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.



  214 Responses to “NHBRC – Q&A’s”

Comments (214)
  1. Morning, I would like to know where must a person register her complaint against NHBRC if she feels dissatisfied with the way her complaints are handled by this office. I have been communicating with Kimberley and Bloemfontein offices and none of these offices are attending to my problem. My house has a lot of structural defects and I am frustrated. Please give guidance on what steps to follow now.

  2. Ons wi n Spek huis bou om te verkoop.Ons wil n bouer gebruik wat nie meer geristreer is nie.Wat staan ons te doen en wat is die kostes en kontak persoon.Dankie.HjW .

  3. Hi Penny,

    I live in a newly built sectional title complex, the oldest unit is 3 years old. We have had issues with the painting and waterproofing and had a professional come in to do a report and inspection. This report revealed various issues but the main structural issue being the waterproofing. Can we lodge a claim with the NHBRC as a complex of home owners or does it have to be done on an individual basis, bearing in mind that the common areas are also affected. Thanks

    • Hi Rex, I would contact the NHBRC directly and ask them if you could bring a class action (make a joint claim) or do they view the complex as individual units. Once you have this info then you can proceed. Contact them here: NHBRC-Contact

  4. I am sitting with a problem the house is new with multiple cracks, builder does not want to build retaining wall what do I do with this case do I report the builder because he is registered with NHBRC and now he wants me to pay separate for the retaining wall

  5. I did build a house and the builder is well known in the area for building. I never heard of NHBRC. I am not sure if he knows about that too. Now that the building is complete and occuppied can I call upon inspectors to do inspections? How do I contact them

  6. Hi a NHBRC inspector in the midvaal area told me that we can not plaster more than 10m2 per day.
    Is this true?

    • Your first question should be. According to what regulation or standard? My response is that this sounds like absolute nonsense. If you employ 10 plasterers they can complete as much as they are physically able to – provided they use materials that comply with the standards and their workmanship is good.

  7. hi
    i have a contractor that is busy building my house and they asked me to give them R5000 for house registration and they said it is refundable,how true is that?

    • No idea Cath. Builders often force their clients to pay the NHBRC house registration – it really depends on the contract you have signed with your builder. If he says it is refundable, be sure you have this in writing.

  8. According the building regulations, what constitutes a second kitchen? I wish to install a 2nd kitchen on a property – it will have a hob, prep bowl and a connection for a dishwasher. Will that be allowed and are plans required?

    • Anything that involves plumbing requires plans – and a qualified registered plumber needs to take responsibility for the work.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

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