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My new build floors aren’t flat and level, what are the tolerances?

Understanding Floor Tolerances in New Builds

When you move into a new build home, you expect everything to be perfect. However, sometimes you may find that your floors aren’t quite as flat or level as you’d hoped. This might lead to the question: what are the acceptable tolerances for floor levelness and flatness in new builds? The National House Building Council (NHBC) provides clear standards on this matter in Chapter 9.2 of their guidelines, but it’s important to remember that these might not apply to every new home, depending on the warranty provider.


NHBC Standards for Floor Tolerances

The NHBC, a leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, sets out specific tolerances for floors in new builds:

  • Levelness: For floors that span up to 6 metres across, the level should not deviate by more than 3mm per metre, measured at the furthest points across the full width of the floor. For floors that are over 6 metres in width, a maximum deviation of 20mm is considered acceptable.

  • Flatness: The standard for flatness, regardless of the floor’s size, is a deviation of ±5mm, measured using a 2-metre straight edge with equal offsets.

These standards ensure that new build homes meet a basic level of quality and comfort for occupants. However, it’s crucial to note that not every new home comes with an NHBC warranty.


Non-NHBC Warranties and Standards

Not all new builds are covered by NHBC warranties. There are other warranty providers, and each may have its own set of standards for floor tolerances. In some cases, these standards might not be publicly available. If your new home is not covered by an NHBC warranty, it’s advisable to check with your warranty provider to understand the specific tolerances applicable to your property.


What If Your Floors Don’t Meet These Standards?

If you’ve moved into a new build and noticed that the floors do not meet the specified tolerances, the first step is to contact your builder or warranty provider. They should be able to address the issue and ensure that your home meets the required standards. It’s important to report any concerns as soon as possible to avoid any potential disputes later on.

Floor tolerances in new builds are an important aspect of your home’s construction quality. While the NHBC provides clear guidelines, not all homes may fall under their warranty, and standards can vary. Knowing these tolerances and understanding your rights can help ensure that your new home is not only beautiful but also structurally sound and comfortable to live in.

If you’re unsure about the standards applicable to your home or if you have concerns about the quality of your new build, don’t hesitate to reach out to your warranty provider or a professional building inspector for guidance and support.