Protecting people’s biggest lifetime investment

Registered Master Builders Association chief executive David Kelly

Too many homes are being built in New Zealand without the protection of a warranty. Building a new home or undertaking a major renovation is often the biggest investment of someone’s lifetime, yet we estimate about half of all new builds are not protected.

Building warranties should be viewed as a vital part of any building project. In many countries, they are mandatory. Most lenders and banks require them — so why aren’t they more prevalent in New Zealand?

We believe there is a lack of understanding about the limitations of protection under the Building Act and Consumer Guarantees Act.

Building guarantees provide much greater protection than both these Acts, and provide cover not included by general house insurance.

Consumers are not covered for loss of deposit and non-completion under these Acts, and cover for materials and workmanship is limited to one year.

Most importantly, under the Building Act, if a builder is no longer in business, the warranty becomes void. A Guarantee ensures your investment is protected regardless of whether your builder is still in business or not.

The issue with Stonewood Homes NZ in 2016 is a good example of the need for protection under a building guarantee.

The franchise collapsed, but under the Master Build Guarantee, 110 homes were completed and a further 150 had issues resolved. This is a great example of the Guarantee in action.

We worked with the new Stonewood owners and other Registered Master Builders to ensure a great outcome for these home owners at a very stressful time.

We are building more homes than ever before. As Master Builders, we set the standard for professionalism in this time of boom. Part of that professionalism is the Master Build 10-Year Guarantee, which is focused on getting the home completed to a high-quality standard to deliver a better-built New Zealand.

Registered Master Builders were the first to offer building guarantees in New Zealand. For the past 25 years, we have protected more than 140,000 homes with our guarantee, which has been developed in New Zealand for New Zealand homes.

We have recently updated and relaunched our Guarantee to ensure we continue to meet the evolving needs of consumers.

While the vast majority of building projects go through smoothly, we recognise that things can go wrong. Guarantees provide an efficient process to get a resolution during an emotional and stressful time.

They are the only way to protect your investment when you are renovating or building a new home. And when it costs less than 1% of the build cost, why wouldn’t you protect your biggest investment?

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