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Key stakeholders’ perspectives towards UK new-build housing defects

Tony Hopkin (Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments Centre, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Shu-Ling Lu (School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Phil Rogers (House Building Standards, National House-Building Council, Milton Keynes, UK)
Martin Sexton (School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading, UK)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




Research on housing defects has limited its enquiry to the classifications of defects, potential impact of defects, and their detection and remediation during construction and the builder’s liability period, without considering the warranty period. The purpose of this paper is to better understand which impacts of defects are perceived as important by the key stakeholders involved in their detection and remediation over the construction, builder’s liability and insurer’s warranty periods.


The questionnaire survey approach was used. The questionnaire distribution list was drawn from the UK’s largest warranty provider (WP) and approved inspector’s records. The questionnaire was distributed to 2003 people, receiving 292 responses, a response rate of 15 per cent.


This research challenges the assertion that the house building industry (i.e. house builders (HBs), building inspectors and WPs) is predominantly cost focussed and finds that the potential impact of defects on home occupants (HOs) are their primary concern. In contrast, the HOs’ appear solely focussed on the disruption defects caused on their daily lives and perceive a lack customer focus in the house building industry.


This study provides empirical evidence of the contrasting view of the house building industry and HOs with respect to the prioritisation of the impacts of defects. Further, this research offers HBs an alternative approach to determine which defects should be targeted for reduction purposes which may lead to improved levels of customer satisfaction.



The authors thank National House Building Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant: EP/G037787/1) for their funding and support.


Hopkin, T., Lu, S.-L., Rogers, P. and Sexton, M. (2017), "Key stakeholders’ perspectives towards UK new-build housing defects", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 110-123.



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