Minor Dwellings

View Our Minor Dwelling Plans

Minor dwellings that complement and improve the value of your property.

Changes to the Auckland council unitary plan have made it easier to add a minor dwelling to your property. In some cases a minor dwelling can now be built without resource consent.

Check out our smart building plans for minor dwellings and call us to build 65m2 minor dwellings or smaller sleepouts and cabins.

Smart planning and the right choice in materials will ensure a cost effective build that compliments and adds value to your property.

What is a Minor Dwelling in Auckland?

A minor dwelling is a secondary dwelling on a residential property that is smaller than the main house. A minor dwelling has a maximum floor area of 65 square meters, excluding decks and garages. Minor dwellings cannot be located on sites without a principal dwelling and only one minor dwelling is allowed per site.

Garage and sleep out minor dwelling new build in Auckland.

5 steps to building a quality Minor Dwelling

  1. Make smart design and material choices that work with your budget
  2. Understand costs and mitigate risks
  3. Ensure good communication between all involved
  4. Understand and manage the consent process effectively
  5. Use professional project management to complete on time and within budget

Customer Reviews

40 reviews on
Gerhard Lourens
Gerhard Lourens
Anton and his team combines efficiency, affordability, and quality seamlessly. Their approachability and dedication to ensuring customer satisfaction speak volumes about their work ethic. It's clear that they prioritize both the outcome of their work and the experience of their clients. Happy to recommend Red Square anytime.
Ross Worth
Ross Worth
When I first met Anton my upstairs deck replacement seemed quite daunting to me and a major job, but he re-assured me with his professionalism, his 'can do' approach and his friendliness. He initially helped me over the first hurdle by pointing me to a designer and whose plans were subsequently promptly approved by the Council. Red Square Construction have now completed the work and, in spite of some small hold-ups, Anton ensured the work progressed with minimum delay and that things were being done properly. Anton was always available for any concerns and was a pleasure to work with, as also were his team, and I now have a beautiful and solid new deck to enjoy for many years to come.
Margaret Ralston
Margaret Ralston
After researching several building companies I chose to go with Red Square Construction, Anton was prompt with his reply to my enquiry and on meeting him on site he was able to give me an outline of the work he thought would be appropriate and from that moment onwards I felt confident that I had made a good choice. Throughout the project I found Anton and his team to be punctual, polite and considerate while working around my home and causing as little inconvenience as possible. I am very pleased with the work carried out and the attention to detail, I will happily recommend to family and friends. Margaret Ralston
Judith Meakin
Judith Meakin
We are very happy to comment on and review the recent project carried out by Red Square Construction led by Anton Shipov. From the outset, Anton quickly understood what we envisioned. He managed the many changes we made with patience and helpful suggestions making the building experience pleasant. The project was completed within budget and on time. We would highly recommend Anton and.Red Square together with the subtrades who contributed to the build. Judith Meakin and Peter Larkin
Terry Ann Milligan
Terry Ann Milligan
We employed Red Square to build a deck and they did a fantastic job! Anton was very prompt, polite and professional with everything from the initial meeting right through to the final inspection. Although it was a simple deck, the only access was through the house via the kitchen and living room. Anton ensured there was good floor and carpet protection and his team were very respectful of our home, keeping their workspace tidy, creating as little mess and noise as possible and always keeping us informed on the various stages of the job. Throughout the process, Anton was always available to discuss any queries. They finished the job within the given time frame, stuck to the budget and cleaned up thoroughly afterwards leaving us to enjoy our new deck. We cannot fault them and will definitely be using Red Square again without question and can highly recommend them. Thank you Anton for a job well done!
Edward Smith
Edward Smith
We engaged Anton and his team to replace our rotting deck that was becoming an embarrassment. It was only a matter of time before someone fell through it. At first, we were a bit taken aback at his quote, but he was cheaper than the other guy and his obvious knowledge reassured us that we would be getting the better job anyway. Our deck was a large one and it had been well nailed, but was pine that had been laid wrong side up, without spaces to drain water. Watching them work, it became obvious why it cost a bit more than I had anticipated. It was a big job. Dismantling the deck, the rotting planks would break apart, few came away cleanly and easily. Rebuilding was more complicated. They had to sand every board checking for mold and rot, (not the new Kwila, of course), replacing what needed replacing, and levelling everything up. Removing all the nails from the joists, checking for rot, replacing what needed replacing and ensuring the joists were straight and level. They used screws instead of nails, a much more secure method. Cutting and laying the Kwila planks was an education. 24m x 130mm planks are not straight and required straightening as they were screwed down. Mounting them right side up meant they would now drain properly. They painted the ends of the planks with a waterproof coating before fitting them together. They made sure each angle, each join, was a perfect fit. The end result was a beautiful job, obviously done by a team of highly skilled proffessionals. Hopefully the photos do it justice. By the time they were done, I commented to Anton that I was amazed he could do such a big job, so well, for the price.
Mark Jones
Mark Jones
Anton and the team at Red Square are amazing to work with and deliver great results on time and to quoted budget. Everything about our small repair job went easily and according to schedule. A number of things really stuck out for us and made the Red Square experience one we would happily repeat and wholeheartedly endorse: Thinking with you, your requirements and budget – Anton had some great suggestions and alternatives to a design element we wanted. His ability to think outside of the box whilst still considering budget and practicality makes him a solid and reliable partner in realising the outcome you want. Anton’s friendly demeanour and easy way of communicating the scope and detail of the work in meaningful terms is testament to his professionalism. Attention to detail – Anton’s eye for a quality finish is second to none, if it’s not right, it will be. He treats each job as if it were being done in his own home and uses that lens to make sure you will look with satisfaction for years to come at the work delivered. Quality tradespeople – Good workmanship lies at the heart of any job. Anton’s core crew and the subcontractors he engaged were great; polite, skilled, efficient and cleaned up the job site after each visit so we could continue to use the space, meaning the impact to us was kept to a minimum. Clear and effective communication – Anton was very responsive to any query and made sure that subcontractors and team members communicated the timings of the scheduled activities to so we could plan around that. That helped immensely in making the best use of our time and reduced the stress of the unknown. We would happily choose Red Square again for renovation work knowing we are in safe hands.
Gareth Karrash
Gareth Karrash
Red Square is a very good company to deal with, Anton was very easy and clear to work with - Happy to do business anytime! Thanks!
Nick Pearce
Nick Pearce
Second time using Red Square and they remain highly recommended. Anton is great to work with and very clear on scope and pricing.
Zac Tippins
Zac Tippins
We worked alongside Red Square Construction on a recent project. Anton was a pleasure to work with and his teams workmanship was of the highest quality. I was so impressed I have request him to construct a deck at my home. I have no hesitation in recommending RSC.

