New Builds Question

My flat is a year old. i can see the joists in the ceiling, assumign it's due to settlement. shoudl the builders on site be fixing this? didnt expect to be forking out £££'s on plastering a new build.

Thank you all for your advice. I emailed the NHBC on Friday afternoon. There was a letter on my door step on Saturday morning from NHBC to advise that they have instructed the builders to come in and fix this! Happy Days!

Thanks again to all of you that replied to my post!

9 Answers

Best Answer

From personal experience only a few volume builders offer a service in which whey deal with shrinkage cracks after the building has been handed over and this is normally built into their cost. Shrinkage is almost unavoidable in new builds and normally takes place within the first year of the building being constructed. However if the problem is excessive there can be grounds to call into question the quality of workmanship and this would give rise to you being entitled to have your property reinstated to an acceptable standard. If the plasterboard on the ceiling is loose I would call into question whether the boards have been screwed to the ceiling at the correct centres as outlined in the NHBC handbook- The last time I checked this was 300mm centres. Moreover if the shrinkage is extreme I would be asking the builder if there was any delay in the build process which left the framework of the building exposed to inclement weather over a prolonged period. In general terms, if your property came with a ten year guarantee from the NHBC the builder is responsible for resolving defects for the 1st 2 years then the remaining years of the guarantee fall into the hands of the NHBC. If you are not getting anywhere with your builder the best thing you can do is write a letter to the NHBC outlining your problems and ask them to investigate why the builder is not fulfilling their obligation. Unfortunately the site manager on the job will have his hands tied by his superiors and thus approaching the site manager will not get you anywhere. The only way forward is to go through the NHBC as stated, the NHBC will review your case and contact the builder directly. The builder will be much more likely to act if they are approached by the NHBC.

Answered 18th Mar 2011

Blake Construction Ltd

Member since 14 Jul 2010

get your self down to the site office and get the manager up to your place to look at this dont take any crap of him if you get no joy whit him got on to the n,h,b,c,
afrte all you should have a 10 year life line whit them

Answered 3rd Mar 2011


Member since 7 Feb 2009

this sounds like very poor workmanship.if you can get hold of the site manager AND get him to listen to you then this should get sorted.
otherwise as its only a year old you will have 9 years left on your nhbc waranty certificate.
i hope this can be of some help to you.

Answered 26th Mar 2011

oatley bricklaying and building service

Member since 10 Feb 2011

No feedback

sounds like a well built house you got there. definelty down to them. unless you wanted a tudor style.

Answered 28th Feb 2011

northview property mainenance

Member since 13 Sep 2010

Sounds like pretty bad workmanship.
If only a year old and builders still on site, definately get them to sort it.

Answered 28th Feb 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

dont spend your own money your house should have something like an NHBC waranty that should cover you for problems in the first 10 years or so ! check your paperwork or talk to the solicitor you used to find out if the house came with this type of warranty ! then call back the company you bought it from . good luck.
I should try and get them to make the repairs . If you do ,do any damage then you will have to pay to have it sorted yourself as they may see it as faulty workmanship on your part if they continue to avoid making the repairs then you should get in touch with the nhbc .

Answered 28th Feb 2011

jp hills contractors

Member since 19 Jan 2011

This should be covered by the national house building council (NHBC) give them a call

Answered 28th Feb 2011

Bayley Property Services

Member since 21 Nov 2010

No feedback

These cracks are down to shrinkage. this will happen to any new property. The works will not be covered by NHBC, but you can go back to the builders who should have offered you a defect period in which they could come out to carry out any minor repairs. If they are a good hearted building company then I think they will carry out the repairs. We are a carpentry company and we offer housing developers a 12 month retension period, which entails them to call us back within that 12 month period to carry out any minor works.

Answered 2nd Mar 2011

Havant Carpentry

Member since 29 Dec 2008

NHBC are a waste of space and so are most builders. Unless it is cracking they wont touch it because it costs them money. Get on the case of the site manager and pester him that much he will get it sorted but you may have to meet them somewhere on the cost. It is due to settlement of the cheap timbers they use these days. The timber may have been wet or damp at some point during construction and this can cause the problem you have. It is purely cosmetic not structural and all builders have to do a 12 month inspection so it is worth speaking to the site manager to find out when this will be done and what will be covered but based on my experience on new build housing sites, you,ll possibly be paying out of your own pocket.

Answered 7th Mar 2011

ibuild building services

Member since 28 Jun 2008

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