Still plenty to do to improve building quality

BRANZ have been conducting research and inspections on building projects in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. In the early Auckland results what was surprising was that quality issues identified by BRANZ and by Auckland Council inspectors were failures in basic construction techniques such as:

  • concrete slabs that were out of square – 200 mm for a simple rectangular slab in one case
  • inconsistency between slab and framing dimensions
  • double nailing of timber weatherboards
  • lack of cross fall to window head flashings
  • wall framing that was neither straight nor plumb
  • cut ends of timber left bare
  • incorrect application of tie-down straps or plates
  • insufficient edge distances for bottom plate anchors
  • the omission of window sill support bars in cavity construction
  • incorrect fitting of window air seals
  • obstructed drainage cavity – whether timber cross battens or mortar droppings with brick veneer
  • uneven mortar joints
  • excessive framing notching and drilling
  • lack of waterproofing to brick veneer slab rebates
  • too many vertical cavity battens
  • blocked cavity drainage (by paths and paving).

Also of concern was:

  • an apparent lack of individual trades taking responsibility for their work or respecting the work of other trades
  • construction drawings not being available on a number of sites
  • over-stretched construction supervisors and council inspection staff.

©Reproduced with kind permission from BRANZ, August Guideline 2015.

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