Judging the Bricks. Step 3: First Fix

The Bricks, our annual awards, celebrates excellence in the housing industry by recognising quality developments. What are our judges looking for when they judge sites? What is it that makes a development stand out from the competition?

This latest blog considers the judging points for first fix.

A fundamental element of any new build project and a great opportunity to see the organisation on site is first fix.

Under this category our surveyors and judges are reviewing:

  • Windows and doors
  • Floor decking and stairs
  • Services – electrical
  • Services – plumbing
  • Non-load bearing walls (including service penetrations)

Below Mike Swatton, our Head Judge, goes into detail on what he looks for when judging first fix:


“One element which is key for us to judge in The Bricks is first fix.

When the property is weather tight the first fixing begins with electrical work and plumbing work. We’re looking to check that that plumbing and electrical work is in the correct zones, that joists are not neither notched or drilled with electric wires or pipes. We’re also looking to see gaps are sealed so that there’s no air leakage, so cold air doesn’t come in and warm air doesn’t escape out.

Another element which is good to check is sound insulation, ensuring insulation is placed between the joists to prevent sound transmitting from the first floor to the ground floor and indeed in the partitions between bathrooms and habitable rooms.”

Best Practise

We’ve a broad variety of Technical Resources available on our website to assist you with all the components of the first fix for your development.

Various chapters of our Technical Manual offer detail on different parts of first fix:


Please remember that more information on all of the above can be found in our Technical Manual or by talking to your LABC Warranty Surveyor.
Download the Technical Manual