NHBC Policy Advice Section 3

New Build Inspections


New Member

I'm looking for some advice please in relation to section 3 of the NHBC Buildmark policy.

We are trying to pursue a claim with the NHBC to cover rotting of the wooden cladding that forms part of our dormer window structures. NHBC have been out to visit the property and have rejected the claim for the following reasons.

Windows are not covered as part of the policy

They consider the timber to have suffered normal shrinkage thus allowing water ingress. We have maintain the property and repainted all windows and cladding in year three.

We have disputed their response for the following reasons.

The area affected is not a window frame but forms part of a permanent structure attached to the house. Behind the cladding there is a void area which backs on to brick or breeze block.

NHBC with Persimmon have settled a similar claim with the same house type on our development and have replaced the timber cladding with UPVC

Material retrieved from the other house owners claim settled by the NHBC appears to be MDF which suggests that the original material used as part of the construction was not fit for purpose. We have subsequently raised this matter under R3 material technical requirements.

The last correspondence received from the NHBC with regard to this claim state that section 3 of the Buildmark policy does not cover for potential breaches of their technical standards, suggesting to us that it is our misfortune that the rotting has occurred in years 3 to 10 of the Buildmark cover and not within the first two years of the policy covered by the builder. This seems nonsense as surely a defective material could take longer for damage to show beyond the first two years.

We believe also that as this has affected two of the dormer windows, our claim will be above the minimum claim value.

The issues requiring clarification are

Is the facia element of the dormer considered to be a window?
Is the material used fit for purpose?
Considering we painted an maintained the dormer window structure and cladding in year three of the house being built and could see no damage, where to we stand on the defective materials issue and the requirement to raise this within the fist two years of the policy with the builder.

Can anyone else please provide any advice on this matter? I can post images, but haven't posted enough times yet to be able to do this.

Thank you in advance.