Lesson 1: Understanding Your Statutory Warranties

The Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) provides statutory warranties that builders must comply with when building or renovating a home. These warranties require that the work be completed in a proper and workmanlike manner, be fit for the intended purpose, and be completed in accordance with the plans and specifications. Homeowners should familiarise themselves with these warranties and ensure that the builders comply with them.

Lesson 2: Ensuring Clear Instructions and Specifications

One of the defences that builders may rely on is that they followed instructions given by an independent professional before or after the work was done. Homeowners should ensure that the instructions and specifications are clear, in writing, and signed by an independent professional. In RBV Builders Pty Ltd v Chedra, the drawings and plans included in the building contract were not considered instructions for the purposes of this defence, emphasising the importance of clear written instructions and specifications.

Lesson 3: Addressing Defects in a Timely Manner

If you notice any defects in the construction of your home, it is crucial to address them promptly. Under the statutory warranties, homeowners have a limited time to notify the builder of any defects, and failure to do so may result in losing the right to make a claim. In RBV Builders Pty Ltd v. Chedra, the owners took appropriate action by seeking to rectify the alleged defect and instituting proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Lesson 4: Obtaining Legal Counsel

Construction defects can be complex, and it is important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and options. In RBV Builders Pty Ltd v Chedra, the owners sought legal advice and successfully made a claim for the costs of investigating and rectifying the alleged defect. Homeowners should seek legal advice as soon as they notice any defects to ensure that their rights are protected.


Construction defects can be a costly and stressful experience for homeowners, but by understanding your rights and options, ensuring clear instructions and specifications, addressing defects promptly, and seeking legal advice, you can protect your home and investment. The lessons learned in RBV Builders Pty Ltd v. Chedra provide valuable insights that homeowners can use to protect their homes from construction defects.