Top 8 Typical Defects Found in a New Home | GBW

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When buying a new home it is important to look beyond the presentation of the show home. You should consider any potential defects that there may be in the structure of the build. Unfortunately, the number of defects being found in new homes has steadily increased over the last ten years. Some of the most common problems to be aware of are listed below.


Defective guttering

If gutters are not properly installed, then problems can occur with overflowing water, sagging guttering or water not flowing correctly into the gutters. This can result in problems with dampness from over saturated exterior walls.


Weep Holes blocked with mortar

Weep holes are openings placed in mortar joints or in retaining walls to allow moisture to escape. When mortar squeezes out between the successive courses of bricks, it can drop down in the weep holes. This can result in partial or total blockage of weep holes.


Lead flashing around chimney bases

Lead flashing is used around the base of the chimney to cover the small gap between the stack and the roof tiles. The flashing protects from rain getting into the roof space.  If poorly fitted or cheap lead is used, it can crack or loosen. This allows water in and can cause problems with the roof.



Insulation in the roof

If the insulation in your roof is poor it can lead to all sorts of problems. This can cause serious damage to the structure and fabric of your home, which can be expensive to put right.



If the design of drains is insufficient to cope with the flow of water, or too many sharp bends feature, it can cause problems with blockages and trapped rubbish in the bends. This can lead to broken pipes and brackets. A simple camera put into the drainage system can reveal the state of the drains and their construction.


Flat Roofs and Basements

Flat roofs are well known for deteriorating due to sunlight and cold weather conditions. Therefore, it is very important that you check the quality of a flat roof on a regular basis. If you are looking to buy a property with a flat roof, get an expert to inspect it.  With basements that have recently been dug out and are now habitable space, it is very important to check the tanking system used is a recognised system and will have manufacturer’s and product guarantees available.

Ideally, Insurance Backed Guarantees (IBG’s) are required for flat roofs and basements or where part of the structure is built into the side of a hill (sloping site). An IBG is a guarantee issued by an Insurer that will honour the terms of a warranty originally issued by the Roofing Contractor, should the contractor cease to trade. It is important to note that in respect of a ten year structural warranty, if an IBG is not available, then any damage or defect arising from flat roof failure or basement water ingress/structural defect will be excluded from the cover.


Potential Problems with Flat Roofs | Common New Home Defects | Granite Building Warranties

Image source: International Association of Certified Home Inspectors


Damp Proof Course (DPC) 

A damp-proof course is a barrier, made from a membrane and built into the walls of a property, typically 150 mm above ground level. The barrier prevents damp rising through the walls. This started during the Victorian era and it is now a requirement of construction that new buildings have a DPC. DPC prevents damp from rising and penetrating the structure.  It should be made of a material which will prevent the passage of moisture.


Damp Proof Course (DPC | Common New Home Defects | Granite Building Warranties

Image source:
Approved document C, Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture


Windows and doors

According to the Building and Construction Authority, the occurrence of defects in windows and doors is usually caused by “poor design, use of inferior or non-compatible materials, poor workmanship during fabrication and installation or mishandling”. This can lead to problems with water seepage through the frames, difficulty in opening and closing due to misalignment, poor frame finishes and gaps between frames and walls, all of which will lead to problems in the future.


Here at Granite Building Warranties we can offer an insurance policy or new build warranty which protects against all of the above defects and more.  Ensure that you’re fully covered with the help of Granite Building Warranties.

For further information please contact Ed or Kelly on Tel: 01284 365345 or email /


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