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Before you build and the NHBRC

Real Estate Matters – By Allan & Laura-Jean

The following information was taken off an NHBRC pamphlet and is very useful for future home builders.

By enrolling your home with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council), you are not only complying with SA law. Home enrolment allows the NHBRC to conduct quality home inspections at various stages of construction and provides housing consumers with warranty cover for minor defects identified within the first three months of occupation, roof leaks identified within the first year of occupation and cover against major structural defects identified within the first five years of occupation.

Before you build

The NHBRC advises housing consumers to do the following before commencing with construction.

Check the reputation of the home builder by calling the NHBRC or verifying the builder status online. Ask to see the home builder’s current registration certificate. Telephone the NHBRC to confirm whether the builder is still registered. Take time to inspect some of the homes built and completed by the builder. Talk to housing consumers who have made use of the home builder’s services. Make sure that the builder provides you with a contract for the building of your new home. Carefully inspect the terms and conditions of the contract. Keep a copy of the written and signed contract. Keep a record and proof of all payments made to the home builder. Be aware of the enrolment fee applicable. Never pay a builder in advance for work being done – only pay or authorise payment once work has been completed to your satisfaction. Draw a list of all problems and/or defects (snag list) when moving into the new home. The snag list should be handed over to the builder within 90 days of occupation.

Provided that your home builder is registered, here are the steps to follow:

Contact and sign a contract with that home builder. This contract stipulates progress payments in phases until completion of construction. Obtain approved building plans from your municipality. Ensure that your home builder enrols your home with the NHBRC, at least 15 days before construction. It is your duty to verify with the NHBRC prior to construction if indeed the house is enrolled.  You, as a home owner, will receive an enrolment certificate with guidelines of the structure before construction. Your home builder should also provide you with guidelines of the structure before construction. Your home builder should also confirm that the home will be built in accordance with NHBRC Home Builders” Manual or NHBRC/ South Africa technical requirements.

If indeed the above is observed and your house is enrolled, the NHBRC will:

Conduct a minimum of 4 inspections of your house to verify if the construction is done properly. Deal with complaints of non-compliance during construction process.

The house will be covered by the 5-year NHBRC Warranty Scheme against major structural defects, calculated from the day of occupation. Source—www.nhbrc.org.za.

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