide on how long you'll be waiting right? Below are the current waiting times for booking a building inspection. We hope that our daily updates on this page will help you manage the projects you are working on:
Current inspection waiting times generally are:
Alexandra – 15 working days (We expect this will get back down to the usual 10 day wait time as things get back to normal).
Cromwell – 10 working days
Types of Inspections
While we are processing your building consent application, we will determine what inspections will be necessary for us to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that compliance with the NZ Building Code will be achieved.
Each inspection will be identified along with the requirements for that particular inspection. A list of the inspections we need to carry out will be attached to your building consent. Your building consent folder must be available if requested for inspections.
If non-compliant work is discovered during an inspection a site notice will be issued or if it is a serious breach then a Notice to Fix may be issued requiring all work to stop or a conditional continuation of work until the non-compliance is resolved.
Note: The inspecting officer may refuse to carry out the inspection if the site is deemed to be unsafe (including lack of provision for access to off-ground areas).
Some of the things we will be checking for include:
- drainage, including drains under buildings
- excavation for a foundation
- reinforcing steel for a foundation
- any other steel to be embedded in concrete
- any damp proof membrane to be covered (including tiles over a membrane)
- any flashing/sill wrapping/cavity batten that will not be concealed on completion
- coating of any monolithic cladding
- pre-wrap - where structure is to be enclosed
- pre-lining - plumbing or when timber has to have a specified moisture content
- post-lining but before plaster stopping - firewalls and bracing walls
- a final inspection to confirm all work as complete
In addition to the inspections by Council inspectors, inspections may be required by specialists including structural, geotechnical and fire engineers. You will need to liaise directly with your specialist about the inspections he/she will need to make. Your specialist may not be able to give you the required Producer Statement if you have failed to arrange for inspections at the appropriate times.
Book an Inspection
For Restricted Building Work (RBW) you must notify Council in writing of the Licensed Building Practitioner(s) (LBPs) who will be doing the work before you can book the first inspection. (If you filled them in on the building consent application form in the first instance and they have not changed you are able to book an inspection.)
Phone (03) 440 0056 to arrange an inspection. Please note that the more notice you can give us the better, as inspection capability can vary as the demand for inspections vary. We need a minimum of 72 hours notice, but are currently booking inspections a week out. Due to the size of the Central Otago district, our building inspectors are only in some areas on certain days of the week (e.g. Roxburgh and surrounding areas we visit on a Wednesday and the Maniototo we visit on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Cancel a building inspection
We understand that things change, so if you need to cancel an inspection, please phone us on (03) 440 0056 to cancel your building inspection.
You need to cancel your inspection by midday the day before it is scheduled if you want to avoid a fee.
If you cancel on the day of the inspection, you will still need to pay a full inspection fee.
The Building Inspector will check that the building work is in accordance with the building consent documents. For Restricted Building Work, the LBP on site must be able to prove he is licensed by showing his card to the Building Inspector (if requested to).
Each inspection must be passed by the Building Inspector before the work can continue. The owner/agent is responsible for ensuring that all inspections identified on the site inspection sheet are approved.
For off ground areas that cannot be easily accessed and/or seen from ground level, you will need to provide the inspector with a safe and suitable method for accessing the area.
What happens next?
The Building Inspector can either pass or fail the on-site inspection.
For a pass - this will be recorded by the Building Inspector and shared with you digitally (if requested).
For a fail - this will be recorded by the Building Inspector and shared with you digitally. This will mean a re-inspection is needed once the work in question has been rectified. A letter may also be sent confirming what re-work is required. If additional inspections are required, we may have to charge a fee, as re-inspections are not provided for in the initial building consent fees.
If the work is not remedied to the satisfaction of the Building Inspector, or is in serious breach of the Building Act, a notice to fix may be issued.
A notice to fix is a formal notice issued by the Council advising that certain works have not been carried out in accordance with the Building Act. If a notice to fix is issued, you must address the issues identified within a prescribed time frame to prevent further action being taken. Enforcement of a notice to fix is undertaken by Council.
If you wish to make changes to the consented plans during the construction process you can do so by following our process for amending a building consent.