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TOPIC: Coverting a sleepout/garage

Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:04 #13476

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We have a building that we would like to convert into a flat: one bedroom, living room, kitchen and shower and toilet.
We have already aquired
sink unit with cupboards
cooker
fridge
freezer

The building is a two car + workshop garage by versatile garages 9m x 6m. The walls have previously been lined and insulated. The two car doors are still there so will obviously need replacing with cladding/windows
The buiding has two doors, one is a glass door which leads out onto a small brick patio.

Obviously it will need a ceiling and insulation putting in. It will need water and sewerage. Water: we have a plumber mate who can help out there.
It will need several new sockets putting in - we have a mate who can advise, though not sign off our handywork.

The question is in this sort of project what specific building regulations do we have to be aware of? Do we need approval to install a ceiling or errect a partition wall?
Anyone done this sort of project and ca you offer any advice to prevent pitfalls
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:08 #207735

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Not sure about the ceiling or partitions but you'll need to talk to your local council to make sure it's OK to change the building from a garage to a dwelling.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:20 #207736

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Although it was built as a garage, it has never been used as one (you can tell by the squeaky clean concrete floor). I don't know all the uses, the previous owner had it as a studio, we have used it mainly for drying clothes and dumping stuff in. The fact that it is already lined is an odd one, definitely not what you would do just for a garage. I guess the council could verify what it is currently allowed to be used for. We need to get another copy of the LIM report as we have managed to mislay the one we got when buying this place
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:44 #207739

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Check with the council to see whether it is consented as a garage or a dwelling. If it is a garage on the council records you will need a consent for plumbing sewerage power etc.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:53 #207742

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Seconded for checking with council, esp. if you intend to sell the dwelling down the track....

cheaper to rectify the issues now, than later if you sell and the purchaser and solicitor check the legals down the track....

I am sure if it was a sleep out and flogged to you as such, your legal eagles would have advised a better negotiating position for you...?
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 19:59 #207745

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We have ourselves called it a sleepout, I can't remember what the terminology was on the contract.
What is the difference between a sleepout and a garage? I thought a sleepout was any building not physically connected to the house. (this building is only 3m from the house and another idea was to join it on)
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 20:01 #207746

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My understanding Moggy, and I am happy to be corrected, is any outdoor area including a verandah or such like, converted to appear to be an interior room offering long term shelter from the elements....:confused::o
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 20:40 #207754

Moggy, it also depends on where you are (council-wise) and what you want it for,and whether you mind if you do everything legally, or fly under the radar.

My council (Franklin) allow people to put secondary temporary dwellings on properties for families who are helping out a grandparent or an adult child for example. But the building must be removed when the person moves on.

However, there are lots of those buildings in Franklin that have stayed through many different owners. Many were put up over 20 years ago, the properties have been sold multiple times, but it would seem the council has lost track of some of these second dwellings and not checked to see if they have been removed or not.

I think you're going to need building consent for sewage and power at least, and permission from council (if you can get it) to change the building into a secondary dwelling (if it's not that when you check your LIM).

A certified drainlayer would need to do the outside drainage work, a certified plumber and electrician to do the electrics, then it would have to be inspected (by an electrical inspector). No sign off from any of these (and I doubt any would, because without building consent it would be illegal), means very little responsibility or comeback, and if there is a fire, no insurance either.

All I'm saying is, there are two ways to go about this project - the "right" way, with consent/approval required. Or there's the "wrong" way which means you do it without consent, and if you sell, you tell a new owner that it's not legal and you'll remove it/the fittings etc if they don't want it. I have family members who have done this (I'm not proud[:I]) but on three occasions, the new owners have never asked for the extra buildings (one a home unit, the others a workshop and barn) to be removed. On the contrary, they've been very pleased, especially with a the bonus of a rental.

Just down one road I know of (not mine I hasten to add), there are four of these "second dwellings" that are now onto their 3rd owners, being used as rental properties. Because they've been there for so long, it's unlikely council will ever know they're not supposed to be there, unless someone dobs the owner in.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 20:50 #207756

You will need to check with council as we have a sleepout where the farm worker(s) used to sleep and we were told, when we purchased the property, that the council wouldnt allow a cooker...
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 21:14 #207760

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Hi, Just a note of caution our neighbour here in the Manawatu wanted to line out his garage that had a room on it already and had to put a new septic tank in if he applied under building consent, yet the house had a septic tank when built big enough for 3 bedrooms, and because he was putting an extra living area in the garage it meant a new septic tank. So check that side of it out. Cheers.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 22:25 #207786

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I am with BB on this one in that my understanding is that if you do not have a wired in cooker, then it is not required to be permitted. I believe many people do this and just have a microwave, benchtop cooker, electric kettle etc and that is fine.

