It is no secret that permission and sign-off is needed for the majority of construction projects on homes and commercial sites.
And most people should know that even work that doesn't require a permit must still meet the national building code.
So it comes as a surprise that local building inspectors are finding almost 75 per cent of the houses they review for prospective buyers have illegal renovations.
Graeme Blissett, one of the directors of Building Surveying Services, told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that the dodgy work he sees on a daily basis is "absolutely crazy".
He says while some people seek consent as an afterthought, there are also those who plainly flout the rules, seeing consent as unnecessary.
But what these people don't realise is that building consent is necessary to ensure the safety of a building. And while the home DIY-er may think their work is safe - perhaps it is - it could come back to haunt then when they go to sell the house in later years.
In this era of leaky buildings, no sensible buyer would consider signing off on a purchase without having the house inspected - in fact, most banks demand it as part of the mortgage requirements.
The sorts of works requiring consent are not your average home maintenance jobs. They are major construction works such as additions, alterations, big retaining walls or decks and the installation of wood burners.
And who would want a wood burner installed in their home without knowing whether it was safe to use? People must understand these rules are in place to protect their own safety.
But, at the same time, if councils want people to comply with their rules and regulations, they must be attainable.
A user-friendly and affordable system would go a long way in encouraging home owners to adhere to the strict requirements.