Low Standards in the housebuilding industry ...98% of new homes have snagging issues

Discussion in 'Housebuilding News' started by Makebetterhomes, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Makebetterhomes

    Makebetterhomes Administrator

    Aug 1, 2016
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    The Guardian -
    UK housing means high rents and low standards
    Still no rent control proposals, notes Henry C Pryor, whileBruce Tolfield writes of a low quality culture in the construction industry, Tony Perkins makes the argument for ‘micro-living’ for millennials, and Jim Wood has little sympathy for angry landlords

    The Home Builders Federation supported by the NHBC (the warranty providers) reported that 98% of the first owners of new houses discover defects on moving in (MPs call for ombudsman to resolve new build problems, 30 June). Bearing in mind how many housebuilders maintained the blacklist of skilled men deprived of a living because they put professional finish ahead of speed and profit, it is perhaps not surprising that the houses they deliver are of such a low quality.

    What is surprising in a market economy is that these companies can continue to trade shoddy goods and make huge profits while failing on a regular basis to build the houses that are so badly needed. But maybe things are about to change when Dominic Raab, the housing minister, says the “vice-like grip” of the big developers must be broken, because if you buy a home direct from a developer, there is no redress if defects are discovered. Better late than never, a single housing ombudsman is to be considered.

    More important, James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, is reported to have proposed that three-year tenancies will be available to private renters. Needless to say, the National Landlords Association has reacted with horror and it is already written off as a political move to win votes. It is noticeable that no rent control is recommended and so all-important house prices should not be affected.
    Henry C Pryor
    Hay-on-Wye, Powys

    • Why is the construction industry able to continue to perform to such low-quality standards? The inevitable consequences can be far more severe than just frustrated new homeowners. Ten years ago, I led a project looking at how to make possible high-quality, energy-efficient homes. The problem then – as now – was outlined, anonymously, by a contractor: “A quality culture where tradesmen take ownership of their work in a ‘no blame’ culture is alien to the construction industry. In the adversarial culture that is widespread, costs are cut to the bone. In such an environment, the tradesman on site has no awareness of the impact of his work on the eventual performance of the building.”

    Many of the problems revealed about Grenfell (“features to stop fire spreading through the facade were missing or installed upside down; Combustible materials were added to Grenfell Tower cladding, inquiry hears”, Report, 18 June) are typical of this culture. Adopting a high-quality approach to construction would not only reduce costs and lead to homes that are healthy, energy-efficient, comfortable and desirable, it would also drastically reduce the possibility of life-threatening situations and potentially tragic outcomes.
    Bruce Tofield

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