Building work affecting the primary structure or weather-tightness of a residential building is restricted building work under the Building Act 2004.

The rules mean you must employ a licensed building practitioner to design, carry out or supervise this kind of building work.

The rules make sure that critical design and building work is carried out or supervised by competent practitioners. It also makes sure there is accountability if the restricted building work does not meet the required standards. 

Licensed building practitioners (LBPs)

LBPs are designers, carpenters, brick and block-layers, roofers, external plasterers, site and foundations specialists who have been assessed as competent to carry out work affecting the primary structure or weather-tightness of a residential building.

Chartered professional engineers, registered architects, plumbers and gasfitters are treated as LBPs and can carry out some restricted building work.

If your building project needs a building consent from the Council, it may be restricted building work. Visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Building Performance Group page on choosing the right people for your type of building work(external link) for more information on restricted building work and licensed building practitioners. 

Your building consent application must include details of the LBPs involved in your project. Your designer must be an LBP, and must include a memorandum, stating the design work complies with the building code. (Memorandum from licensed building practitioner: Certificate of design work(external link)).

(external link)Each licensed building practitioner who is subsequently involved in the project (e.g. foundation specialist, carpenter, bricklayer, external plasterer and roofer) must provide their LBP number and a record of work(external link) to the owner and Council. These records of work must be submitted with the application for a code compliance certificate.

To find who is a licensed building practitioner, go to MBIE's licensed building practitioners(external link) page.

Handy tip: To avoid delays in processing your building consent, be sure your application includes a certificate of design work from all LBPs involved with designing the restricted building work. The details of other LBPs can be added as they are engaged to do the building work if you do not know them at the time of application.

Owner-builder exemption

As an owner-builder, you can carry out restricted building work on your own home. You are responsible for ensuring that restricted building work carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and the relevant plans and specifications.

More information on the obligations and responsibilities of owner-buildings and their building project is available on the MBIE Building Performance Group webpage(external link).

You are an owner-builder if you:

  • Live in or are going to live in the home (this can include a beach or holiday home).
  • Carry out the restricted building work to your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members.
  • Have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out restricted building work to any other home within the previous three years.

Using the owner-builder exemption

The details and forms required to use the owner-builder exemption are on the MBIE Building Performance Group webpage(external link).