JohnW

Do I need NHBC cover or not?

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Hi,

I'm hoping for some help & advice from others in Northern Ireland.

 

Having saved for many years we're hoping to complete our build without a mortgage (so no lender involved). We also plan to live in the house for the rest of our days (so no intention to sell).

We're using a local Main contractor who is not linked to NHBC and they have asked me if NHBC will be involved to sign-off the house at the end.

 

I would appreciate hearing others opinions on whether it would be a good idea to spend circa £2k for NHBC cover (or not) and whether there are other better alternatives?

 

Thanks

J

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I’m not in Northern Ireland but we too have built without a mortgage and hope to stay until they carry us out. However we have spent the £2k on a Premier Guarantee warranty as you never know what is round the corner.  

 

Its personal choice really, it gives an added layer of comfort in case anything goes wrong in the 10years (we know someone who had a claim for a roof 8 years in) and if for some reason you decided to sell it is a comfort to a buyer who may need a mortgage.

 

No right or wrong answer its what best suits you.

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We haven't bothered. There are far too many reports of people having difficulties in claiming from NHBC. The only time it seems necessary is where mortgage companies get involved.

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We did when we built our first house, as there was a chance we might sell it within 10 years, That has now lapsed so proved to be a waste of money.

 

This time around we found the costs had doubled so we decided not to bother.

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All it is is an insurance policy if anything major goes wrong not that the nhbc would actually do anything to help if it did. Could you get your architect to confirm that all with the build is up to the relevant regs and use his indemity insurance. Obviously he will be looking paid for this.

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This is one of *those* questions, with only one answer.

 

 

It really is personal choice and your own risk vs cost vs benefit assessment.

Edited by Ferdinand

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Like Lizzie we didn’t need a 

warrantee for mortgage purposes

But we’ve taken one out just in case we need to sell within ten years

From a claims point of view They are a waste of money

If I was buying a self build I would have more confidence in an Architechs certificate 

Though HSBC and some others don’t accept n Architects certificate  

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I might be wrong but as I understand it there are some difference between a Warranty (NHBC or other) and an Architects Certificate when it comes to actually claiming..

 

In theory if something "fails" and you have a warranty, then your NHBC registered Builder (and failing that the NHBC) should fix it. In the case of an Architects certificate I think you would probably have to argue the failure occurred because the Architect had been negligent and take him or his insurance co to court if they disagree.

 

So for example suppose your roof tiles turned out not to be frost resistant, fell apart after 5 years and you find the tile manufacturer has gone out of business. I believe the warranty should cover that but I doubt an Architects Certificate would unless you can prove the Architect was at fault.

 

Warranties aren't perfect either. I don't think warranties cover some things that might be considered due to poor quality of the workmanship. For example bad plastering/wavy walls probably wouldn't be covered by most warranties if they are structurally sound. If your Architect was supervising the build then you might be able to sue the Architect for failing to spot the bad workmanship. Likewise missing insulation probably wouldn't be covered by a warranty because it hasn't "failed" but again the Architect might be responsible for not spotting it. 

 

Perhaps someone can correct me if I have any of this wrong. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Temp said:

might be wrong but as I understand it there are some difference between a Warranty (NHBC or other) and an Architects Certificate when it comes to actually claiming..

There are very big differences.  An Architects cert is only ref the workmanship and regs it is also only as good as his insurance if he packs up goes bust etc in a year or two then your cert is worthless in the event of a claim unless he has run off cover which is compulsory for some professions but I think not for architects.

 

You could only have a go at him if it turned out he had not properly supervised the job.

 

In essence the architect is only certifying that in his opinion the work has been done to the required standard he is not insuring you against failures in materials or probably poor workmanship.

 

We know someone who's roof failed after about 8 years. The builder was no longer around and the warranty providers funded a replacement roof. Took a lot of sorting but they paid up more than £12k. No architect cert would cover that eventuality.

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1 hour ago, lizzie said:

There are very big differences.  An Architects cert is only ref the workmanship and regs it is also only as good as his insurance if he packs up goes bust etc in a year or two then your cert is worthless in the event of a claim unless he has run off cover which is compulsory for some professions but I think not for architects.

 

You could only have a go at him if it turned out he had not properly supervised the job.

 

In essence the architect is only certifying that in his opinion the work has been done to the required standard he is not insuring you against failures in materials or probably poor workmanship.

 

We know someone who's roof failed after about 8 years. The builder was no longer around and the warranty providers funded a replacement roof. Took a lot of sorting but they paid up more than £12k. No architect cert would cover that eventuality.

Yes and that’s exactly why the banks don’t want an Archtects cert

They just want an insurance policy to protect there interest 

 

A friend has self built four years ago 

Didn’t bother with a waretee As he exspected to stay there at least ten years ago

Hes now decided to sell He’s found a buyer There building society has flagged up that there is no Warantee Rather than loose the buyer He’s gone for a retrospective warantee About 1500 more than he would have paid

It has taken him ten days to get it all sorted out

Buyer bank are happy Sale continues 

Sort Of makes a mockery of inspections 

The company he used were satisfied with photos and a 30 minute visit

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get one. 

 

you may want to raise a mortgage on it yourself at some point, we dont know whats coming down the road at us!

 

You will still get a mortgage without it but lock yourself out of the best rates.

 

Alternatively an Architects certificate is a fallback but not recognised by many lenders now.

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