A Comprehensive Guide to Minor Dwellings in New Zealand

granny flat

In recent years, the demand for minor dwellings, also known as secondary dwellings or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), has risen significantly across New Zealand, particularly in regions like Waikato and Auckland. These smaller houses are built on the same property as the main home and can serve various purposes, from providing additional rental income to accommodating family members or acting as holiday accommodation.

Understanding Minor Dwellings

A minor dwelling is essentially a smaller house located on the same plot as the primary residence. These dwellings typically have their own living, sleeping, kitchen, and bathroom facilities, making them fully self-contained. They are an excellent solution for homeowners looking to maximize their property’s potential without undergoing major construction projects.

Benefits of Minor Dwellings

  1. Increased Property Value: Adding a minor dwelling can significantly boost your property’s value. It offers a versatile living space that appeals to potential buyers and tenants alike.
  2. Rental Income: Renting out a minor dwelling provides a steady stream of additional income, making it a financially smart investment.
  3. Flexibility: Whether you need a space for elderly parents, adult children, or guests, a minor dwelling offers flexibility to accommodate various needs.
  4. Sustainability: Many minor dwellings are designed with sustainability in mind, utilizing energy-efficient materials and technologies.

Regulations and Requirements

In New Zealand, there are specific regulations governing the construction of minor dwellings. It’s essential to understand these requirements to ensure your project complies with local laws. Some key points include:

  1. Size Limitations: Minor dwellings typically have size restrictions, often not exceeding 65 square meters.
  2. Building Consents: You will need to obtain building consents from your local council. This process ensures that your dwelling meets all safety and building standards.
  3. Site Coverage: The total coverage of buildings on your property, including the minor dwelling, must not exceed a certain percentage of your land area.
  4. Services: Minor dwellings must have adequate services such as water, electricity, and sewage systems.

Steps to Building a Minor Dwelling

  1. Planning: Begin by planning the design and layout of your minor dwelling. Consider factors such as the size, placement on your property, and intended use.
  2. Consultation: Engage with a planning consultant or architect to help navigate the regulations and obtain the necessary consents.
  3. Construction: Hire a reputable builder experienced in constructing minor dwellings to ensure quality and compliance with regulations.
  4. Final Inspection: After construction, your dwelling will need a final inspection to confirm it meets all building codes and regulations.


At Modular Spaces, we specialize in designing and building high-quality minor dwellings that comply with regulations across New Zealand, including Waikato and Auckland. Our prefabricated solutions are cost-effective, sustainable, and tailored to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking to generate rental income or provide a comfortable living space for family members, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in creating the perfect minor dwelling for your property.