Evaluating defect reporting in new residential buildings in New Zealand
Rotimi, FE; Tookey, J; Rotimi, JO
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The need for defect reporting is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore at handover of new residential buildings. A general review in defect studies has consistently shown that newly built properties can be found to have a significant number of defects. Very often the responsibility for rectifying these common defects is borne by the new homeowner even though house developers are liable. In the current study, survey data is obtained from 216 recent home purchasers/owners across New Zealand urban cities. The intent of the investigation is to show that opportunities exist for defect reporting that will act as a mechanism to measure performance and thus improve the quality of finished construction products in New Zealand. The study found that a significant number (81%) of the participants were involved in the construction of their homes and could influence quality performance if they were proactive enough. The results show that (64.7%) did not engage the service of independent building inspectors for defect reporting on their new homes. Seventy-four percent now agree that independent building inspection was important in hindsight. The study findings are in line with literature on defects and the poor use of defect reporting in new residential buildings. The current challenge for defect rectification by house developers after handover is real and this could increase the confidence that new home owners can have in their developers. Defect reporting could confer benefits to new residential building quality in New Zealand and should be embraced as part of a wider best practice.