One of the most common questions I am asked, is what a defect list is for, and when should it be introduced. While there is much confusion, the answer is actually very simple and can be of great benefit to both client and builder alike.
Building Defect List – What, When and How
A defect list is exactly what the name suggests, it is a list of items, made by the client or the builder and client alike, that determine what is required to be finished. It will typically include minor defects items such as painting touch ups, cleaning to attend to, and other minor items that may not yet be completed. It is a very normal part of the building period whether renovating or building a new home.
Building defect lists should be complied and given to the builder, for the builder to rectify. In some cases the builder will need to order their trades to return to rectify, otherwise the builder will organise themselves.
The builder does have the right of reply to a defect list, and there may be times, that what you as a client deem as a defect, is not actually a defect. Negotiation should take place if this is the case, and if you are not happy with the outcome, you always have the governing body in your state to speak to.
Defect lists are generally made once the build, renovation or extension has reached practical completion.
On practical completion a practical completion certificate should be issued by the principal contractor (builder) this will outline these defect items and whether they are agreed on or not by each party.
Lists made before this point are of no value, as the builder will be working to their own list and usually most of those items will be ticked off prior to practical completion.
There are a few different methods to creating a defect list and your builder will discuss with you their preferred method, however the usual options are, paper list, sticker placement and mobile phone apps.
If creating a paper list, I strongly recommend that walk through your list with your builder to ensure that you both have an understanding of what is on the list.
Sticker placement is usually pretty straightforward, but again a walk through could be of benefit.
Finally mobile phone apps generally allow for photos to be attached to the list for clearly communicating the minor defect. Your builder may require some clarification, however the photos will like take of this.
Most minor defects are easily fixed and will be done within a short period of time, for more serious defects, I suggest trying to negotiate with your builder remembering my communication tips found here. Should that process break down the QBCC in Queensland is your first contact point, likewise in other states, your governing body is the first place to start.
Did you know what a defect list was? Have you ever made a defect list?