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Looking for a Christchurch builder can be quite a mission nowadays. Many builders are already booked for months in advance to fix earthquake damaged buildings. Then again there is the large influx of new builders to the region, including builders from overseas who you have never heard of before. But to top it all off, your mate from down the road says that he knows ‘the friend of a friend who could fix your place for half the price some other bloke quoted.’ How do you choose the best builder for your job?
Hiring a Christchurch Licensed Building Practitioner
Choosing the right builder to fix your Canterbury home depends on the type of work you need done. If the work is structural, designing a fire system or is related to the weather tightness of your property (all of which are classed as restricted building work), you will need a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). If it is cosmetic such as building a fence, putting in a new kitchen or building a deck, a non-licenced builder is fine, as is an LBP.
The Government has made it compulsory to use an LBP for all restricted building work (RBW) throughout the country to safeguard and protect homeowners. For a builder to be accepted onto the LBP register, they would have had to been assessed as competent to carry out work of weathertight or structural basis on a residential property. This makes choosing the right builder to hire easier. It allows you to confidently pick an LBP who specialises in the job you want completed, knowing that it will be done to a high standard. Remember to check that they are certified in the area of building which you need their skills for, as there are six different types of building work you can be licensed for (such as bricklaying or carpentry).
There are a couple of ways you can check if the builder you have chosen is an LBP. Firstly they are required to carry their LBP photo ID and you can get the details off this card to check the official LBP register. This public registrar can be accessed on the Licenced Building Practitioner website where you can check what type of work they are registered to do. You can check out their licence history and disciplinary records for the last three years.
Some builders have chosen not to become LBP’s even though they might have had years of on the job experience and knowledge. Instead they might be members of one or both of the two building trade organisations, the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand (CBANZ) or the Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA).
The CBANZ will only accept members who have either the level of experience required or an accepted building qualification. They also require their members to have insurance to cover them and their work for the term of the contract. Members must also provide a 10 year Homefirst Builders guarantee and must follow their Code of Ethics and Conduct.
The RMBA requires members to have either a certain level of experience and/or appropriate qualifications. Their work is inspected several times during the year by the RMBA mobile inspection team. They must be financially responsible and follow the Constitution and Code of Conduct set by the RMBA. Members must also give their clients a third party written guarantee on all new homes and renovations done by them.
While a builder may belong to either or both of these trade associations, remember though that if you want them to do restricted building work, they must be a Licenced Builder Practitioner. Find the best builder for your Christchurch based job here. Post your building job today and let the builder chase you!
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