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.



  259 Responses to “NHBRC – Q&A’s”

Comments (259)
  1. Subject:

    I refer to my e-mail that I have sent a while ago, which I have not
    received any aknowledgement or feedback of.
    I have been trying to download the NHBRC Manuals, but I still cannot
    get to the correct website.

  2. Subject:


  3. If I want to build a new house, what actions much I take towards the NHBRC ?

    • David your contractor needs to be registered with the NHBRC, or if you plan to owner build, you need to get an exception from the NHBRC.

  4. Wonderfull information to build a house

  5. Hi

    I am urgently looking for some info from a consumer/client point of view. I have had mixed responses on this. A builder has installed down lights in my bathroom in my guest house and he installed waterproof downlights. Now I had a different builder do my house renovations, and he installed normal downlights in the bathroom and says that it doesn’t have to be waterpoof downlights. He has to also issue an electricity COC to me and says that he will.

    Is it a requirement that all electrical sockets, lights etc. in a bathroom, needs to be waterproof and if so, where can I find info to be able to take this builder on about this as he refuses to change them to waterproof lights on his own cost.

    • Sondra, Bathroom fittings must definitely be completely encased to avoid shorting and electric shocks, and double insulated with the bulb and all metal parts covered. Light switches must be either outside the bathroom or fitted with a pull cord.
      Since the risk of electric shock is greater in the presence of water or moisture, you will not be able to qualify for an electrical compliance certificate if you have not installed water- and splash-resistant light fittings in your bathroom. Normal electric socket outlets and therefore, free-standing or portable light fittings are not permitted in bathrooms at all.
      However this is not covered in the National Building Regulations. The other two SANS to look at (which I unfortunately don’t currently have copies of, or access to) are SANS 10142: The wiring of premises, and SANS 10114-1: Interior lighting – Part 1: Artificial lighting of interiors.
      I would contact your local authority and ask if they can advise you. Are you certain that this electrician is fully qualified and registered with the local authority? If he isn’t then he cannot provide you with a certificate of compliance.

  6. Hi,
    Bought a new house in 2013. Have had issues with the roof leaking. Builder sent his roofing guys to repair, they came once but the problem persists. We have attempted to get them back but without any luck.
    I eventually called a roofing company to give me a quote top sort out this leak and they have done inspection and told me
    “The leaks were pointed out to us. On further inspection of the roof we have noticed that certain sections of the roof there is a marley underlayment as well as black plastic and white plastic installed in sections.
    The existing valley gutters the tiles are butted together. Due to heavy rain this is causing
    water to ingress to the underside of the plastic. The tiles are blocking the water from
    flowing out. We have also noticed that the ridge capping and hip ridges the cement is
    broken. This may be caused by heavy wind.
    We therefore propose to install new plastic, battens, and u-bentaluminium valley gutters as
    a long term solution.”

    Do I have a case against the builder to sort out these issues?

    • Paul, leaking roofs is one of the issues that is covered by the NHBRC warranty. Your builder should be registered with the NHBRC. If he isn’t then report him to them for fraud. If he is, ask them to do an inspection urgently. There is more about their warranties on the their website.

  7. Subject:
    terms and conditions
    Hi i have just opened up a construction company and would like if someone could share with me a standard terms and conditions invoice used in the building trade.

  8. Subject:
    List of regitered builders

    I urgently need a registered builder with reputable tracking record to build a house in KwaMsane (Mtubatuba). I have already secured land and my plan has been approved by the Municipality. Please assist

    • Vincent I suggest you contact the NHBRC – or have a look at their database online. The municipality may also have some suggestions. Just be sure that the person you use is registered with the NHBRC.

  9. Hi there
    Could you tell me if a builder is responsible for drainage and levels after a build or is it the landscapers responsibility?
    Many thanks

    • Belinda if it is drainage from the building, it is the builder’s responsibility – in fact the plumber’s. Levels in the surrounding garden will be the landscaper’s responsibility.

  10. please come and help webought damp new homes, faulty geysers, cracked walls, these ar newly built homes sold at 600000 – 700000,we became tenant in 2011. Please help

  11. I need the nhbrc to contact me or supply me with a office number in arcadia pretoria regarding development

  12. Can you please mail me the documents I have to fill out for the renewal of my NHBRC enrollment

  13. Good day

    I would like to register the company with the NHBRC.Kindly send me guidelines and forms

  14. Can you email me documents/info as to how I can register as a developer

  15. Apologies if this is a stupid question, but can anyone advise on the difference between a Marley and a Corobrik double roman roof tile? Besides the price…

    • Hi Nadine,
      They would both have Agrément certificates for the tile so the quality should be the same. the only difference will be the design and how they are layed and fixed to the roof beams/battens.

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