Last edited 24 Sep 2020

Defects correction period for construction

NEC was first published in 1993 as the New Engineering Contract. It is a suite of construction contracts intended to promote partnering and collaboration. The third edition, NEC3 was published in 2005.

According to NEC, a defect is ‘… a part of the works which is not as stated in the Works Information or not in accordance with applicable law or the accepted design.’

Until the defects date, there is an obligation on both the supervisor and contractor to notify each other as soon as they are aware of a defect. The defects date is the date until which the contractor is liable to rectify any defects and this is typically 26 or 52 weeks from the completion of the works.

The defects correction period is set out in the contract data and defines the maximum period within which the contractor must rectify a notified defect, although the contractor is required to rectify defects, whether they are notified of it or not.

For defects notified before completion, the defects correction period begins on completion. For defects notified after completion, but before the defects date, it begins on notification. Different defects correction periods can be specified for different types of defects.

If notified defects are not rectified within the defects correction period, they may be rectified by others and the cost reimbursed by the contractor.

At, or just after the defects date the supervisor issues a defects certificate, which either certifies that there are no remaining patent defects, or lists any uncorrected defects. The only circumstances when the defects certificate might not be issued on the defects date is if a previously notified defect has a defects correction period that ends after the defects date, in which case it is issued on that later date.

The parties are permitted to agree that certain defects need not be rectified, and in this case the contractor must submit a quotation for reduced prices, an earlier completion date or both, and an adjustment is then made to the works information.

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