When can a defect be raised?

Would it be reasonable to issue a defect notice whilst a specific package of works is still in progress?

Example: A sub-contractor is carrying out in-situ concrete works and is still in ownership of the specific works area. The sub-contractor carries out an approved process post-striking of the formwork to address any routine issues with surface finishes, minor cracks etc.

Would it be acceptable to raise a defect straight away for these minor defects or would it be prudent to wait until handover/moving to the next phase/burying a structure before notifying?


it would be more appropriate to wait until the subcontractor has finished that element of works. hopefully the process will mean that there are no Defects at that stage

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Please refer to clause 42.2, it is very interesting to note the difference in the wording of this clause between the NEC3 ECC and the ECS; in the ECC the Supervisor and Contractor notify the other “as soon as he finds it”, in the ECS the Contractor and the Subcontractor “promptly notify… as soon as he finds it”. I’m not sure why there’s a difference but either way I suggest the Defect you refer to should be notified irrespective of whether the subcontractor is correcting, or is planning to correct it. Clause 10.1 obliges us all to act as stated in the contract.
In NEC4 43.2 of both the ECC and the ECS have been changed to read the same and both oblige Defects to be notified as soon as you become aware of the Defect.
Final thought, each Defect has to be notified therefore each must be communicated separate from other communications (cl13.7).


I’m with @dave_bates on this one, it’s futile to notify a Defect on incomplete works, especially when you know the Subcontractor has a process in place to rectify the Defect you are thinking of notifying. I would wait until they’ve completed this process and see if the end product meets the specification, at this stage if it doesn’t you should notify. If there was something immediately apparent after they had struck the formwork that couldn’t be rectified using their normal process then you should notify e.g. cube test reveals the concrete isn’t strong enough or rebar being visible or such large voids being present that you have concerns about the integrity of the wall etc. Being too keen to notify only serves to work against the collaborative nature of the contract!