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NHBC and the New 2020 NHBC Standards

A photo of Kelly Roberts
10th February 2020

The National House Building Council (NHBC) has been around since 1936. If you have ever purchased a new home which has been subject to NHBC then you may recognise this name. It is considered to be one of the leading new home warranty providers within the UK. Its sole purpose is to give homeowners confidence in the quality of a new home.

They offer a main product called “Buildmark” and is again, something you may be familiar with. This covers new homes before they are even built and is designed to give homeowners more protection from the exchange date right through to the end of the 10-year warranty period. During the 10-year warranty period, different issues are covered so the level of cover does change throughout those 10 years. If in doubt, please go to their website for further information as this will tell you exactly what is covered during those 10 years.

After completion of your new home you should be provided with the NHBC Buildmark Certificates, this is becoming increasingly popular now to send the certificates by email so always check you have them. It is advisable to keep them safe and readily available for the next 10 years at least. This is not only for your own benefit, in case you ever need to make contact with NHBC but if you sell your new home, your Buyer will want to have the benefit of any unexpired warranty so you will be expected to produce them. Copies can be obtained, at a cost!

If a Developer wants to sell their homes with the addition of the NHBC Buildmark cover then that Developer must comply with the NHBC requirements. This includes their technical build requirements which form part of the NHBC Standards. Those Standards also set the performance standards and provides guidance for the design and construction of new homes which are acceptable to NHBC. They also say they regularly review and update the NHBC Standards and new 2020 Standards have now been introduced.

The new standards came into effect for every new home where foundations have begun on or after 1 January 2020. The changes have been made with a view to enhance the existing standards that are already in place and to provide additional support and guidance. This is also to help Developers deliver a high standard of new home.

There are two areas of change: they have updated Chapter 6 which deals with “staircases” and they have revised Chapter 9.1 “A consistent approach to finishes”.

The update made to Chapter 6 is designed to make it clearer and so it is parallel to Industry Guidance and the revised Chapter 9.1 includes a review of the tolerances so that they meet the reasonable expectations of homeowners. As well as those additions they have also made some minor technical changes and change of wording.

Please note that there are separate Standards for conversions and renovation projects.

More Information can be obtained on their website