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Building Products July 2017

ROOFING, CLADDING AND ACCESSORIES JULY 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 31 DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS With demands being made for more dwellings, and fewer complaints, it seems the market is crying out for competence, technical knowledge and experience. But, David Patrick asks: “Do these exist?” In a 2015 survey by the Home Builders Federation and the National House Building Council (NHBC), figures revealed that 93% of buyers report problems to their builders, with 35% of these finding 11 or more issues. The problem of excessive defects, and how to prevent even more occurring if we build more houses each year, was the subject of investigation by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment. It published a 44-page report on the matter, More Homes, Fewer Complaints, around this time last year. There is certainly no silver bullet. The report made several recommendations, many of them related to regulation but it does not address the ‘elephant in the room’: modern procurement methods mean homes are built by a disparate collection of contractors, sub-subcontractors and their suppliers. Far more could be done to harness the knowledge and technical capability of those who supply the materials and products that make up a home. Today’s time-pressed site manager invariably assumes the role of the ‘old fashion’ Clerk of Works on a housing site. And if you talk to professional snagging firms – which started to appear in the early 2000s as defects in new homes rose – the one thing that impacts on the number of defects in a new property is the calibre of the site manager. Analysis by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), referenced in the More Homes, Fewer Complaints report, shows a direct correlation between the number of housing completions and a decline in customer satisfaction – the more houses built, the less satisfied buyers are. One could surmise from this relationship that as more house building projects start on site, there Continued on page 32 >>>


Building Products July 2017
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