Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
Professional Building Consultants Ltd specialise in the processing of building consents and inspections of residential buildings, and we act as an agent under contract to Auckland Council in the Manukau and Central areas. We do this work on their behalf, however, your point of contact is us.
At this stage, we do not undertake projects located in other city council areas, or projects involving commercial or industrial buildings.
Why would I choose to come to PBC?
• We are a professional, dynamic business that is focused on achieving the best result for you during your project, while at the same time ensuring your building complies with the minimum requirements of the Building Code
• Many of our customers prefer to deal with a personable private business than a large Council
• We have considerable experience and are very customer focused
• We work hard to deliver your building consent within the timeframes required
• We recognise that our customers have a choice and work hard to retain their business
• Our team is focused on consistency of approach and quality of delivery
• We strive to be the best at what we do
How do I apply for a building consent?
When you have your plans and specifications ready to go, lodge them digitally through our Lodge an Application page or just pop into our office. No appointment is necessary, however if you wish, we are happy to make an appointment for lodgement.
Alternatively, you can mail, courier or just drop off your application to us.
What do I need to provide?
• Plans and specification (see below for details)
• Recent copy of your Certificate of Title (we can obtain these for a fee if required)
• Signed PBC Client Checklist (download by clicking here)
• Signed council form(s) and checklist (download the relevant application form(s) by clicking here).
• Manukau Only - Preferred Provider form by clicking here
• Completed Certificate(s) of Design Work
• Applicable Deposit fee (Central only - please contact us for this amount)
BC + PIM Applications: 4 full sets of working drawings with 3 copies of specifications, bracing and engineering calculations, engineers reports etc.
(if PIM issued, then only 3 copies plans required)
PIM application only: 2 sets drawings (elevations, floor plans & site plan minimum)
What assistance do we provide?
We will provide the following services to you when you lodge your building consent:
• Check the application for completeness prior to lodgement
• Assist you to complete the relevant Council application forms
• Vet the application on behalf of the council
• Lodge the application to the relevant Council
• Receive and forward all communication to your contact person
• Track the live days taken to process your application
• Chase your application through the Council system if necessary
• Discuss issues with the Council on your behalf to alleviate issues.
• Provide advice to you throughout the process.
• Compile and lodge your application for Code Compliance Certificate
What is the Process?
PBC accepts building consent applications on behalf of the council, and vets the plans to check for completeness. All application forms are completed on behalf of the client, and then forwarded to the council, together with any relevant deposits.
The council loads it onto their systems, then undertakes the processing of the plans for Planning, and Public Drainage. A PIM is then issued if applicable, after which the application file is returned to PBC to check the plans for building code compliance, including building, plumbing and private drainage, structural engineering and fire code requirements. Upon all items being complete and approved, the application file is then sent back to the Council to have the building consent issued, and a fee invoice generated. Please note that both Auckland and Manukau undertake an in-house audit prior to issuing the consent.
Following final approval, PBC are notified of the fees payable, which we then notify to the applicant or their nominated contact person.
What is the processing clock?
The New Zealand Building Act requires a Building Consent to be processed and issued within 20 live working days.
PBC monitors this by having two processing clocks. One monitors the Council legal requirement of 20 working days and the other our processing clock of 10 live working days.
The statutory time frame (Council Clock) starts once the building consent has been accepted into the Councils processing system. The building consent then travels through a number of different technical people who check for compliance, these may include Resource management planning, Network Utility Operator, Hazards, PBC processing, Final review, Accounts then issue. At any stage during this process one of technical people can suspend the building consent by asking for further information. The processing clock is then suspended until the correct information is provided. The net live days taken to process the building consent is the time that makes up the legal requirement of 20 live working days.
Once a Building Consent application has been accepted by the Council and forwarded to PBC for processing, the PBC clock starts. PBC will then check the building, plumbing and drainage and engineering components in the application. If further information is requested the clock will be suspended until the correct information is provided. Once answered correctly the PBC clock will start again until the PBC’s component of the project is complete. At this stage the PBC clock will stop. The project will be sent back to the Council for completion of the process and issue of the Building Consent.
What happens if you need further information?
During processing of your consent, we or council may require further information or revisions to the design. We will communicate this to you either by phone or email. Your consent will then be ‘suspended’ until such time as this information is received.
If you have any queries regarding a request for information received, then please give us a call to discuss.
How long does it take?
The Building Act requires that Council issue the building consent within 20 working days. This does not include days that are counted as ‘suspended’. Please feel free to give us a call to discuss the likely timeframe for your consent.
How do I get an update on progress?
If you would like an update on how things are going with your application please feel free to give the office a call to discuss on (09) 272 3443, or alternatively you can request an update online by clicking here.
How much will my building consent cost?
Fees for building consents vary dependant on the complexity and size of the project, and also between different councils. If you would like to get an estimate of the likely cost, then feel free to contact our office, and we will do our best to assist you.
Please note that all PBC charges for the processing and approval of the plans, as well as the prepaid inspection fees, are charged directly to the council. These fees are then included in the final invoice issued to the applicant by the council upon approval of the building consent.
How do I pick up my approved consent?
Upon notification of the approval of your building consent, you will be notified of the fees payable. Payment for these is to be forwarded to PBC by cheque, made payable to the relevant council. Once payment is received your consent will be available for uplift at the PBC office. Alternatively, we can arrange to have the consent sent out to you.
What happens next?
At certain points during construction, inspections will need to be undertaken by us to determine that the building is being constructed in accordance with the approved building consent. Those inspections will be nominated on your approved building consent pack, however a rough rule of thumb is that if the work is to be covered up, then we will need to inspect it first.
How do I book an inspection?
Inspections can be booked by calling our office on (09) 272 3443 or alternatively you can make an inspection booking online by clicking here. For ease, please have ready your PBC reference number, shown in your documentation. Where possible we will endeavour to give you a firm time for the booking. If you require the inspector to contact you by phone prior to arriving, then please state this when making your inspection booking.
What do I need for the inspection?
The approved plans, specifications and inspection record must remain on site at all times, and be available for all inspections. In the event that the plans are not available, we will not be able to complete the inspection. This will then need to be rebooked.
When can I book a final inspection?
You will be ready for your final inspection once all the work covered by the building consent is completed.
How do I get my Code Compliance Certificate?
Once your final inspection has been approved, and upon receipt of the required documentation, we will lodge an application on your behalf to the relevant council. Once issued, we will forward to you.
How do I make a complaint?
If you have used our service and feel dissatisfied, we encourage you to let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org We will respond to you within 48 hours.
How do I apply for a determination?
If you would like MBIE to make a determination on your matter of dispute, you can find out how to make an application, what supporting documents are needed, what the fee is. Click here.
What projects can PBC accept?
PBC’s Scope of Accreditation is approved as the “processing and inspection of building consent applications limited to the following building categories:” Residential buildings - defined as;
a) Houses, or duplex units and
b) Multi unit developments (i.e. 3 or more attached dwelling units) where the units have no more than three stories, and
c) Any associated outbuilding and ancillary structures
Click here to read PBC’s Certificate of Accreditation
General Consumer Information
Where can I find Auckland Council’s information on
- How to apply for a building consent?
- How an application for a building consent is processed?
- How building work is inspected?
- How building work is inspected and certified?
- How unauthorised building work is assessed?
- Exempt building work?
- Restricted Building Work and LBP’s?
- Compliance Schedules and Building Warrant of fitness?
Need any further information?
You can download our Important Information sheets from the 'Forms and Checklists' page of this site, or alternatively, feel free to give us a call to discuss the process and any issues you may like clarified.