No Consents Required

One of the hardest and most complex parts of building or renovating is the consent process and dealing with the council, but there has been some exciting news for homeowners in late 2020.

Recent changes mean that low-risk building work, such as sheds, carports and sleepouts, in many cases no longer need council consent to be built.   

So if you’re considering a new addition to your home or property, it’s important to note that in a majority of cases, for the new building work not to require Council consent, these must be built by a manufacturer like KiwiSpan, or a licensed builder. With that in mind here are some options that no longer require Council consent;

  1.       Buildings up to a maximum floor area of 30 metres –  (these still can be built by non-professionals but require restrictions on building materials in accordance with the Building Code) 
  2.       Ground Floor Veranda’s or Awnings up to 30 metres
  3.       Carports up to 40 metres
  4.       Single-storey pole sheds and hay barns up to 110 square metres (but only in rural zones).

It’s important to note that any plumbing work to a new or current building still requires a building consent, and any electrical work will still have to be carried out by a registered electrician.  Different councils can also have different local by-laws but some, like Auckland Council, have a handy online tool to check if your shed needs consent 

For property owners, this has been welcome news, as it will save time and money when thinking about a new building or addition with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) predicting it will cut out the need for over 9000 consents and $18m worth of consent fees for homeowners.

However, it is also important to note that KiwiSpan is available to ensure that whatever your building size, shape or usage, that you will fully comply with the local council regulations before we commence building. Because KiwiSpan builds are entirely customised, we can give you a world of possibilities.

Whether it’s a shed, farm barn or carport, KiwiSpan has the solution for you.

Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next shed project. 

Thinking of Building Stables? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re considering getting some stables made, you probably don’t need to be told that there’s a bit to consider. Unlike other types of storage units, stables are used to house living, high-maintenance animals. And as we’re sure you’re aware, rearing horses is more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby, and requires a ton of time and effort – so you’ll also want to get their accommodation just right (remember, the better they feel, the easier they’ll be to handle). 

To help make this process a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when planning your stables (although rest assured, when building with us, we’ll be with you all the way). 

 

Breathing Space

Being active animals, horses don’t like being stabled. In fact, they’d rather be out in the field all day and night. So in order to make their stay that little bit more comfortable, you’ll want to make sure they’re given enough space to rest comfortably.  

The minimum size requirement for a sleeping bay is 3.6mx3.6m, but you should go bigger if you can. The general rule of thumb is that all sleeping bays should be big enough for the horse to lie down comfortably in, without having to bunch up against the wall. 

Likewise, you’ll want to keep any entrances as wide as possible, giving your animals plenty of room to pass in and out of (this is typically between 1.5-2m). 

 

Materials

When it comes to internal structures (such as the walls between individual sleeping bays), we recommended you use a mesh-like design rather than a solid wall. 

This allows for two things. Firstly, the animals will be able to see each other, which will make them less prone to distress (and again, make them easier to work with). 

You’ll also experience superior ventilation around the stables, which is optimal for the health of its residents. These are also good reasons to include a few windows in your stables too (not to mention the increase in sunlight they’ll allow for). 

 

Security 

Getting the right locks for your stables is a fine art. Because you’ll often be guiding an animal whilst dealing with, locking and unlocking your stables, you’ll want a locking system that’s simple enough to operate while multitasking (and often with only one hand to spare). 

That said, horses are not unintelligent animals. It’s not unheard (no pun intended) of for horses to figure out how to unlock a simple hatch lock and go for a nightly galavant. In fact, it’s even been reported that some horses will not only break themselves out but will then also proceed to bust their friends out too. Whilst you can’t fault their loyalty to each other, this could be somewhat disastrous to deal with. 

As with so many things in life, finding that perfect locking system is all about balance. 

 

Flooring

There are quite a few options when it comes to stable flooring, each with their own pros and cons. 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy homes make for happy horses. Contact us here today to get the ball rolling on your next shed-based project. 

It’s Now Easier to get a Barn (and Why You Should Consider it)

Hay there, have you heard the good news about barns? 

 

If not, we’d love to tell you about it.

Building a barn is now easier.

This used to be a bit of a process. It wasn’t just about finding land and building materials. You also had to acquire a building consent. This was a process that would take time, money, resources and require several permissions.

