Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find our most frequently asked questions about the Master Build 10 Year Guarantee. 

 If you would like to talk to us, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee protects a homeowner when renovating or building a home. This is likely to be the biggest investment they make in a lifetime, and it needs to be protected.

The Guarantee covers the homeowner for ten years and starts at the time they sign the contract. It covers them from Loss of Deposit and Non-Completion, Materials and Workmanship, and Structural Defects. A Guarantee costs less than 1% of the build cost and adds value to your property – it is fully transferable if you sell. The Guarantee provides cover not included by general house insurance.

While the vast majority of building projects go through smoothly, things can go wrong. A Guarantee provides the process to resolve these issues. This will be an emotional and stressful time, we appreciate that, and our team are there to help guide the homeowner through it. This is a legal process, and so there are steps and timeframes that must apply, but we pride ourselves on acting quickly and efficiently to get the issue resolved, without lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

Our Guarantee has protected New Zealand homeowners for 25 years. As New Zealand’s leading building industry association, we will go the extra mile to ensure all builds are completed to high standards.

The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee protects you for ten years from Acceptance of your Guarantee.

This is in line with the Building Act 2004, which also has cover for 10 years but only for specific items and only if the building company is still around.

Our Loss of Deposit and Non-Completion cover protects you while you’re still building. You are not covered under the Building Act 2004 for this type of cover

For two years after your building work is complete our Materials and Workmanship cover protects you if there is a problem with the standard of the work carried out by your builder or with the materials used.

For ten years after your application for a Guarantee is accepted our Structural Defects cover protects you if the work carried out by your builder falls short and results in Structural Defects to your home. This includes problems with the weathertightness of your home (including rot and fungal decay).

Our Guarantee is fully transferable if you sell your home.

The Master Build Guarantee usually costs less than 1% of the total build cost.

The cost of our Guarantee will reflect the cost of your build. You’ll also pay less if you opt out of Loss of Deposit, Non-Completion and Remedial Cover.

Value of Building Contract (inc. GST) CC. Full Cover NCC. If you choose to opt out of Loss of Deposit and Non-completion covers
$30k-$200k $ 750 $ 600
$200k-$400k $1,300 $1,050
$400k-$600k $1,550 $1,250
$600k-$800k $1,750 $1,400
$800k-$1m $1,950 $1,550
$1m-$1.5m $2,200 $1,750
$1.5m-$2m $2,750 $2,200
$2m + $ refer to your builder $ refer to your builder

 

Yes you do. Anyone who engages a Registered Master Builder should use our standard RBC1-2016 Building Contract. This contract contains our comprehensive payment schedules along with other valuable protection. If you’re using a different building contract Master Build Services must receive a full copy of it along with your Guarantee Application.

 

Yes. The Master Build Guarantee is not automatic upon hiring a Registered Master Builder.

It is your builder’s responsibility to offer you the Master Build 10-Year Guarantee.

Once you and your builder have completed all the documentation it will be sent to Master Build Services, and it must be submitted before work starts. The Guarantee is not valid until you and your builder have received confirmation from Master Build Services. If you have not received confirmation within 14 days, please contact us immediately.

Once the building work is finished, both you and your builder must sign a Notice of Practical Completion form and send it to Master Build Services. This ensures that the ongoing cover once the building project is finished will be provided.

Some delays are inevitable. Anything from the weather, to your imported Italian marble being held up in customs can add time to your build.

But, if you have serious concerns about the ability of your builder to finish your job, we want to hear about it. Contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz.

Master Build Services is here to support you. We will investigate, and if necessary we will step in to resolve the issue and help you finish your home to the highest standard.

Sometimes even if there is not a valid claim against your Guarantee for Non-Completion, we will still be able to support and advise you on where to go from here.

If you think there is a problem with your building work, it’s really important that you contact Master Build Services before making any further payments to your builder. You can contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

Not everybody wants or needs the same level of cover. The flexibility of a Master Build 10-Year Guarantee means you have the level of protection that best suits your build. Our tiered pricing structure means smaller builds cost less to protect than larger, more expensive ones.

Cover for Workmanship and Materials, Structural and (including Rot and Fungal) provides you with peace of mind. This cover is a great selling point if you decide to sell your home.

If you are very familiar and confident in your relationship with your builder you might choose to opt out of our Loss of Deposit and Non-Completion cover.

To discuss your options, call us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

Your builder will discuss the Master Build 10-Year Guarantee with you.

If you do want the guarantee, your builder will send all the documentation to Master Build Services, and it must be submitted before work starts. The Guarantee is not valid until you and your builder have received confirmation from Master Build Services. If you have not received confirmation within 14 days, please contact us immediately.