However, once you rent it out you need to be aware of your insurance situation (again!). Was interested that one of the quotes I got on Friday, they asked me if the buildings were permitted/approved by the Local Council. I thought you only needed electrical sign off but maybe not. Better to ask under these differing circumstances.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 06 Jul 2008 22:41 #207788

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to clarify, there is already power to the building, butin the caseof making itinto a flat,it would require more sockets.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 06:03 #207802

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We are just going through this process with a new building on our land and certainly for Rodney council there are 3 clearly different types of building, a garage which only needs relatively basic construction, a sleepout which needs higher stadards of concrete base and construction and can have septic water bathroom etc but no kitchen, and finally a dwelling which is anything you can use as a house basically but it has a kitchen. They will only allow one dwelling per property and i think a lot of councils are the same with that.

First thing i think is you need to check what it is currently p[ermitted as and what your council will allow.
4 acres with Garage/sleepout, a pond with ducks and frogs, lots of trees ready to burst into life in spring and lots of garden beds.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 06:20 #207803

the council here will allow a second dwelling but needs a resource consent, not just a building permit, which you will need as well, which will result in a building code of compliance certificate, which is needed to get insurance.
oh, by the way, was there building paper on the outsiude of the frame before it was lined? if not, (and the council inspectors see that it has been lined) the cladding will may have to be removed and builders paper put up or the lining removed regardless of wether you do anything else.
there is also something about the height of the concrete pad above the ground level (they want me to alter my foundations of my shed!) and then you need to know if there is a waterproof barrier under the concrete pad. it will be a lot easier if the owners that built the place had thought ahead and done those things.
good luck mate, my place is a nightmare because the previous owners did not do things by the books, so i at least have learnt from them that you involve council and seek their advise. it turns out that the building inspectors here are actually reasonable people and are willing to help.
so, quietly see where the building is at as far as its compliance is concerened first, and then go see them about what is required to do the next step.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 08:34 #207808

The council up here is very strict. I need resource consent and building permit just to line a garage to house cats. I didn't need to add sockets/cooker/toilet/shower or anything like that. I guess I could have done it without but these things always come back and bit you on the bum if you don't do them right.
kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 09:33 #207821

moggy;181617 wrote: to clarify, there is already power to the building, butin the caseof making itinto a flat,it would require more sockets.

While I agree that is a simple electrical job, if you are taking a building (formally, legally etc) from a sleepout to a dwelling, I suspect you will find the work will still need to be inspected and signed off by an inspector.

The height of the floor for a dwelling is another thing. My house had to be one concrete block from the ground to floor level (225mm from memory), with any porches 150mm below the level of the floor. If it was a garage and isn't high enough, that may be an issue too.

I couldn't get my Code Compliance signed off without written, signed certificates from the drainlayer, plumber and electrician.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 09:37 #207825

DiDi;181614 wrote: Was interested that one of the quotes I got on Friday, they asked me if the buildings were permitted/approved by the Local Council. I thought you only needed electrical sign off but maybe not. Better to ask under these differing circumstances.

Yep, I got asked me that too, and they asked me what year it was signed off. I guess that keeps me out of the "leaky home" era for the insurance company.

As I posted above, you now need certificates from every certified trade on site - as we were a DIY build, building under the old rules, we didn't have to provide a certificate but we did have to sign our lives away under "builder", and provide paperwork for the septic tank installer, drainlayer, electrician and plumber. And the guy who did the fireplace too.

They actually queried the certificate from the septic tank guy (they couldn't read his writing!) and wouldn't accept it until I had made him right it out again in neat writing!
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 09:51 #207834

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OT to the original gist of the thread, but PG you raised an interesting point re building under Franklin, our application went in under Hubby's name, so does that make him responsible for the build as an owner builder or should have the Builders (winning tenderers) name be put on it?
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 11:24 #207856

swaggie;181706 wrote: OT to the original gist of the thread, but PG you raised an interesting point re building under Franklin, our application went in under Hubby's name, so does that make him responsible for the build as an owner builder or should have the Builders (winning tenderers) name be put on it?

