Protecting the future, learning from the past

It’s been a busy start to 2024 at LABC Warranty, with the launch of the latest Technical Manual, and organising the 2024 Bricks awards. But it’s as good a time as any to take a look back at 2023, in particular our data on which elements of a building were most likely to generate a defects.

Our technical team have been kind enough to share this data, which details where on a building, or at which key stage, a defect is likely to occur. 

Peer review - where defects occurred in 2023

What we mean by a defect

A ‘defect’ is not the same as an issue raised by a building control team, which is detected and remedied by our exclusive building control partner Local Authority Building Control.

Defects are issues in the construction of a key stage of a home that would eventually turn into a serious problem that would compromise the property.

To create an objective standard to which all builders can work, LABC Warranty’s risk management surveyors inspect properties against the guidance in our Technical Manual.

The below data is tracked against those issues.

The data on defects from the surveying team

Area of house % of defects 2023
External Walls 31%
Roofs 15%
Internal Walls 10%
Windows & Doors 9%
Upper Floors 8%
Ground Floors 5%
Drainage 4%
Foundations 3%
Electrical Services 2%
Ventilation 2%
Driveways and Paving 2%
Stairs 2%
Balconies 1%
Heating Services 1%
Water Services 1%
Basements 1%
Outbuildings 1%
Chimneys 0%
Ground Conditions 0%


The headline figure here is that more than a third of defects in 2023 involved external walls. Roofs came in at half that with 15%, and internal walls offering 10%.

Also of note is how quickly the other issues fall into a long, diminishing tail. Starting with windows and doors we move into single-digit percentages of defects, shrinking rapidly from there to sub-5% figures.

We don’t have the details on exactly why each of these areas failed, as we can’t share that level of granular detail on defects in public.

We can, however, direct anyone concerned about the external walls on their development to make use of the technical guidance available to them.

With the lion’s share of faults coming in this area, it’s well worth assessing your knowledge of our standards on external walls, internal walls, and roofs. 


Putting this information into practice

LABC Warranty makes a wealth of technical guidance available to builders, developers and designers at no cost.

The LABC Warranty Technical Manual is the central font of knowledge when it comes to what our surveyors are looking for on your sites.

You can download it section-by-section, focusing in on sections above such as walls, roofs, or other areas.

There’s also additional guidance available through our technical blogs, covering the chapters of the Technical Manual in greater detail. These items are written by our technical team to offer additional help, context, or specific guidance on topics affecting builders. 


Resources available for external walls and roofs

The LABC Warranty Technical Manual


Download the LABC Warranty Technical Manual for all of our guidance on external walls, roofs, and everything else we inspect on site. 

  • Technical Manual Section 6 covers external walls.
  • Technical Manual section 7 covers internal walls.
  • Technical Manual section 11 covers roofs.


Technical blog items

LABC Warranty technical blog items under roofs can be found here.

Technical blog items covering the superstructure, including external walls, can be found here.


Who to call if you want to know more

If you’re an LABC Warranty customer and have any concerns about the external walls on your site, don’t hesitate to contact your risk management surveyor.

If you have a wider question about LABC Warranty’s technical standards, we recommend you contact our technical referrals hotline on

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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