Install a solid fuel heater or fireplace
If you are installing a solid fuel heater (like a free-standing wood burner, in-built solid fire place or pellet burner) you need a minor works building consent.
You must have the consent before you install, move or substantially replace the heater to make sure that it is installed properly and is safe to use.
You can do some building work – such as replacing a stainless steel flue, flue outer liner, or any item that can be easily removed (like fire bricks, grates, seals or glass) – under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004, which does not require building consent approval.
All work must comply with the Building Code, whether it needs a building consent or not.
Process for building consent approval
Get a building consent
Complete the application form below and pay the Council application fee.
Minor Works Consent Application Form (96KB PDF)
How to fill out the Minor Works Consent Application Form
When filling out Part 1 and Part 2 of the form:
- Check that the property Lot and District Plan (DP) number are correct.
- Make sure the property owners match those on the Computer Register (previously Certificate of Title) or Council rates bill.
- Sign and date the application form and tick the declaration box.
- Fill out all the contact details requested. If you are an agent applying on behalf of the property owner this will include the owner's details.
- Provide an accurate description of the project so we can process your application. For example, are you installing a free-standing or in-built wood burner? Are you using an existing flue or chimney or will you install a new one?
- Provide an estimated value for the proposed work.
We also need you to provide us with the information in the checklist on the back of the form:
- A floor plan of the building, showing the location of the heater, flue or chimney, and the new smoke detectors. Include
- the clearance between the heater and surfaces that can catch fire
- for free-standing heaters show the hearth dimensions and give details of fixing
- details of seismic restraints.
- The Manufacturer’s specifications, including flue details tested to standard AS/NZS 2918:2001. These specifications must be for the make and model of the heater being installed.
- Weatherproofing details – details of the flashing where the flue or chimney goes through the roof.
- Proof of ownership - either a Computer Register (previously Certificate of Title) dated from within the last three months, or a Wellington City Council rates bill.
- For restricted building work, provide a memo from your licensed building practitioner(s).
If your building is more than one storey, please include
- construction details showing where the chimney or flue goes through the floor(s) and relevant fire protection
- the number of storeys of the building where the heater is to be installed.
On the form, complete ‘Part 3 – Compliance’ and tell us how the proposed installation work will comply with the Building Code clauses on the form.
Check you have covered these points in your consent documentation
- B1 structure: type of seismic restraints, flue is not cutting through existing roof framing, flue stability, chimney construction details (including foundation and lateral bracing), hearth slab (supported on timber or concrete floor).
- B2 durability: from the warranty or producer statement – must be five years for a free-standing appliance, 15 years for an in-built appliance and flues.
- C1-C6 protection from fire: advise clearances, heat shielding, ceiling and chimney liners, ceiling plate, floor protector.
- E2 external moisture: advise roof or wall penetrations and flashing details.
- F7 warning systems: smoke detectors provided. This is because installing a solid fuel heater is an alteration to an existing building. Section 112 of the Building Act applies, and an upgrade to the means of escape is required. In residential dwellings, this is easily achieved by installing smoke detectors.
For all solid fuel heating appliances:
Second-hand solid-fuel heaters
If you’re installing a second-hand heater, include the appliance producer statement with your consent application. This needs to
- be from an expert source
- be on the firm’s letterhead
- state the residual durability of both the heater and the flue
- be signed and dated.
Install your solid fuel heater
Once you have your building consent, you can install your solid fuel heating appliance. However, before you use it, we need to inspect the appliance to ensure it’s safe for you to use.
Book an inspection
There are two types of inspections available. Type one is for free-standing wood burners, type two for inbuilt wood burners. Free-standing wood burners only need a final inspection. In-built wood burners need two; one before fitting the fire box and a final inspection.
Code compliance certificate
When the final inspection is passed, you apply for a code compliance certificate. This certifies the installed appliance is safe to use and complies with the relevant standards and specifications.
Wood burners installed on properties under two hectares must comply with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality under the Resource Management Act 1991. Before purchasing, we recommend you find out whether your appliance is an approved model. You can use the Ministry for the Environment's searchable list of authorised wood burners.