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Main Residential Building Faults

Understanding the common building faults could assist you in selecting a suitable dwelling, avoiding disappointment.

Monolithic Cladding

Many recently constructed North Shore homes are clad in monolithic cladding. This plaster or texture coated, concrete fibre cement sheet cladding system produces good results when installed to manufacturer's specifications. On some dwellings application faults have caused hairline cracks, which moisture may penetrate. Often these cracks are located around joinery units and on vertical sheet joins.

Untreated Timber

Untreated kiln dried timber has been used widely on North Shore dwellings between 1996 and 2004. This untreated timber has been found to be unsuitable for some New Zealand conditions, particularly when combined with failed monolithic cladding systems. Damp untreated kiln dried timber is known to deteriorate rapidly and can produce toxic rot.

Roof and Spouting

Roof flashing, gutter and spouting details can cause water penetration problems when not designed and installed professionally. Often problems occur at the terminating end of the spouting with the cladding. Roof soffits help protect a dwelling from water ingress.


Internally located decks suffer from various waterproofing issues caused in conjunction with: horizontal monolithic cladding, waterproofing membranes and penetrations permitting water ingress. External decks can also permit water ingress at the junction joining the deck to the dwelling. These scenarios can be exacerbated by the use of untreated timber in some modern dwellings.


Often nails, screws, extrusions, and pipes penetrate the protective cladding of a dwelling allowing water ingress. Penetrations need to be mechanically flashed or adequately sealed at the point where they protrude.

Over Reliance on Sealants

Modern design and economic pressures have led to an increased reliance in sealants. Most modern silicon sealants have only a 15 to 20 year lifespan, and often fail earlier.

D.I.Y Construction

New Zealanders are famous for their do-it-yourself ability. Occasionally structural walls or supporting members are removed completely or not replaced with suitable alternatives.

Permit Issues

The prevalence of do-it-yourself renovations and improvements has led to an increase in the number of structures being removed or constructed illegally. Decks, carports, conservatries and whole rooms are constructed, often without the required permit or consent issues being addressed.