NHBC Guidance

New Build Inspections


New Member
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.


Great post Willy, I'll sticky it.

In terms of building regulations items also need to be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. I know of a case where the fire doors on a large number of houses on one estate did not comply because they had not been installed according to the instructions. This was something that sounded very trivial and if I remember correctly the wrong type of screws has been used to attach the door. I guess it would probably make little difference in practice but it was simply a case that that configuration had not been tested against the relevant standards.



New Member
Thanks for that Tony

I have also come across a case in which the builder told a client that floor screeds where not covered by the NHBC Standards.

He may well have missed the very brief mention of floor screeds in the Standards in Chapter 8.3 D (e) which refers to BS 8204 In situ flooring.

BS8204 tells you all you could possibly ever want to know about laying screed.

Chuck Sidfrum

New Member
Are the NHBC Standards (both technical part and guidance part) availble in electronic form to download?

Currently NHBC have claimed unlevel floors (double NHBC guidance value) are not a defect, but snagging. Leaks are not a defect but snagging, badly fitted door frames with gaps so big the lock don't reach the keep are not a defect but snagging etc etc.
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Chuck Sidfrum

New Member
NHBC tried to make us think leaks were not covered by NHBC Technical Standards.

They then went on to try and dismiss many other claims such as poor fit and finish of internal doors and frames claiming they are not covered by NHBC technical standards.

To my mind they try to make it as difficult as difficult as possible for a new home owner to have problems with a new home rectified.

Does a specific paragraph of text have to detail the problem for it to be a valid claim ???

Or can the general high level requirement (e.g. R2, R3, R4 above) cover items like fit and finish of doors without any specific further mention ???

Could these (R2, R3, R4) cover a gas hob for example, which does not support pans (thus they easily topple off), despite the correct size pan being used ??? This is due to the pan supports being a 'curvy' design style, leaving one side of the pan unsupported.
NHBC Documentations

A great deal of there standards are availible for down load.

They make interesting reading.

I doubt many properties are built to their exacting standards.


New Member
All the layman house buyer needs to be aware of are the Technical Requirements:

R3 Materials requirement
All materials, products and building
systems shall be suitable for their
intended purpose

So, Willyj, would you consider that having 2 toilets seats that have broken (at the hinge - one of them hardly used) suggests that the materials are not suitable for their intended purpose?

If I'd bought them in e.g.B&Q, I'd be able to take them back because breaking after such a short time (in fact I've never known a toilet seat to break before) says to me not fit for purpose under sale of goods act.
See my post - when is a snag not a snag.


Chuck Sidfrum

New Member
I'm told the NHBC Technical Standards do not apply to white goods.

Thus an oven or gas hob, that the home owner considers to be of faulty design/manufacturer, thus making the appliance dangerous in the home owners view, would not be a valid NHBC Resolution Claim (even during the first two years, and when reported to both builder and NHBC in that time).

Can anyone confirm?

Also, off topic . . . 1) is it common for a NHBC resolution report with a due date for work, to be over-ruled (changed) by the NHBC in secret with the builder, without informing the home owner until long after, 2) is it normal for the NHBC to arrange 'fake' visits which appear genuine, but are merely decoys so as to waste home owners time and delay genuine investigations and remedial works . . . e.g. sending contractor in to 'view' problems so as to buy NHBC some time.


New Member
I fear the white goods situation may well be correct....which is always a concern.

With regards to the changing of/or extending a completion due date within a resolution report it is my understanding that the NHBC have this covered in the Rules for Developers and Builder, in that they have the right to extend the date if they believe there is justifiable cause. In my opinion to do this without consulting the home owner is nothing short of inconsiderate......but nothing new there.


Well-Known Member
It would be unreasonable to include white goods in the warranty. However, everything in the new home provided by the house builder is covered for the first two years. This is strictly on the basis that NHBC standards have not been adhered to, but nearly all builders will undertake to correct anything regardless of the NHBC standards being breached.

It would not be in anyone's interests to deliberately delay inspections and remedial works. In my opinion it would be the house builder that delays carrying out works not the NHBc instructing them.

Trapped in hell

New Member
NHBC STANDARDS and buildings regs ALLopen to interpretation!

We have the Nhbc. Coming today regarding sound problems and snagging which has still not been sorted by Wain Homes, in our so called luxury home. What this actually means is our home is built to the absolute minimum standards they can get away with or lower! Drilled holes in walls last night in cloakroom walls to see if any insulation result is NONE! Upstairs a wall is supposed to have plywood lining which is part of structural integrity - surprise surprise, the wall is not! Upstairs we can hear everything that happens downstairs, kettle going on teaspoon in a cup,washing machine,have to have TV on very low, and the light fitting shakes if my daughter has a couple of friends in her room just playing Not jumping up and down,just normal playing! The quality of new homes are that of Wendy house. You cannot even go to the toilet privately as everybody can hear!
Why are standards so low? What is the point in building regs or Nhbc when they can be intentionally ignored. So far 3 houses on this very small LUXURY!development have had no insulation in integral garage ceilings or in the roof where the bedroom is above,and incorrect plasterboard ,how does all this get missed ,is it because the Nhbc work on trust? Did they inspect one house many years ago and found everything OK so now they only inspect on an as hoc basis? It makes a mockery of the building regs that are blatantly inadequate and are interpreted to a requirement of nil or just ignored by some developers. How are developers allowed yo use words such as expertly crafted and luxury when they are not even built to minimum standards? Buying a new build home should come with a warning that purchasing a new home can seriously affect your health,livelihood and security! The department of communities not interested ,when will better protection be given, we can return everything else under consumer rights apart from the largest purchase we make in life.