Subcontractor guarantees to assume greater value

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New measures aimed at improving building work done in New Zealand and protecting consumers will reinforce the value of contractors with a quality assurance brand, according to the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand (ECANZ).

Under changes to the Building Act coming into force in January 2015, builders will be required to have written contracts, provide information on their backgrounds and qualifications, and disclose their insurance and warranty cover for residential building work valued at more than $30,000.

Builders face instant fines of up to $500 if they are caught failing to comply.

ECANZ chief executive Neville Simpson says the Association strongly supports these measures.

“They will give consumers much greater confidence around the building contract, lifting the bar on the quality, affordability and compliance processes in the sector. For builders, the changes will mean a much greater level of responsibility, in particular, around changes to engaging subcontractors.

“Effectively, builders will be required to give a guarantee for any building work done by subcontractors once that $30,000 threshold is reached, as well as for the quality and performance of any materials supplied by its subcontractors,” Mr Simpson says.

Extra risk

“Clearly this creates extra risk for the builder or main contractor. We would encourage any builder or member of the public to engage an ECANZ MASTERelectrician contractor.

“Then the workmanship guarantee applies and, as a result, the risk is mitigated somewhat for both of those parties.”

Mr Simpson said consumers were increasingly aware of their rights, and sought workmanship guarantees.

Indeed, recent ECANZ research showed that 94% of respondents considered a workmanship guarantee to be critically important in the decision-making process.

“We represent electricians who have joined our association, and use the MASTERelectrician brand which includes a guarantee of up to $10,000 supported by a quality assurance training programme.”