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Debate On Standard Of New Builds


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#1 declan52

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 06:35 PM

Good read in the guardian about how shoddy the building industry has become and more realising that the nhbc warranty isn't worth the paper its written on. Some of the comments are pretty good.
http://www.theguardi...mising-quality?
Programme on CH 4 tomorrow at 8 about it.

Edited by declan52, 15 November 2015 - 06:38 PM.


#2 oz07

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 06:49 PM

Bit of a stupid tip at the bottom.

What you can do - "check that the builders are member of NHBC"

How is that appropriate advice after slagging them off? Warranty doesn't imply a good end product, if anything smaller developers who can't afford NHBC probably produce a better end product, due to having more (pro-rata) invested. The same can be said for self builders, if they have technical expertise you can guarantee the end product will be of a high standard for the same reasons.

#3 jsharris

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 06:51 PM

Nice to see that something that has been common knowledge for years is coming out to a wider audience.

Enough of us have been saying much the same for years.

Some may remember that missing insulation and poor airtightness detailing is something I've repeatedly mentioned here, as I've seen many new builds around this area that are pretty poor. Clearly this isn't just a local issue, as some of the comments in that article exactly match my own observations on new build estates.

Interesting to note that some of these houses built in 2007 have wet and dry rot, but given the woeful lack of understanding when it comes to interstitial condensation that even the big companies have, then perhaps that isn't surprising.

I'd agree that smaller, non-NHBC builders almost certainly build better houses.

#4 declan52

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:16 PM

The article kind off hit the nail on the head about who guarantees the work. The nhbc aren't going to rock the boat as long as the millions are flowing in. So crap houses will continue to be made and uneducated people buy them because the kitchen is nice. Will be good to see how far the despatches program goes.

#5 ProDave

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:47 PM

It's annoying that us self builders have building control crawling all over our houses to make sure we are not trying to cut corners (as if many self builders would, we self build because we want a good house) yet simple things like missing insulation go unnoticed on some large estates.

The obvious thing (so blindingly obvious that it will never happen) would be to end the practice of building control only inspecting one of each type of house etc, and insist on proper stage inspections of every individual house.

The builders have shown that given a "trust" system, they have abused that trust, so it should be withdrawn.

I realised that an nhbc or similar warranty scheme was just a waste of money so I am not bothering on my new build. I don't need a mortgage and won't plan to sell it any time soon so I have no "need" for such a thing.

#6 tonyshouse

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:51 PM

Don't buy a new house -- simples



#7 oz07

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:52 PM

Not really going to help with the housing crisis is it though tony!

#8 ProDave

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:53 PM

View Postoz07, on 15 November 2015 - 07:52 PM, said:

Not really going to help with the housing crisis is it though tony!
Don't build any new houses until someone has been and bought our existing one please.

Someone gave me an interesting theory why our house has not sold yet. The "help to buy" scheme is only available to purchasers of new houses, so there is an inbuilt skew in the market towards new houses rather than "used"

Edited by ProDave, 15 November 2015 - 07:54 PM.


#9 Triassic

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:32 PM

Not quite, the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme is there to help buyers of older property.

https://www.gov.uk/a...gage-guarantees

#10 SteamyTea

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:47 PM

View PostProDave, on 15 November 2015 - 07:53 PM, said:

Someone gave me an interesting theory why our house has not sold yet. The "help to buy" scheme is only available to purchasers of new houses, so there is an inbuilt skew in the market towards new houses rather than "used"
There are other theories available.
Want to start a new thread on on it?

#11 ProDave

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:55 PM

View PostSteamyTea, on 15 November 2015 - 09:47 PM, said:

There are other theories available.
Want to start a new thread on on it?
No. the "other theories" just depress me as I see no solution and no end.