Please make sure you read the Terms and Conditions of the Guarantee document carefully. If you have any queries either discuss these with your builder or phone Master Build Services on 0800 269 119.

When the building work is finished, both you and your builder must sign a Notice of Practical Completion form and forward it to Master Build Services. This ensures that the ongoing cover once the building project is finished will be provided.

The Master Build Ten-Year Guarantee protects you for 10 years from the date your Guarantee application is accepted.

Our Loss of Deposit and Non-Completion cover protects you before work starts and while you’re still building.

For two years after your building work is complete our Materials and Workmanship cover protects you if there is a problem with the standard of the work carried out by your builder or with the materials used.

For ten years after your Guarantee application is accepted, our Structural Defects cover protects you if the work carried out by your builder falls short and results in Structural Defects to your home. This includes problems with the weathertightness of your home including rot and fungal decay.

Please note: Only work carried out by your Registered Master Builder is covered by the Guarantee. Anything you do yourself or get anyone else to do is not covered.

Please be sure to read your Guarantee to ensure you are aware what you are covered for, or contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

Please be aware that each Master Build Guarantee can be tailored to your needs. Please make sure you read and understand what you are – and what you are not - covered for.

The Master Build Guarantee will not cover:
  • Advance payments to your builder that are not a deposit or part of the Schedule of Staged Payments, or that we have not given you approval for
  • You, if you are both the owner and the builder or if you are an associate of the builder
  • Issues or claims that are covered by insurance (for example contract works insurance, home and contents insurance and/or professional indemnity insurance).
  • Consequential damage to your home, including damage that has happened as a result of a Defect that is part of any claim under your Guarantee.
  • Consequential losses, including losses that happen because of a Defect that is part of any claim under your Guarantee. This includes travel expenses and legal costs.
  • Anything that is not your builder’s responsibility (including work, services, materials or chattels that are not part of the Building Contract OR that you have arranged or paid for directly).
  • Unavoidable aesthetic variance.
  • Items that are not a part of or directly connected to your home (such as swimming pools, driveways, paths, lawns, gardens or fences, external drainage and retaining walls that are not part of the building’s foundation).
  • Buildings that have been moved from their original, permanent Property.
  • Managed labour-only contracts (where your builder is managing the building site but does not provide the materials or labour, or where the people carrying out the work are not your builder’s sub-contractors or employees).
  • Agreed deviations (where you and your builder have chosen not the follow the Building Contract, the building consent, or relevant building trade practices and standards during the building work).
  • Claims for Loss of Deposit or Non-Completion if you have chosen to opt out of these covers in your Guarantee Application.
Any Damage or Defect that:
  • You already knew about or should have known about.
  • Is caused by normal wear and tear
  • Is beyond the reasonable control of your builder (such as subsidence, erosion or soil movement, condensation, shrinkage, contraction or expansion of any material, and act of God.)
  • Is caused by anything related to design or engineering work including the use of non-approved materials.

 

For a full set of Terms and Conditions please contact your builder or Master Build Services on 0800 269 119

 

Please ask your builder or contact Master Build Services on 0800 269 119 if you would like more details about the Master Build Ten-Year Guarantee.


COVER WHILE YOU’RE BUILDING

The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee is flexible and can be tailored to meet your needs.

Our Loss of Deposit cover protects you if your builder is unable to complete your building work and you lose your deposit.

Our Non-Completion cover protects you if your builder is unable to complete the building work, and you have to pay more than the original contract price to get your work finished. It also covers you if any remedial work needs to be done on the work carried out by your builder so far.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions in your brochure and understand what you’re covered for.

 

Let us know straight away if you think you might be in a situation where you will lose your deposit, or if your builder will not be able to complete your building work.

If you believe you have a claim under Loss of Deposit or Non-Completion cover, there are a few things you must do:
  • contact your builder as soon you discover the problem
  • notify us no later than 30 days after the date you become aware of the problem and return the official claim form no later than 14 days after you’ve let us know about it
  • make sure you don’t pay your builder or any other tradespeople any more money, unless we give you written permission to do so.

If you would like to talk to us, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

 

Please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz

 

Once you make a claim we will start by carrying out a thorough investigation of the issue.

If your claim for Loss of Deposit or Non-Completion and Remedial Works is approved:
  • We will find you a replacement Registered Master Builder to finish the uncompleted work; and
  • you will enter into a new Building Contract with the replacement builder; and/or
  • we will pay you any money due to you under your claim

 

Loss of Deposit: Up to $500,000 or 10% of your contract price (whichever is less).

Non-Completion: Up to $500,000 or 20% of your contract price (whichever is less).

