How To Ensure Your Home Is Defect-Free When You Move In

by Ryan Stannard | September 3, 2022

How To Ensure Your Home Is Defect-Free When You Move In

If you’ve decided to build a custom home, you are likely already aware of how much is at stake.

You are investing your time, money and emotions into building your dream home, so you want to be assured it will be built exactly how you imagine it.

Starting from scratch means there are many opportunities for defects to occur if you don’t engage a professional builder who will ensure that your home is built to the highest standard.

Deciding on which builder should build your home shouldn’t come down to convenience, location or even price. 

In this article, I am going to share the three biggest tips that will ensure your home is defect-free when you are given the keys.

Tips To Ensure Your New Home Is Defect-Free

My first tip is to make sure that you engage a builder who contracts an independent building inspector. 

Professional builders engage independent building inspectors that are not affiliated to their building company to conduct a final quality control check prior to handover.

Many builders perform their own quality control checks prior to handover which always leaves uncertainty in the consumer's mind as to what is a defect and what is considered acceptable in the industry.

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As a result, a consumer may feel pressured into accepting substandard work rather than insisting that they summon the relevant trades back to site in order to make good on their work.

Of course, a lot of smaller builders don’t engage an inspector at all. Meaning it's up to the client to do their job for them and find all the defects themselves!

At Stannard Family Homes, we engage Adelaide's Award Winning House Inspectors, House Inspect Australia, to conduct a complete pre-handover inspection on every inch of your newly built home so you can be sure that your property is structurally sound and ready to move into.

The team at House Inspect Australia have more than 25 years of experience in the building industry and a wealth of training and skills ranging from construction management, building supervising, carpentry and steel frame experience, right through to general building maintenance and property development.

Once these independent inspectors have been through the property, we receive a report with any defects that may have been found and swiftly correct these before another internal inspection is undertaken by either a supervisor or construction manager.

At Stannard Family Homes, our key performance indicator (or KPI) for any new build is to have the house 95-100% defect-free before handover.

To put this into context, one of Australia’s most well known building companies has a KPI of just 65% defect-free before handover!

This highlights a disappointing attitude in the industry where the home only needs to be good enough to handover. At Stannard Family Homes, good enough is not an acceptable level, we strive for excellence.

Consult A Professional Builder For A Pre-Handover Inspection

Another tip for ensuring that your home is built to the highest standard is to make sure you consult a professional builder who will organise the pre-handover inspection two weeks prior to your handover. 

At Stannard Family Homes, our main focus throughout the two week handover period is to make sure your home is defect-free.

Most other builders will take you through your new home just before handover and then ask you what you want them to fix.

At this stage in the process, you are already becoming both overwhelmed and excited at the thought of moving into your new home making it hard for you to look at everything objectively and more likely to accept what you are given just so you can ‘finally move in.’

By the time you uncover the defects in your home, the keys have been handed over and the builder becomes a lot more difficult to communicate with.

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At this stage, Stannard Family Homes has already been through the home and checked over it three times, including once by a licensed independent inspector – meaning every defect and imperfection has already been identified, and in most instances already rectified.

Here’s how the process works:

Firstly the supervisor goes through the house and inspects it.

Then the relevant trades are summoned back to fix any defects that have been identified.

Next, the construction manager will inspect the home while performing another round of checks. 

If anything is found to be unacceptable, the supervisor will be instructed to summon the relevant trades and have it fixed.

When these checks have been completed, the independent building inspector performs their own inspection in order to ensure the home is completely ready for the client to take possession.

Ensure All Defects Are Accounted For BEFORE Handover

Even with such a rigorous process in place, it is still not always possible to have every single defect rectified prior to handover so ensure your builder provides you with written confirmation of any outstanding items and the date they will be fixed.

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If you don’t agree to a list of defects with your builder prior to taking possession of the house, it can become a battle of wills trying to get them back in afterwards. 

In the eyes of a lot of building companies, once you take possession of the keys to your new home, the home becomes your responsibility. 

You wouldn't purchase a car and drive it out of the dealership with a scratched bonnet, so don’t accept the keys to a house that you’re not 100% happy with unless you have written confirmation documenting the problems that will be fixed.

Designing a new home can be very overwhelming and when you hear new things for the first time, it's not easy to remember everything.

Which is why I’ve put together a quick guide for you to download - The 7 Things You Must Know Before Designing A New Home.

It’s completely free, and it will help you to avoid any nasty surprises that can sneak up on you when building a custom home.

Just click on the link below and let me know the email address you'd like me to send it to.


Download Our Free Guide For Building In Adelaide