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Enrolling your new home with the NHBRC is a statutory requirement

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Did you know that enrolling your new home with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) is a statutory requirement? Do you know how to protect yourself against a shoddy builder? And how do you check his work?

What does the warranty cover?

The NHBRC warranty fund was established to cover consumers against major and defined structural defects for a period of up to five years. Enrolling your new home with the NHBRC is not only a statutory requirement but also affords protection against contractors who deliver substandard design, workmanship and poor quality materials.

The warranty scheme protects the homeowner by providing a five-year warranty against major structural defects on a new home, 12 months’ roof warranty cover, and 90 days’ defects liability warranty cover.

A homeowner has the assurance that a home builder registered with the NHBRC has agreed to abide by the rules and regulations laid down by the NHBRC. This means that the home builder has agreed to build the enrolled house to a minimum quality standard that has been set out in the NHBRC’s Home Building Manual.

Tips before you build

NHBRC 2 resizeBefore you build, the NHBRC asks consumers to check the following:

  • The reputation of the home builder by either calling the NHBRC or contacting it through its website.
  • Ask to see the builder’s current NHBRC registration certificate.
  • Telephone the NHBRC to confirm whether the builder is still registered.
  • Take time to talk to housing consumers who have made use of the builder’s services in the past.
  • Make sure that the builder gives you a contract that covers the building of your home.
  • Before signing the contract make sure that you have read it and understand it, and that the description of the work to be done and specifications of materials, finishes and fittings to be provided are in accordance with your requirements. Variations to these during the course of the contract can be very expensive. Consumers who are in any doubt as to what is being offered should ask the builder to clarify or to obtain legal advice.
  • Carefully check the form of contract offered by the builder, its terms and conditions.
  • Keep a copy of the written agreement and all other documents.
  • Be aware of the enrolment fee you will pay.
  • Never pay the builder in advance of work being done – only authorise payment once work has been completed to your satisfaction.

Tips on occupying a house

It is worthwhile to take a systematic approach to your inspection. Start in an interior location, move through each room in order, then move to the exterior of the home.  If you bring along a checklist, share it with your builder representative as you move from room to room.  That way, you can both check off items together.  Poor weather can hamper exterior inspections.  In such cases, you should make arrangements with your builder representative to complete the exterior inspection at another time.


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