 


COVER AFTER YOUR BUILD IS COMPLETE

The Master Build Ten-Year Guarantee can be tailored to meet your needs. Therefore, it is important to read and understand what you are covered for.

The maximum cover for all claims throughout the life of a Guarantee is the value of your Building Contract (up to a limit of $1,000,000).

Our Materials and Workmanship cover protects you if there is a problem with the expected standard of the work carried out by your builder or with the materials that have been used in the building work.

This includes where your builder has failed to:

  • comply with your Building Contract and the building consent; or
  • follow relevant building trade practices and standards that were in place when your building consent was issued; or
  • comply with any relevant laws that apply to the building work; or
  • comply with any relevant instructions or recommendations by the manufacturer or supplier of any materials used in the building work that were in place at the time the material was installed or used.
  •  

    You are covered for the materials used in your building work if they have not performed according to recognised trade practice or performance expectations. If the materials come with a manufacturer or supplier’s warranty or guarantee, you need to claim under that warranty or guarantee first.

    You will also be covered for reasonable costs and expenses relating to removal, storage and alternative accommodation if your home is unable to be lived in, as a result of the damage or Defect in your claim. This cover is for a maximum value of $10,000

     

    It is important to read the Guarantee Terms and Conditions and understand what you are covered for.

    However, if your Building Contract is a labour-only contract, the materials used in the building work are not covered.

     

    If your Guarantee covers a defect in workmanship or materials, this cover is for defects that have been identified after your building work is finished.

    It begins on the Practical Completion Date and ends two years after that date.

     

    Please contact your builder as soon you discover a problem.

    If you believe you have a claim under workmanship & materials or structural, you must:
    • notify us no later than 30 days after the date you became aware of the problem; and
    • make a claim on the official claim form no later than 14 days after notifying us of the problem; and
    If you don’t lodge a claim within 14 days of notifying us of the problem, we are not liable for any existing or future claim for the problem you notified us about.

     

    After you make a claim we will do a thorough investigation and assess your claim. If the claim is valid, we will tell your builder to fix the Defect. There will be a set timeframe for your builder to fix the Defect (sometimes we may agree to give them an extension to the timeframe if it is appropriate).

    If your builder doesn’t fix the Defect within the timeframe set (or any extension) you must contact us no more than 30 days after the date the work was due to be completed.

    To make sure you are comfortable and understand the process, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz.

     


    COVER FOR STRUCTURAL DEFECTS

    It is important to read the Guarantee Terms and Conditions and understand what you are covered for.

    Cover for structural defects protects you if an issue with the expected standard of the work carried out by your builder results in Structural Defects to your home, including a problem with the weathertightness of your home (Rot and Fungal Decay).

    Structural Defects include damage which makes your home unsafe, unsanitary or uninhabitable.

    To be covered for Rot and Fungal Decay, the design, materials and construction of your home need to achieve a score of 12 or less in the “Building envelope risk matrix” at the time the building consent was issued. The building envelope risk matrix is in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Acceptable Solution E2/AS1, which can be found on www.building.govt.nz.

    Your Guarantee will support you if your home is unable to be lived in as a result of the damage or Defect in your claim. You will be covered for reasonable costs and expenses relating to removal, storage and alternative accommodation up to a maximum value of $10,000.

     

    Please contact your builder as soon you discover a Defect.

    Unless your builder has completed all work to fix the Defect, you must:
  • notify us no later than 90 days after you became aware or should have become aware of the Defect; and
  • make a claim on the official claim form no later than 14 days after notifying us about the Defect.
  •  

    After you make a claim we will do a thorough investigation and assess your claim. If the claim is valid and remedial work is needed, we tell your builder to fix the Defect. We will set them a timeframe to do this - sometimes we may agree to give them an extension to the timeframe.

    If your builder doesn’t complete the remedial work within the agreed timeframe, you must let us know no later than 30 days after the work was due to be completed.

    If your builder is unwilling or unable to fix the Defect, we may accept the claim and help you get the Defect fixed.

     

    We will not be liable for any claim under Structural Defects cover if:
    • the building work in the claim does not have the required building consents;
    • it does not comply with the Building Code or any building consent documents.
    If you would like to talk to us, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz.

     


    MAKING A CLAIM BEFORE YOUR BUILD IS FINISHED

    If you believe you have a claim under Loss of Deposit or Non-Completion cover, you must:
    • notify us no later than 30 days after you became aware of the problem; and
    • make a claim on the official claim form no later than 14 days after notifying us of the problem; and
    • get written approval from us before you make any further payment to your builder.
    If you don’t make your claim within 14 days of notifying us of the problem, we are not liable for any existing or future claim for the problem you told us about.

