Considering adding a 2nd dwelling?

by geniushomes

Genius Homes have a range of second dwelling house designs
Whether you’re after a Granny Flat, tourist accommodation, rental accommodation or just more room for visitors then Genius Homes has a design for you.

Some call it a sleepout, a minor dwelling or a granny flat, inserting a small home on the same section as an established house is a great way to make more room for a growing family or to generate income from rental accommodation. Here’s what to ask before you start your 2nd dwelling journey.

What are the rules in my location?
In New Zealand, the overarching rules are from the Building Act 2004, plus there are various regulations of the building code, all administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Building and Housing Group. Then each local authority runs the building consent process using district plans to decide what is allowed in each zone. Nope, it’s not simple; there is room for interpretation about what constitutes a second dwelling. 

Recommended article: How to make money from a second dwelling

In a nutshell, if the floor area of your accessory building is under 10 square metres, with no kitchen or bathroom, it probably won’t need permits. But if you include a bathroom or toilet in your accessory building, you will need a building consent. If you want to add a kitchen or kitchenette, you will need a resource consent as well as the building consent. In some council areas, you also pay a development contributions fee and more rates because authorities consider that another household unit creates more load on the area’s infrastructure.

The kiwi design is one of our 2nd dwelling house plans

It’s definitely worth asking your local council to find out what’s allowed in your area. Here’s a few areas to give you an idea:

Selwyn District permits family flats as an accessory to the main dwelling are permitted, provided that they comply with the following restrictions:

• They must comply with the relevant bulk, location and relocation requirements for a dwelling on that site.
• They can be no more than 70 square metres in size (excluding any garage).
• They can only be lived in by someone of the same immediate family as someone in the main dwelling on the site.

In the Rural zone, the number of dwellings you can have on a site depends on the area of land held in that Certificate of Title. For example, in the Outer Plains, you are entitled to one dwelling per 20ha, so if a Certificate of Title contains 40ha, then two dwellings are permitted, provided that the relevant bulk and location requirements are met. For further details, got to:

Waimakariri District Council allow 2nd dwellings to 75sqm but they must be within 30m of main dwelling. There are also restrictions on the number of dwellings for the size of your land.

Timaru District Council allows 2nd dwellings in residential 1 Zones as long as there is 300sqm of area per dwelling. So if you want to add a 2nd dwelling to your section with an existing house your land area needs to be larger than 600sqm plus allowing extra space for access and driveway. The Timaru District Plan is available online at:

Also consider how your 2nd dwelling will be connected to services like Sewer, water & electricity. If you’re in a rural location you may need a potable water supply such as rain water or private water bore and an effluent disposal system.

The genius homes team create great cabins or 2nd dwellings perfect to add to your site

Genius Homes offer full project management and the experienced team will organise the necessary building consents on your behalf, organise the connection to water, sewage & electricity services and let you know what restrictions apply to your area.

Will it affect my resale value?
Yes, say most real estate agents and property investment consultants. But in a good way. With housing prices stretching most buyers, a property with the option to spread the costs is appealing. Buyers can take on tenants to help pay the mortgage, or families can share a home – parents and kids selling two houses to buy one home and minor dwelling gives both parties a financial break. At the other end of the scale, families that employ a nanny or farming familes can provide separate staff accommodation, or grown teens can escape into their own space.

Why Choose Prefabricated?

Genius Homes are built in our factory production line in Timaru and then transported to your site once complete.


Whether you want to use the second dwelling as a granny flat or rental income we have options for youChoosing a prefabricated building minimises the disruption to your property & privacy. Genius Homes are prefabricated in our factory and then delivered & installed on your property – this means less mess on your property and builders & tradesmen are not there for long periods of time. Genius Homes are more affordable than many other options as we are able to save you money with our smart & efficient factory built system.

We have a wide range of one or 2 bedroom designs suitable for a 2nd dwelling. Our designs can be customised to suit your requirements; size, layout & styling can be changed.

Genius Homes come complete inside & out so they will be painted in your choice of colours with floor coverings, kitchen & bathroom joinery & fixtures installed.

 download our free 2nd dwelling brochure today

filed under 2nd dwelling , family flat , granny flat , Information , minor dwelling , prefab building , prefabricated cabin , rental cabin , tourist cabin

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