Quality Assurance Inspection

9th August 2021

We spoke in an earlier article (‘Snagging Service’) about the problems of sites that have become overwhelmed by unresolved snags at the point of (and beyond) occupation.

In the NHQB (New Homes Quality Board) draft code stipulates that legal completion cannot take place in a home that is not complete i.e., has an abundance of snags.

To avoid this situation, implement the NHQB’s Quality Assurance Inspection for every plot before it is handed over to the customer. This is NOT a job for site – they will have to carry out the work, but the inspection must adhere to a well thought through format to ensure everything is checked, tested, and approved/or failed and reported.

After Build has conducted thousands of these over the last 15 years and we have never found a property yet that passes 100%.

It can take anything between an hour to two, and the result is a report with photographs and explicit text to help make the resolution as easy as possible. If this is done and any work required is carried out prior to the occupant moving in, then all they can ever report (if anything) are defects that arise over the ensuing 2 years. They will be happy and the easiest of customers to manage. Get this wrong (by not doing properly, or at all) and they will be the most difficult to manage …. why?

  • Nobody expects a new (anything) to be full of errors and issues
  • The fact that so little effort was made will annoy them because it has made them feel unimportant
  • More than a dozen items and they will start looking for anything and everything
  • They may invite an independent inspector (they will always produce the largest of lists because they’ll add items that a warranty provider would not accept – by then it’s too late to start arguing about legitimacy)
  • If more than a few households on the same scheme have the same degree of problems, they are likely to club together to make their complaint, before you know it, they have created a Facebook page and a website, and someone will be using Twitter to rubbish your good name

In short, there is NEVER a commercial argument to defend the lack of a well conducted Inspection with all the necessary follow through PRIOR to occupation; ignore these simple words of wisdom and you will be drawn into a lengthy and damaging battle with your customers which you cannot win – why, because they have ’right’ on their side the moment they move into a home that’s not ‘complete’.

As the owner or director of a housebuilding business, never accept your site team telling you that you have nothing to worry about because they are constructing a beautiful, high-quality product that buyers will love – honestly, it’s a warning sign to check and check again. We find that whenever that statement is made, product quality is ‘questionable’. Firstly, by who or what standard is the site team measuring ‘beautiful’? Furthermore, the more a construction team is made up of sub-contracted or agency staff, the less they really care about your relationship with your customers, let alone your brand or overall reputation.

The NHO draft code defines a ‘Complete New Home’ and states quite clearly that legal completion can only take place on a Complete New Home and that it is a breach of the code for legal completion to take place on a new home that is not complete.

After Build detail how our ‘Quality Assurance Inspection’ works on:
www.afterbuild.com/quality-assurance-inspection

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