     

    If we accept your claim for Loss of Deposit or Non-Completion and Remedial Works:
    • We will find you a replacement Registered Master Builder to finish the uncompleted work; and
    • You will enter into a new Building Contract with the replacement builder; and
    • we will pay you any money due to you under your claim.

     

    Under Loss of Deposit cover the amount we pay you is the lesser of:
    • the difference (if any) between the amount of the deposit you paid to your builder and the value of any products or services you have already received under the uncompleted Building Contract; and
    • the difference (if any) between what is left to pay on your uncompleted Building Contract and the lowest price for completing the work under the new Building Contract. If more than one replacement Registered Master Builder has provided a price, the lowest price will be used.

    Example:

    The price in the Building Contract was $368,514.00 and John, the owner, paid a deposit of is $20,000. John received a set of plans, drawings and a building consent with a total value of $8,000. We approved the claim and paid John $12,000 – the difference between the deposit paid, and the value he received from the plans, drawings and building consent.

    Under Non-Completion cover the amount we pay you is:
    • the lowest price for completing the work under the new Building Contract (if more than one replacement Registered Master Builder has provided a price, the lowest price will be used), minus
    • the value of the uncompleted work under the original Building Contract (including any valid Contract Variations

    Example:

    Mary, the building owner, has so far paid $147, 520.42 on a Building Contract of $1,068,841.87. There is therefore $921,321.45 remaining to be paid. Due to personal circumstances, her builder Murray, is now unable to complete the building work and we have found a replacement builder called Bob. Bob provided a price of $1,033,000.00 to complete the building work. The difference between the price provided by Bob ($1,033,000.00) and the amount remaining to be paid by Mary on the original contract ($921,321.45) is $111,678.85. We approved the claim and made a payment to Mary of $111,678.85.

    To make sure you are comfortable and understand the process, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz.

     


    MAKING A CLAIM AFTER YOUR BUILD IS COMPLETED

    As soon as you discover a Defect that may lead to a claim under the Guarantee, you must notify your builder in writing to give them the chance to fix the problem. You must then let us know about the Defect and confirm that you have also contacted your builder.

    Unless your builder has completed all work to fix the Defect, you must:
    • notify us no later than 90 days after you became aware or should have become aware of the Defect; and
    • make a claim on the official claim form no later than 14 days after notifying us about the Defect.
    • These timings apply regardless of any agreement you have come to with your builder about fixing the Defect.
    If you don’t make a claim within 14 days of telling us about the Defect, we are not liable for any existing or future claim for the Defect.

     

    After you make a claim we will do a thorough investigation and assess your claim. If the claim is valid and remedial work is needed, we will get your builder to fix the Defect. We will set them a timeframe to do this (and sometimes we might agree to extend this timeframe).

    If your builder agrees to fix the Defect, we’ll let you know and give you a date for the work to be completed. If your builder doesn’t fix the Defect within that timeframe (including any extension) you must tell us no later than 30 days of the date the work was due to be completed.

    If your builder can’t or will not comply with our instruction to fix the Defect, we may accept the claim and help you to get the Defect fixed. We’ll notify you whether your claim has been accepted or declined.

    If your claim is accepted, we will work with you to select a replacement Registered Master Builder to fix the Defect.

    We will work with you to identify the work that needs to be done and decide whether to repair or replace the Defect and plan how the work will be carried out.

    The replacement builder will provide a price for the work, and you will enter into a new Building Contract with them.

    Sometimes we may decide that the cost to fix the Defect is out of all proportion to the loss or damage you have incurred. If this happens, we can choose to pay you the reasonable value of the repair or replacement, instead of engaging a replacement builder to carry out the work.

    After the work is complete, you need to send us all valid invoices and payment claims, and we will pay you (or the replacement builder, if you choose) up to the agreed contract price.

     

    If you decide to sell your property, you can transfer your Guarantee. This is a great selling point if you decide to sell your home.

    A Guarantee can be transferred multiple times within its 10-year term – but this does not extend the period of cover.

    All transfers need our approval. Here’s what you need to do: Your property’s new owner must fill out and sign a Request for Transfer form. They are expected to have:

    • made a full inspection of the home
    • accepted that we will not be liable for any Defects that could have reasonably expected to be discovered during that inspection.

    The completed Request for Transfer form must be sent to us within 90 days of settlement of the purchase along with:

    • a copy of the Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Property; and
    • the transfer administration fee of $350 (including GST)

    We’ll let you know if your Request to Transfer your Guarantee has been accepted or declined.

    To make sure you are comfortable and understand the process, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at help@masterbuilder.org.nz