#12 Redoctober

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:56 PM

View Posttonyshouse, on 15 November 2015 - 07:51 PM, said:

Don't buy a new house -- simples

No chance of this happening !! At the weekend we had visited a new development near to us which will take over 8 years to complete - 6500 houses and associated infrastructure - Talking to the sales staff, the interest in houses being released in the first phase is phenomenal - 100 people on a list for 3 houses - 1200 on a list for 2 bed houses - 30 units sold all ready - none of which have been built yet ! It seems that the "new housing" market is well and truely thriving.

typo

Edited by Redoctober, 15 November 2015 - 10:02 PM.


#13 declan52

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 10:12 PM

New usually means better. A new TV should have a better screen. A new car more efficient. A new couch more comfortable. Seems a new house bucks the trend which considering it is the most expensive purchase you will make is a bit daft.

#14 SteamyTea

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 07:46 AM

Are we comparing energy efficiency, material performance or something else?

As the title of the thread is:

"Debate On Standard On New Builds"

Should we not be talking about the standards used rather than comparing them against the historic norm?

#15 ProDave

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:12 AM

There are two issues with new builds.

firstly the building standards are pretty poor in terms of insulation and air tightness. Most self builders strive to get something a LOT better than building regs require. But mass house builders seem to strive to spend as little as possible and aim to just meet the poor standards.

Secondly it seems widespread that ehen building an estate of houses only a sample of them are actually inspected, so if they "forget" to fit the insulation, it can go unnoticed.

It seems strange the EPC system is largely ignored by the public. Nobody will buy any fridge unless it has an A+++ energy rating, so why don't buyers of a new house all insist on an A rating for the house?

Edited by ProDave, 16 November 2015 - 08:12 AM.


#16 daiking

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:12 AM

The housing construction industry is not in the business of building houses, they are in the business of Land speculation. Building houses is incidental and hence they couldn't give a @!##. Who is driving innovation or quality like other industries would?

#17 daiking

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:14 AM

View PostProDave, on 16 November 2015 - 08:12 AM, said:

There are two issues with new builds.

firstly the building standards are pretty poor in terms of insulation and air tightness. Most self builders strive to get something a LOT better than building regs require. But mass house builders seem to strive to spend as little as possible and aim to just meet the poor standards.

Secondly it seems widespread that ehen building an estate of houses only a sample of them are actually inspected, so if they "forget" to fit the insulation, it can go unnoticed.

It seems strange the EPC system is largely ignored by the public. Nobody will buy any fridge unless it has an A+++ energy rating, so why don't buyers of a new house all insist on an A rating for the house?
Who is building numbers of A rated houses to buy?

#18 declan52

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:22 AM

Over a fairly large site the extra expense of more insulation, some airtightness membrane if needed and some airtightness tape would hardly eat into the profits that much. I know you would have to cover the wages of whoever done the work but how much extra could a builder charge if he was promoting an estate that the builds where all A rated. Could easily add £10,000 to the price of a house for not a lot of extra expense. But then that would require a builder to actually give a flying duck about the people who where buying the house.
Most builders here are subbed in by a firm who own the land and are on a price per house so won't do anything over an beyond to maximise their profit.

#19 ProDave

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:39 AM

View Postdaiking, on 16 November 2015 - 08:14 AM, said:

Who is building numbers of A rated houses to buy?
Nobody as far as I know. BUT only because the customers are not insisting on it.

If one builder started selling all their houses with an EPC rating of A and they found they sold quickly while all the other builders in town had trouble shifting their houses, then perhaps the others might wake up.

But while they are all mediocre and customers don't care, things will carry on as they are.

A simple solution would be to amend building regulations to insist every new house had an EPC of A, but that's too simple and logical.

#20 Crofter

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:45 AM

Most people buying their first house, in in fact almost any buyer who isn't 'downsizing' or relocating to a cheaper area, is struggling to scrape together enough pennies just to get their toe on the housing ladder. It's a hard sell to persuade people to spend even more money. All that will happen to those who demand better is that someone more desperate will buy it from under them.

To make the EPC rating really work, prospective buyers need to view it as a tangible and monetisable part of the asset.