What is defective work?

As the state’s building and construction industry regulator, the QBCC is governed by legislation and policy. The Queensland Building and Construction Board ‘Rectification of Building Work’ Policy defines defective building work as:

’Building work that is faulty or unsatisfactory, and includes, for example, work that:

(a) does not comply with the Building Act 1975, Building Code of Australia or an applicable Australian Standard

(b) involves the use of a manufactured product, and that product has been used, constructed or installed in a way that does not comply with the product manufacturer’s instructions.’

How to find out if your complaint items are defective

Use our Standards and Tolerances Guide (PDF) to check if any disputed items are likely to be defective work. It is a handy guide to building standards and any allowable limits (tolerances). This is one of the tools used by our expert building inspectors to carefully assess every disputed item (along with all applicable building legislation). You will need to know the date of completion of the work to use this guide.

How to use our Standards and Tolerances Guide

  1. Ensure you know the date of completion of the work as you will need this to use the guide.
  2. Use the Contents list on page 5 to find the category for each disputed item (e.g. roofing, plumbing, painting, floors etc.) 
  3. Go to the category and look for the section that relates to the item (e.g. nail and screw fixings, solid timber floors).

Example 1: When are nail fixings in painting considered defective?

Go to: 
Category 12.00 Painting
Section 12.3 Nail and screw fixings

Fixings or unfilled depressions caused by fixings are defects in painted surfaces if they can be seen from a normal viewing position and if the complaint is made within the first 12 months after completion of the work.

Example 2: When are nails popping in solid timber floors considered defective?

Go to:
Category 14:00 Floors
Section 14.5 Nail popping in solid timber, plywood and particleboard floors

Within the first 12 months after completion, nail heads that can be detected through floor coverings or nail popping that is clearly visible in exposed flooring are defects.

Nail heads are defects for 6 years and 3 months from completion of the work if they compromise the health and safety of occupants or visitors to the residence.