Minor Dwellings vs Sleepouts / Cabins

Minor dwellings are a class of secondary dwelling. Minor dwellings up to 60 – 65 square metres can be built without resource consent whereas sleep outs and cabins up to 30 square metres can be built without resource consent. Consent free minor dwellings must include a kitchen and be for residential use whereas sleep outs and cabins will need consent to contain cooking or sanitary facilities, or a potable water supply.

There are many other differences so it is recommended to work with a Licenced Builder to make the right choices for your build.

Does a minor dwelling in Auckland require resource consent?

Zones Allowing Minor Dwellings Without Resource Consent

  • Single House Zone: Allowed as long as it meets the maximum size (65m2), offers outdoor living space, and only one such dwelling is on the site.
  • Waitākere Foothills Zone & Waitākere Ranges Zone: Allowed as long it meets size limits (65m2), color requirements, access, and other standards. Only one minor dwelling per site.

Zones Requiring Resource Consent (Restricted Discretionary Activity)

  • Large Lot Zone: Consent needed. Must meet size limit (65m2), provide outdoor living space, limit of one minor dwelling per site.
  • Rural and Coastal Settlement Zone: Consent needed. Size limits apply and only one minor dwelling allowed.
  • Rural Zones (Production, Mixed Rural, Rural Coastal, Rural Conservation, Countryside Living): Consent needed. Size (65m2), yard setbacks, site size requirements (more than 1ha), and one minor dwelling limit apply.

Zones Where Minor Dwellings Are Non-Complying

  • Low Density Residential Zone
  • Mixed Housing Suburban (MHS)
  • Mixed Housing Urban (MHU)
  • Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings (THAB)

In these zones you would likely look to build one or a number of normal dwellings.

Minor Dwelling Designs

Minor dwellings can built up to size of 65 square metres without resource consent. Maximise the livable areas in and around your minor dwelling with a great design. Decks and garages are excluded from the floor area calculation. All other internal space associated with the minor dwelling must be counted.

If a garage exists, it’s good to note that where a minor dwelling’s laundry is located within an associated garage, the laundry area is included within the floor area calculation of the minor dwelling – this area includes the space taken up by the appliances and the area directly in front used for standing (about 2 to 3m2).

  • Use your plans or work with us on a custom design
  • Maximise use of the 65m2 area to your needs
  • Make the most of what you can do under the unitary plan
  • Smart design and material choices to complement your primary dwelling
  • Design for high standard results within your budget

Minor Dwelling Costs

The basic build cost of a minor dwelling is $2100-2500 per square metre. Rates given are for the base building cost, and generally exclude costs of local authority fees, external works and utilities, as these will vary in each situation. We work with you at the planning stage to get clear on the costs. Smart planning means we can guarantee to stay within your budget.

  • Transparent costing to avoid surprise costs
  • Basic build cost of $2100-2500 per square metre
  • Review council and consent fees
  • Evaluate costs of external work and utilities
  • Get a guarantee to stay within budget

Two Bedroom Minor Dwellings

Minor dwellings can often be built with two bedrooms and not need resource consent. If the minor dwelling is smaller and contains fewer bedrooms than the principal dwelling it will likely avoid being viewed as a principal dwelling. A smart design can fit two bedrooms, kitchen, living/dining and bathroom into 60 square metres.

  • Minor dwellings should contain fewer bedrooms than the principal dwelling
  • Minor dwellings should be smaller than the principal dwelling
  • Minor dwellings often contain 2 bedrooms but 3 would face more scrutiny

We’d love to chat with you about your vision