Your cafe, restaurant, bar, retail or office space will likely cost more to fit out than you think. But if you're prepared, some costs may not come as such a shock. Below are a number of fees you will likely have to pay when producing a building consent. Everything is naturally project dependent, keeping in mind variables depend on the scale of what you are doing. 



If you are changing the use of your space, increasing occupancy numbers, altering anything to do with the building envelope or creating new connections to the sewer system, you are going to need a building consent. You can find these typical costings and consent fees on your council's website or by googling it. The fees will vary depending on the value of the work but typically you can estimate it will be a few thousand dollars. You'll pay a deposit initially and then a final fee once your consent has been approved and is ready to pick up. If you are only doing minor works, you may be able to get away with an 'exemption from consent'. Google it to do some ground research or send us an email and we'll help you figure it out.


If you’re getting a building consent, you will need professionals to pull together the compliance documentation. Below are the professionals you customarily need to engage to gain a successful submission: 


Typically a designer will cost you approximately 10% of your build costs. They will pull together your drawing package including a proposed layout, demolition, walls, flooring, ceilings, accessibility, lighting, etc and will generally manage the below sub consultants and pull together and submit your building consent package. Their service can also include design and construction documentation. This is the bread and butter of what MILLÉ does. 


Every building consent requires a fire report. The report covers how the public will be protected from fire, how they will escape in an emergency, permitted wall linings, alarm systems and other fire related elements. Typically these costs can fall in and around $2,500 plus GST.


Most sites (except exceptionally small floor areas) require emergency lighting. Emergency lighting will turn on in the event of a power cut and illuminate the emergency exit path. This needs to be designed by a qualified electrical engineer. Typically costs can fall in and around $1,200 - $1,500 plus GST.

MECHANICAL ENGINEER (Extraction/Ventilation)

Your space will likely require extraction of stale air and introduction of fresh air. A mechanical engineer will inspect, quote, design and specify fan and duct sizes and advise what ventilation requirements are required to meet the building code. Typically these costs can fall in and around $1,000 to $2,000 plus GST. Some contractors will offer a design & build service whereby they will refund the design fee if you engage them to install the mechanical work.


If your are moving walls or creating new openings in existing walls, you will likely need a structural engineer. Cost will depend on the scope of works. 


A hydraulic engineer will design and specify your water, drainage & gas layout. They will create drawings which outline the size, falls & reticulation of pipes, hot water cylinders, grease trap sizes, vent locations and a thousand other complicated things. Typically a hydraulic design is around $3,000.

All of the above are project dependent.