Can I install an outdoor fireplace near my boundary?
In New Zealand, one of the most popular ways to elevate an outdoor entertaining area is with a fireplace. Not only does it provide long-lasting warmth and cooking facilities, but it also creates an ambiance that no electric heater can match.
Here at Trendz, we often get asked what the restrictions are for installing an outdoor fireplace. While this varies depending on your location, we give the full lowdown in this article, including the consents you need and the boundary restrictions.
Building consent for outdoor fireplaces
- Users must follow manufacturer safety guidelines at all times.
- Gas-fuelled fireplaces must be installed by a qualified gasfitter.
- Freestanding fireplaces must be anchored and restrained according to the supplier’s instructions.
If the outdoor fireplace will be attached to any other structure, you will need a building code of compliance. This includes a house, garage, second dwelling, or any other building. However, you may not need consent if all of the following apply:
- The fireplace is on the ground.
- The fireplace is not covered by a roof or wall.
- The fireplace has an overall height of no more than 2.5 metres.
- The fireplace has a cooking surface of no more than 1 square metre.
- The fireplace is at least 1 metre from any legal boundary or building .
- Smoke is redirected in a safe way that does not create a nuisance or hazard to any property.
Either way, check with your local council to ensure the outdoor fireplace and associated work align with district plans.
Boundary rules and restrictions
In New Zealand, any building work near a property boundary must comply with the relevant council’s boundary rules. These determine various restrictions, including:
- How high a structure can be if it is near the boundary.
- How close to the boundary you can build.
- Whether you can build a deck near a boundary.
- Whether you can build fences or retaining walls near a boundary.
All outdoor fireplaces must be located at least 1 metre from the property boundary unless council permission has been granted. However, this is a minimum requirement and your local requirement could be more so check with your local council before finalising any plans.
In cases where a fireplace is within 3 metres of a boundary, you may also require a fire permit to light it.
How to get a building consent for your outdoor fireplace
1. Talk to your contractor
If you’re working with a landscaper or an architect, chances are they already have council approval for the work. At Trendz, our team knows the consent process inside and out and are always happy to discuss it with you. We can even communicate with your local council on your behalf.
2. Talk to Trendz
We’ve worked with professionals and homeowners across the country and can give you an idea of the steps you may have to take to ensure a compliant outdoor fireplace.
3. Ask your local council
One of the most critical steps is speaking with your local council to find out exactly what consent you need. This will vary depending on your region, chosen outdoor fireplace, and site conditions. The Trendz team can help you with this and recommend a fireplace from our range that meets the criteria.
Most Trendz outdoor fireplaces are between 2.5 and 2.6 metres high. This means some councils will require consent, while others may grant an exemption. To reduce the stress of choosing your fireplace, we can handle this process for you.
4. Complete the paperwork
Depending on your fireplace and relevant regulations, you may need to apply for consent or an exemption.
Applying for building consent
Your council will have certain forms and paperwork you need to complete. With these, you may also need to supply detailed plans of your proposed outdoor fireplace and any surrounding building work. The process varies from region to region, so speak to the Trendz team and the council directly.
Applying for a building consent exemption
To apply for a consent exemption, your council will provide the relevant forms. The process is similar to a consent application but shorter and simpler. If your consent exemption is granted, make sure it is registered in council records to protect you from future complications.
Check local fire restrictions
Check with Fire and Emergency New Zealand for any regulations, standards, or permits surrounding permanent outdoor fireplaces. In addition to the council requirements, there could be certain rules associated with smoke, distance from the property boundary, and other flammable objects within certain limits.
Outdoor fireplaces NZ
If you’re ready to choose a fireplace for your outdoor space, check out our full range. With an effortless blend of beauty and function, these designs have it all:
Here at Trendz, we’ve handled hundreds of fireplace deliveries across New Zealand and know how to streamline the consent application process. If you have questions or are unsure about the requirements, contact us today – we’re more than happy to help.