No,that's fine Swaggie. I think as the owner, your name has to be on it.

When you get the paperwork for your Code Compliance, it has a list - owner's name, builder's name, certification number and so on for all the trades that might possibly be involved.

The "trades" also included project manager, so I put my name under that :D
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 11:54 #207867

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If you are changing the use of a building, then you may require a building consent. It doesn't matter what you call it, it is what it was consented as in the first place that counts.

From a resource management point of view. If the garage is to be self-contained, it is no longer a sleep-out/garage or otherwise, it is a dwelling. It will need to comply with the yard requirements for dwellings (distance from boundaries) and any other rules that relate to dwellings, e.g. how many dwellings you can have on site, if the District Plan makes provision for minor dwellings, and if your garage complies with these requirements. You may require a resource consent also.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 12:32 #207881

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moggy, if your cottage does not have dwelling consent, then when/if you sell the property you will not be able to sell the property as having 2 dwellings, so it won't be as valuable.
It is much easier to get the consents approved before and during building. Some are
- depth of foundations
- reinforcing in the foundations
- height about ground level of the floor (must be more than 150mm higher than ground, here)
- damp-proofing under the concrete
- insulation in the walls
- etc
are all easier to see if done before the building. Otherwise good photographs.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 12:33 #207883

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http://www.ccc.govt.nz/quickanswers/buildingplanning/garagessleepouts/f1073.asp

You're not allowed a kitchen. You're permitted to have a sleepout..but if you intend any plumbing I believe you then need a building consent and probably a discharge consent from ECAN. If you have a kitchen then it becomes a fully self-contained unit which you wouldn't automatically have permission for (also known as a granny flat) They're pretty strict about granny flats, since they aren't consented as separate units, they require you to prove that they will be used for a dependant, and that when they're gone you have to rip out the kitchen!
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 13:08 #207892

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I'm sure that you'll need building consent. You have to have building consent to pretty much fart these days. Installing a kitchen, bathroom, etc where there wasn't already one requires building consent.

If you don't have it, when you sell, the purchasers will be able to tell from the LIM (it's one of the things I've always checked that any outbuildings, etc are on the LIM). Also, if it burns down and you didn't have a code of compliance for the conversion, your insurance won't cover you.

If you are converting it to use as guest accommodation, then it might be different from an extension or granny flat, as it would be a commercial development (so it might be easier to get consent than building a granny flat if you don't have grannies and just want the extra space - just guessing here, as I would hope the council would want to encourage new businesses). http://www.ccc.govt.nz/quickanswers/buildingplanning/PlanningInformation/F1252.asp
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 13:09 #207893

jen;181756 wrote: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/quickanswers/buildingplanning/garagessleepouts/f1073.asp

You're not allowed a kitchen. You're permitted to have a sleepout..but if you intend any plumbing I believe you then need a building consent and probably a discharge consent from ECAN. If you have a kitchen then it becomes a fully self-contained unit which you wouldn't automatically have permission for (also known as a granny flat) They're pretty strict about granny flats, since they aren't consented as separate units, they require you to prove that they will be used for a dependant, and that when they're gone you have to rip out the kitchen!

Ah, so it's the same as Franklin then. Bugger.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 13:45 #207911

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PG you can have a second dwelling in Franklin inc. kitchen etc if its housing for elderly/sick parents and also as worker accomodation.

It had a size restriction though and I am sure it was about 8 - 10 sq's. We seriously looked at it for Mum and Dad out the front of our 60 acres.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 13:50 #207912

swaggie;181785 wrote: PG you can have a second dwelling in Franklin inc. kitchen etc if its housing for elderly/sick parents and also as worker accomodation.

Yes, that's what I was saying Swaggs, they have the same rules :D
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 14:36 #207920

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Pumpkingirl;181786 wrote: Yes, that's what I was saying Swaggs, they have the same rules :D

Oops, sorry, that is what filing does to my brain .... in an attempt to clear my desk here.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 15:16 #207935

swaggie;181795 wrote: Oops, sorry, that is what filing does to my brain .... in an attempt to clear my desk here.

Desk clearing on a Monday is not to be advised. You won't be able to find anything on Friday when the desk is no longer clear :D I'm sitting here at a clear desk, unable to find four things I need. :D
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 15:21 #207937

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I can't even find my desk......... :(
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 15:51 #207955

Kate;181815 wrote: I can't even find my desk......... :(

Is that age related? Mwahahahahaha!

