Recently there have been discussions in the Building Industry concerning less inspections by the council and final sign off for building works being carried out by the main contractor.
You will still require a Building Consent which means going through the council process of application for Building Consent where the plans will be processed by different departments.like structural, drainage, plumbing, building etc.
There is talk of the council then carrying out usual inspections at various stages of the build as they do at present but only up to a pre-line stage.
By this time the outside of the Building envelope is closed in with roof on, joinery installed, exterior flashings installed, exterior framing wrapped and cladded. On the inside the pre-wiring for electrical will be completed as will the pipework for the plumbing so walls & ceilings are ready for internal linings to be fitted.
Good Idea or Bad Idea
Lets take a look at the scenarios this law would create .
- Less delays for the contractor. In some cases we are having to wait days to get an inspection due to the councils heavy workload and shortage of inspectors.
- Less paperwork and red tape to get through with councils.
- Quicker turn around time for completion of Building works for clients.
- Cost. It has yet to be conformed how this will affect contractors and clients . You would think less inspections from council will mean less cost for clients/owners for council fees as each inspection has a fee attached to it.
- Speeds up the council process supposedly.
- At present council is involved in various inspections required at different stages of the build right through till completion of works including a final inspection. If everything is at it should be and built to code , specifications & requirements have been met, then the Code Of Compliance Certificate can be actioned and processed. By allowing the Main Contractor to undertake this will increase the likelihood of faulty & poor workmanship and dare i say it another crisis of “Shoddy Buildings” similar to what we already have with leaky homes.
- In the case of rectifying poor sub-standard work we will see more Building Companies liquidating or declaring bankruptcy and as we say doing a ” runner”.
- Increase in clients being left with the mess and no remuneration comeback from councils who will pass on all that responsibility back to the main contractor. If that Contractor is credible then 1/ the situation should not arise in the 1st instance. 2/They will stand behind their work and fix the faults at their cost.
- If the main Contractor is not credible then we have the same situation as already exists. Mediation, lawyers, court proceedings and cost. If you win the case you still have to get money out of the contractor who may not have it.
- The client will still have to pay these in order to carry out building works yet will receive no comeback from the council in the case of works being at fault. Builders are required to build as per consented plans & specifications that have been processed and approved by the council as complying with the Building Code. At present that work is inspected by council.
- If the council have passed these works they have also acknowledged that the building has been completed to the required standards and requirements as per plan and complies with the building code. If there is a problem how can they not be held accountable in some way for that failure. This also applies to the design and specifications provided by the designer in the application for building consent.
- There are many parties involved who may have responsibility for the failure yet the Builder is being asked to take all the responsibility if they are to sign the works off for Code Of Compliance.
- Our view is the proposed law change should Not be implemented.
- More council inspectors should be employed to deal with the current work load in the industry.
- To give clients/owners peace of mind the process should continue as it is providing credibility, accountability and strict guidelines that need to be up to the standard meeting requirements of the building code.
If we change and councils are not going to be accountable in any way for failures why should we have them involved in the process at all. If something in the plans fails to comply with the Building Code yet it is processed and approved who is at fault. Council or the Builder?
Remember the builder is required to build to the plans & specifications of those plans.
Nicol Renovations Ltd
Build Once Build Right