All this was before you can even think about building the thing. 

However, it’s been announced that single-story barns under 110m2 are now exempt from this requirement. Provided you stick to those specs, you’re good to go.

The only other catch is that you actually have to use the barn as a barn. So, as cool as converted barn bars/wedding venues/stores are, you’ll still need a building consent for this kind of work.  

But it’s worth noting that this exemption covers any sort of structure (enclosed, semi-enclosed or open) used for farming-related activities in rural areas, not just hay barns (despite the earlier pun). 

Okay, that’s great – but why should you care?

Well, despite the stereotypical idea of an old, red wooden building found on old-timey farms, modern sheds are actually an incredibly useful utility building with a range of valuable uses. KiwiSpan offers a wide range of custom barn solutions for a multitude of uses. 

 

Storing livestock

So using a barn as a place for keeping various animals is probably the most obvious one, but you don’t necessarily need to be a livestock farmer to make use of this.

Raising animals can not only be a profitable, and fun activity. Studies have also shown that raising children around animals can help with allergy immunities and self-confidence.

More and more people are choosing to raise chickens (scrambled eggs for breakfast anymore?), and for all the rider’s out there – barns can also serve well as a stable for horses as well.

Thanks to the recent influx of “cute cow playing with beach ball” videos online (Who would’ve thought that cats’ time in the spotlight was limited?), adopting a cow as a pet rather than a future meal has also become more popular in recent years. 

 

Actually, storing a lot of things.

If you have a larger property to maintain, then a barn is the perfect place to store some of your larger equipment, such as ride-on lawnmowers, without cluttering up the garage. 

KiwiSpan barns are also much more weather resistant and much more stylish than the old weighted tarpaulin solution too. In fact, even if you don’t have a fleet of farming machinery to keep out of the rain, a barn can make for a pretty solid storage option for any property, and it’s not all about work.

Barns provide plenty of storage for play too. Keeping your toys, as you can store quad bikes, cars and jet skis and boats 

 

Interested? Get in touch with us to see if your planned shed meets these requirements. Or feel free to browse our range of barns and other shed solutions here.

How to Make a Small Shed Feel Bigger

When it comes to sheds (something we’d like to think we know a bit about), there’s this idea that short of owning a multi-acre section, sheds are just a place to store tools and collect lichen. 

Frankly, this is something of a tragedy, as there’s nothing quite like owning a shed. Whether it’s a man cave to escape too or a sleepout that provides your eldest with a small brush with independence (and more you-time for you) or a place to spend some quality time on a passion project.

The bottom line is, just about anyone, with any sized section (yes, even city folk) can own the kind of shed worth spending time in. However, if size still seems like an issue for you, here are a few tips you can use to make any small shed feel bigger.

 

Colours

Interior designers have been using colours to manipulate how big or small a room seems for years. Whilst dark colours tend to create a cosy and intimate (or simply put, a smaller) atmosphere, lighter, more neutral colours have been shown to make indoor areas seem instantly more spacious.

Our favourites lighter neutrals include Zincalume, Tatiana, Cloud and Gull Grey. You can make further use of this trick by incorporating the chosen colour of the walls into your furniture (i.e. a similarly painted workbench for a workshop, or by using the same shade in your furniture upholstery for sleepouts), as this will strengthen the feelings of extra spaciousness.

 

Invite in the Natural Light

Whilst aiding the “largening” effect that neutral colours create, natural light is also a reliable tool unto itself when it comes to making smaller spaces feel bigger – due to the airy and relaxed atmosphere it creates. 

KiwiSpan offers a range of window configurations and translucent shed roofing. Consider making use of this natural resource when designing your next shed.

 

Choose Multi-Functional Furniture

One of the simplest ways to keep a smaller space from feeling claustrophobic is to keep it from becoming overcrowded, either due to excess clutter or by having too much furniture. 

The easy fix for this is to simply opt for multi-functional furniture when possible. A common example of this would be to use a workbench that also has a compartment for storing your tools. Other common examples include a sofa bed for sleepouts.

 

Have any of these tips inspired you? If so, feel free to check out our website and custom shed designers to explore what possibilities may be available to you as a future shed owner.