Mar 052013

The NHBRC – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

A row of suburban houses


The NHBRC has a page with a number of questions that we also get on this website. The most common questions and answers we have listed here below with thanks to the NHBRC.  We must point out to all home owners and potential home owners, as well as all contractors and home builders, that the new home being built must, by law, be registered with the NHBRC. The builder or contractor also has to be registered with the NHBRC. The NHBRC will not consider a claim or complaint if this is not done. If the house or contractor has not been registered then they have broken the law and might be liable to a fine. There are links to the NHBRC site at the end of the Q&A’s where you will find more answers.


Q – How Does One Know Whether A Builder Is Registered With The NHBRC?

A – The NHBRC has established customer centers in all provinces. To find out if a builder is registered with the NHBRC you can contact your nearest customer center, search online or by calling the toll free number 0800200824.


Q – Does The NHBRC Conduct Inspections?

A – Every new house constructed must be inspected. If the house is enrolled prior to construction, the NHBRC is afforded the opportunity to carry out all necessary inspections. The number of inspections conducted per house is a function of the size and the complexity of the design of the house.


Q – What Does The NHBRC Inspect?

A – The following inspections are carried out:

Roof height
Practical completion
And waterproofing


Q – How Many Inspections Are Carried Out By The NHBRC In The Building Process Up To Completion Of A House?

A – A minimum of four inspections are carried out to ensure that the house is of good quality and that it will be fit for habitation. Housing consumers and home builders are encouraged to demand an inspection from the NHBRC during construction.


Q – How Does The NHBRC Handle Complaints?

A – The NHBRC has established complaint handling mechanisms, which have assisted many housing consumers. Each complaint is professionally and speedily processed on behalf of the housing consumer. According to our records the NHBRC has not failed any housing consumer who had a genuine structural defect. All home owners, public and private institutions and media houses are advised to send all the complaints received by it to the NHBRC for evaluation.


Q – What Should a Home Owner Do When There Is a Problem with a Builder’s Work?

A – The housing consumer (home owner) should contact the home builder within three to seven days. The housing consumer can approach the NHBRC if the home builder fails to attend to the problem.


Q – Under What Circumstances Will The NHBRC Do Remedial Work To My House?

A – The NHBRC is responsible for repair of major structural defects which occur to an enrolled home.  The process is initiated once it is established that the home builder is either liquidated, unwilling or is unable to undertake remedial works. When the homebuilder disputes the findings and recommendations in the conciliation report or the recommendation of a competent person (Engineer), the NHBRC will assist the housing consumer by undertaking remedial work.


Q – What Happens If Major Structural Defects Arise Within The First Five Years Of Occupation?

A – The NHBRC’s fund for rectification covers a home which includes:

Private drainage system from the structure up to the municipal connection or the cesspit connection
Any garage or storeroom
Any permanent outbuilding designed for residential purposes
Any retaining wall
In the case of sectional title unit, it includes the common property in terms of the sectional Titles Act.


There are more Answers on the NHBRC site.



  190 Responses to “NHBRC – Q&A’s”

Comments (190)
  1. Halo tell me what must I do our municipal do not have a building inspector but. I submitted a building plan in October 2013 but my plan is send in October 2014 to civil engineers and they approve the plans ,now tell me can it be done in that manner but there is of the other people’s plan that were send a mouth after my plan and the guy that approve the plans on that time but my plan has to be laid before the council for approval and in that time I think it is November or December they get a new municipal manager and then they took my plan to the municipal manager and my plan do just have problem and can not be approve.i am now gat fol Of that and I want to start building please just advice me on that .

    • Hi Dirri, You do not say where you are & you do not say if your plans were drawn up by an “competent person” ie an architect or qualified drafts person or engineer. That your plans had to go to so many engineers and councils and managers it would seem that you did not use a professional to do your plans and that is maybe why. If you had used a professional then you should not have had all the hassles.

  2. How can I get hold of the legislated tarriffs for house plans and How do I know if an architect is registered with NHBRC.

  3. I started extending my house and the main contractor disappeared with my money and I continued with his workers and there were no inspections done until the end. if I call the inspectors now, can they demolish my house if they cannot pass it. The construction is complete now and the house is ready for inhabitation. What is the worst I can expect?

    • It sounds as if you did not use a registered builder so now you are stuck with a situation that could cost you a lot of money, in fact more than you thought you would save. When the “builder” disappeared you should have contacted the council inspectors and asked their advice regarding inspections. You will have to contact the council building inspectors anyway to get your occupation certificate so ask them how you can solve this problem.

  4. my house is being built, but there are no inspections in the process. I suspect that the bricks used are rejects and there are many regulations which are flawed. my house is enrolled with bond is with fnb for Mr&Mrs sithathu on potion 53 erf 10341 ermelo extension 18. please help.

    • You must contact the NHBRC immediately and report this here: lodge-complaint You must also contact your FNB branch that gave you the bond and demand that they send an inspector out to site immediately.

  5. Good day

    We have our plans approved by the municipality but require the NHBRC certificate now. What is the lead time to get this certificate, how many days?
    it is quite urgent so is there possibility that this can be done faster?


  6. Hi
    Do i have to have an engineering qualification to be registered as a builder with NHBRC? i have a company and would like to register with the NHBRC but i have a Bcom

  7. How long is an enrollment process..?

  8. I am paid up member of nhbrc. despite some 8 repeated requests for a new certificate and confirmation that everything is in order I have received no response at all ever.
    I have phoned Cape Town 021 9139210 but get either no response or when I talk to the lady in question I get a promise that she will respond which is simply not done or yet another request that I send proof of payment again (done twice now). How utterly pathetic! Can you help?

  9. Hi, Can you please tell me if i use Knauf Wallboard to replace my existing ceiling is it compliant with NHBRC requirements. This is the information about the board that is available to me. Knauf Wallboard . Board Type DIN 18180. Reaction to fire DIN EN 13501-1 The board will be bought from UBS (Unlimited Building Supplies)
    Thank you.

  10. How can I register my house with NHBRC,it was not when it was build.

  11. Hi, I cant seem to find help. Where does one complain about terrible workmanship? I bought a new house that was built but the paint is already peeling, walls are cracked and roof not even sealed off properly. house is not even a year old. please could someone point me in the right direction.

    • If you bought a new house then you should have put in a snag list with the NHBRC. You can still put in a complaint but the NHBRC warranty mainly covers structural faults and not finishes. You can try and contact the developer and claim from them but I am not sure how much success you will have.

  12. I will be owner building a new house using sub contactors. Do I have to register with theNHBRC. Please advise

    • You will have to apply for an exemption with the NHBRC if you are owner building your own house. You can read more in these two posts: owner-builder-requirements-nhbrc and be-your-own-project-manager

  13. Will it cost me anything to register my new cottage with the NBHRC?

    • Yes, if you have a registered contractor building a new house for you then you have fees that have to be paid. Read more here: nhbrc-fees

  14. Hi am Karel I have a construction company and I need help to get registered with NHBRC

  15. Is dru walling allowed in a bathroom

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