[}:)][}:)][}:)]
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 16:01 #207959

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[B)][B)]

I would point out that I'm not the one driving into gates or posts...[}:)][}:)]
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 16:27 #207967

Kate;181838 wrote: [B)][B)]

I would point out that I'm not the one driving into gates or posts...[}:)][}:)]

I didn't drive into them, one hit me from the side, the other jumped out in front of me!

:D
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 19:53 #208032

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jen;181756 wrote: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/quickanswers/buildingplanning/garagessleepouts/f1073.asp

You're not allowed a kitchen. You're permitted to have a sleepout..but if you intend any plumbing I believe you then need a building consent and probably a discharge consent from ECAN. If you have a kitchen then it becomes a fully self-contained unit which you wouldn't automatically have permission for (also known as a granny flat) They're pretty strict about granny flats, since they aren't consented as separate units, they require you to prove that they will be used for a dependant, and that when they're gone you have to rip out the kitchen!
Well, If we can get signed off on the things we are allowed to do, then we can add kitchen units etc later, it can't be called a kitchen unless it has fixed cooking facilities, which can easily be removed if necessary should we decide to sell the place.
It might be worth going down the route of enquiring about converting it to rent.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 21:28 #208069

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Historically in Franklin you could easily get permission for a grannie flat if it was withing 50 metres of the main dwelling and was for family etc (as described by PG) but you were meant to remove it on selling. That does NOT happen as I know of numerous properties in this category that have been sold more than once and the grannie flat is still there. In one case it has become the main dwelling through subdivision! The other one is people who move temporarily into sheds - and they are still there many years later! Across the road from me is a shack (previously house) that was condemed by the Council probably 15 years ago and yet no one will deal with getting it removed. Guess it depends on how active your Council is.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 21:34 #208072

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Gidday

Well Moggy, what I suggest is simply get a permit for a toilet in the garage and when that is all hunkydory don't tell nobody and just do it.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 07 Jul 2008 22:07 #208088

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Well if we put a composting loo in then we don't even need resource consent for that.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 09:09 #208141

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As long as you aren't bothered about insurance.....
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 10:20 #208156

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DiDi;181960 wrote: Historically in Franklin you could easily get permission for a grannie flat if it was withing 50 metres of the main dwelling and was for family etc (as described by PG) but you were meant to remove it on selling. That does NOT happen as I know of numerous properties in this category that have been sold more than once and the grannie flat is still there. In one case it has become the main dwelling through subdivision! The other one is people who move temporarily into sheds - and they are still there many years later! Across the road from me is a shack (previously house) that was condemed by the Council probably 15 years ago and yet no one will deal with getting it removed. Guess it depends on how active your Council is.

When I was asking at Franklin for Mum and Dad Didi, they said once the original "need" for the dwelling was over, ie parents had gone into a retirement home or died, then unless they received a complaint (and serious ones) then the approved minor dwelling could stay.... they pretty much turned their backs on it all. We could apply for a special exemption too to have it away from our main house if there was a good reason (ie flater land for ease of elderly access etc).

But for those contemplating it, you had to give your Parents birth certificate or a letter from their Doctor advising that family care was recommended... before the council would approve the dwelling in the first place (unless you are over a certain Hect size, I think we fell 14 hect's under) and then a 2nd dwelling is fine.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 19:32 #208264

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oskatd;182035 wrote: As long as you aren't bothered about insurance.....
erm, would a composting loo be considered a high fire risk?
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 21:36 #208284

I suspect oskatd was meaning, if you are going to convert your sleepout under the council's radar, then you almost certainly won't get insurance for the building.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 22:16 #208293

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Well I wasn't planning on being completely under the radar, quite happy to have the council inspect plumbing wiring, walls etc, just that when it comes to the kitchen, as far as I can tell, only permanently fixed items would constitute a kitchen, so free standing cupboards, portable gas hob (not sure about the sink, but you could always use the bathroom one I expect) would still be legitimate.
That and I will investigate the rental aspect as a possibility to get permission for a proper kitchen
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 08 Jul 2008 23:22 #208300

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... you'll get insurance for anything - no problem. The insurance only checks whether everything is legitimate if you have a claim. So 'getting insurance' is not really the proper criterium.
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Coverting a sleepout/garage 09 Jul 2008 20:46 #208455

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Gidday

Yep, insurance companies will take anyone's money for anything. But is something goes wrong you may have trouble gettin them to pay out though Eh!
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