Don’t be fobbed off by the builders claiming that the contents of the NHBC Standards are “guidance” as that is a misrepresentation. The first chapter of the Standards states the Technical Requirements, which are printed in red and MUST be met by the builder. The following chapters then set out the “guidance” which, if followed, will satisfy the Technical Requirements. If the guidance is not followed the builder must be able to demonstrate that he has satisfied the Technical Requirements by alternative means. What it does NOT mean is that he can ignore the guidance altogether. If you are told that something in the Standards is “only guidance” you should immediately ask how the Technical Requirements have been met. All the layman house buyer needs to be aware of are the Technical Requirements: R1 Statutory requirements Work shall comply with all relevant Building Regulations and other statutory requirements relating to the completed construction work R2 Design requirement Design and specification shall provide satisfactory performance R3 Materials requirement All materials, products and building systems shall be suitable for their intended purpose R4 Workmanship requirement All work shall be carried out in a proper, neat and workmanlike manner R5 Structural design requirement Structural design shall be carried out by suitably qualified persons in accordance with British Standards and Codes of Practice From the above it should be quite clear that if you encounter a problem with your new house there is a very good chance that the Technical Requirements have not been met.