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Q&A - expert advice for your home
Q Iím thinking of making one big room out of two small rooms. Is it OK to knock down internal walls?
A Itís not OK to simply knock down walls. You need to establish from an engineer whether the walls in question are structural, i.e. load bearing.
If they are load bearing, youíll need to provide structural support, like a steel beam, to replace them. You need a Council Building Permit.
If they arenít structural, you should refer to your local territorial Authority for their procedures.
In most cases a permit will not be required. Either way, we urge you to consult a professional or architect.

Q I want to tile my bathroom. Are there any special considerations I should be aware of ? A Tiles need a rigid substrate (or backing) behind them to avoid the possibility of them moving or cracking.
Floors - Most tile underlay sheet products come with a specific nailing pattern to ensure stability. Any chosen substrate should be waterproof, eg:
- Hardies 18mm compressed sheet and screws
- Hardies 6mm slate and tile underlay and nails
Walls - before tiling we suggest you use Gibģ Aqualine and a proprietary fibreglass mesh with bonding compound, or Hardies 6mm Villa board with flush joints and nailed to Hardies specifications.

Q My property is on a steep slope, so the further my deck extends, the higher it will be above ground level. Are there are any height restrictions?
A Yes. If the deck height will be more than 1 metre above ground level it will require consent, plus a 1m deck handrail that meets Council and NZ 3604 requirements. Also, on a sloping site an engineer may be required to specify pile and footing size.  


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