2012 Licensed Residential Builder Survey - Homeowner Protection ...


2012 Licensed Residential Builder Survey - Homeowner Protection ...

2012 Survey of Licensed Residential Builders

Summary of Results


In October 2012, the Homeowner Protection

Office (HPO) commissioned the market research

firm Ipsos Reid to conduct a province-wide

survey with Licensed Residential Builders. This

survey has been carried out every two years

since 2003, and annually beginning in 2011.

The purpose of the survey is to evaluate

builders’ satisfaction with the licensing and

home warranty insurance systems. As well, HPO

wants to understand builders’ perceptions of

education, training and research needs in the

residential construction industry.


Survey questionnaires were sent out to a total

of 5,143 Licensed Residential Builders in BC, and

1,477 surveys were completed, resulting in a

response rate of 28.7%. Builders had the option

to complete the survey online or the printed

questionnaire and return it via fax or mail.

To ensure that the final survey sample was an

accurate reflection of the total population of

Licensed Residential Builders in BC,

mathematical weights were applied based on

region (i.e. the area of BC where they primarily

build) and the number of homes built/started in

the past year. The margin of error on the final

sample is +/- 2.5% at the 95% confidence level.

Satisfaction with the Licensing System

• BC’s residential builders remain satisfied

with the licensing system, where nine-in-ten

builders report being satisfied with the

system, including close to half (47%) saying

they are very satisfied.

Builders continue to give high satisfaction

ratings to the various components of the

licensing system. In particular, timeliness of

licensing decisions and the application

process earn the highest satisfaction scores

(96% and 95%, respectively).

• 94% of builders report that they are

very/somewhat satisfied with the renewal


• Ratings of the fairness of the

rules/requirements continue to trend

upward (from 86% in 2011 to 89% in 2012).

Satisfaction with Warranty Insurance System

• Unchanged from 2011, 90% of builders rate

their relationship with their warranty

provider as excellent or good, with 44%

specifically rating it as excellent.

• The ease of the application process for

coverage continues to be the top-rated

component of warranty provider service,

with 90% excellent/good ratings.

• The handling of complaints/claims is rated

positively by 76% of builders. More than

one-half of builders (53%) rate the cost of

warranty insurance as excellent/good.

Compliance Efforts

• Slight improvement can be seen in the

effectiveness of HPO efforts to monitor and

enforce compliance, where 83% of builders

rate its compliance efforts as very

effective/somewhat effective (compared to

80% in 2011).

Residential builders express rising concerns

regarding the owner-builder exemption.

Among those who made a comment

regarding the effectiveness of HPO

compliance efforts, more builders are now

commenting that the exemption is unfair

(jumping from 5% in 2011 to 17% in 2012).

As well, only 69% of builders surveyed feel

that HPO compliance efforts are effective in

this area.

• Awareness of the online Enforcement

Actions page has increased significantly (45%

in 2012 vs. 35% in 2011). Specifically, more

builders have personally viewed or visited

the page (17% in 2012 compared to 12% in



Education and Training

• Nine-in-ten residential builders (89%) obtain

their experience and training on-the-job.

Builders give high priority to all possible

education and training areas, and generally

assign more importance to each compared to

last year. The ranking is as follows:

• 97% - Building codes

• 97% - Construction technologies

• 93% - Legal issues on housing

• 93% - Green building/energy efficiency

• 92% - Project management & supervision

• 92% - Occupational health & safety

• 88% - Customer service

• 88% - Communications

• 87% - Financial planning & management

• 87% - Business planning & management

• 76% - Human resource planning &


• Ratings of availability and quality of

education and training have rebounded to

2009 levels, sitting at 57% and 59%,


Topic Areas where Industry could Benefit from

More Research and Education

Builders were asked to indicate which of 18

areas in their industry could benefit from

more research studies and guidelines; they

ranked them as follows:

• 52% - New building technologies

• 51% - Energy efficiency/green building

• 42% - Ventilation/indoor air quality

• 40% - Wall systems/rainscreen details

• 38% - Site drainage/foundations

• 37% - Air/vapour barriers

• 36% - Heating systems

• 36% - Building codes

• 33% - Earthquake performance

• 33% - Window installation/performance

• 26% - Roofing systems/materials

• 24% - Structural design

• 24% - Framing

• 23% - Decks and balconies

• 21% - Soil conditions

• 19% - Basements/crawlspaces

• 19% - Six storey wood-frame construction

• 15% - Adaptable/flex homes

Seminars and Further Education

• 35% of residential builders report that they

have attended an HPO Building Smart

seminar in the past year.

• Nearly half of builders (47%) think that there

is a need for further homeowner education,

and of those who think it is warranted,

maintenance is the top suggested topic


Residential Performance Guide

• Awareness of the Residential Construction

Performance Guide is lower than what it was

one year ago (57% to 49% currently).

• However, those aware of the Guide continue

to give it positive assessments for being

useful to business (79%) and as a

homeowner education tool (77%).

Green Building Program

• 16% of BC residential builders currently

report that they have built homes in the past

year that were part of a green building

program. Among those that have, the

majority were part of the BuiltGreen

program (62%).

• Many builders feel it would be beneficial for

their future projects if they could obtain

more cost benefit analysis examples of green

building technologies and more information

on construction details and standards (73%

and 66%, respectively).

For More Information Please Contact:

Homeowner Protection Office

Branch of BC Housing

Phone: (604) 646-7050 Toll-free: 1-800-407-7757

Email: hpo@hpo.bc.ca Website: www.hpo.bc.ca


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