One of the most Comprehensive Independent Guarantees in the business

Homefirst Builders GuaranteeYou wouldn’t buy a new car without a warranty, so why build your new home without one?

Today, people building new homes need to know they are building with people they can trust. Your builder’s reputation and workmanship may speak for themselves. That’s why you’re building with them, right?

Building a new home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and if anything goes wrong it could be the most costly too.  It makes sense to reduce your risk by having a guarantee in place, just in case something does go wrong.

Members of the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand must make their customers aware that they can apply for a ten-year independently insured guarantee when building a new home.  For alterations and additions the builder can also apply for a guarantee, at the customer’s request.

What are the benefits of having a Homefirst Builders Guarantee?

If your builder is unable to complete the project or remedy defects, usually for reasons of death, disability, disappearance or financial insolvency, the guarantee will pay and arrange to complete the work.


  • Reimbursement of any deposit paid to the builder where the builder is unable to continue beyond site preparation, up to twenty per cent (20%) of the Contract Price, to a maximum of $50,000.
  • Completion of the dwelling where the builder is unable to complete, up to twenty per cent (20%) of the Contract Price, to a maximum of $100,000.


Covered up to 50% of the Contract Price, to a maximum aggregate of $1,000,000.

  • Rectification of structural defects, including weathertightness, that the builder is unable to rectify, for 10 years.
  • Rectification of non-structural defects that the builder is unable to rectify, for 2 years.
  • Alternative accommodation and removal and storage costs.
  • If a non-completion or defect claim is submitted, Builtin New Zealand Ltd will encourage the builder to remedy the problem and, if necessary, it will appoint another Certified Builder to do so, and the guarantee will cover the whole or a significant portion of the cost.
  • The guarantee covers not only the Certified Builder’s work and materials but also the acts and omissions of any sub-contractors engaged by him.


  • The Homefirst Builders Guarantee is backed by CBL Insurance Ltd, a licensed New Zealand insurer with more than a million homes under guarantee worldwide.
  • The guarantee can generally be transferred to a new owner when you sell the house.  And because having a guarantee gives the buyer peace of mind it can help sell your home faster and for more.

These rights are of course subject to the specific wording, limitations and exclusions in the guarantee agreement.

Are there different types of Homefirst Builders Guarantee?

Yes, there are four different guarantees available, depending on what your project is:

  1. Full Contract – where your builder is managing the whole project for you.
  2. Carpentry Labour Only – where the homeowner decides to act as project manager and will organise all the materials and sub contractors directly, so the guarantee applies only to the builder’s work.
  3. Alterations & Additions – where work is being done on an existing building.
  4. Kitset Loss of Deposit – covers you when you’ve paid your deposit but something happens and you don’t receive the materials you’ve paid for.

How do I obtain a Homefirst Builders Guarantee?

Your Certified Builder will help you lodge an application for a guarantee with Builtin New Zealand Ltd at the time the building contract is signed, and before construction begins.  Assuming Builtin approves the application, they will send the owner a Guarantee Certificate and written confirmation that the guarantee is accepted.

Can I get a guarantee to cover my weathertightness remediation work?

Yes, Builtin has developed a WaterTight Warranty that will cover weathertightness remediation work undertaken by approved builders.  For more information ask your Certified Builder, visit or phone 0800 BUILTIN.

What are the obligations of the owner and the builder under the guarantee?

There are a number of obligations or conditions under the guarantee including payment of the guarantee fee, frank and honest disclosure, not to make excessive advance payments, to notify Builtin of variations, prompt notification of claims, preservation of the owner’s rights against the builder, compliance with the building contract and the building code, acknowledgment of practical completion, using only approved builders, maintenance of the dwelling or works, and mitigation of any damage or loss, as approved by Builtin New Zealand Ltd.  Full details and obligations of the builder and owner are set out in the written guarantee document.

Who is Builtin New Zealand Ltd?

Builtin is a specialist provider of guarantees and insurance to the construction sector in New Zealand.  They provide the support and administrative services for the Homefirst Builders Guarantee to Certified Builders and their customers.  Their staff have over 40 years experience in the New Zealand insurance industry.  The guarantee itself is underwritten by CBL Insurance Ltd, who are New Zealand’s largest and longest-established specialist bonding, financial risk and surety company.  They have 40 years experience and are licensed and regulated by the Reserve Bank of NZ.  CBL’s guarantee protect more than one million homes worldwide.