Often defects in buildings are minor and your local builder can fix them in a few days with a minimum of trouble.
But in some cases things are not that easy. Imagine you find water staining your carpet under the lounge window. No one left the window open, so it can’t be that. And what is that cracking throughout the plaster outside? You call your builder and he says that all you need to do is paint over it, which doesn’t sound like the right answer to you. What if it is something more? But if so, how big is it and what can you do?
So who can you ask to help work out if the problem is serious, or nothing to get concerned about? How do you move forward and protect your house?
Think through the following points:
1. If there is a serious defect and damage has been caused to your home, it is there because something has gone wrong in the building process – something has happened that shouldn’t have.
2. You need someone to check out the problem. Someone who can see the issue from all angles, someone who knows about constructing a building right, has the training to understand building science, knows how materials should be used, how water, wind and seismic events can effect a house, knows the building laws and regulations and knows about repair costs.
3. Maybe this problem will not go away quickly, not for just a few thousand dollars. You need someone who can follow through. Perhaps the best way forward is the court, or another dispute resolution process. You need a technical expert who works in this environment and whose quality of investigation,
evidence gathering and reporting can help you through the remedial process.
In cases like these you need to have the very best information and advice available and someone that can guide you to any other assistance you may need, because that expert has the experience of many similar situations where they have helped others along the way with similar problem buildings.
What all this boils down to, is that you need to get a technical expert and get the most qualified people in this field; find a Registered Building Surveyor.
Members of the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NZIBS) have been at the forefront in the discovery of the leaky building crisis since the mid-1990s. Their members work in all areas of building defect assessment and remediation of building defects. NZIBS members are sought after as independent and court experienced expert witnesses, involving disputes around building defects.
For more information visit: www.buildingsurveyors.co.nz or call 0800 11 34 00.
Article provided by Frank Wiemann, member of the executive, New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors.