Defects VS Wear & Tear

There are two main types of damages that can occur to a house. The first one is a case of Wear & Tear and the second is a Defect. It is expected that during the occupancy of a house, there will be some amount of damage done to the building’s fixtures, furniture and fittings, etc. However, the nature in which these damages occur needs to be clear to homeowners, so they are aware of which can be categorized as a Wear & tear and a defect before attempting/requesting repairs.

What is a defect?

A defect is a form of damage that can be visible to homeowners. Defects are mostly flaws in the materials of the home such as faulty electrical wiring hiding behind the walls or a well-hidden termite or mold problem due to poor roofing designs. Such damages will not be noticeable at first, but after some time they may appear.

There are two types of defects; latent and patent defects. According to Suttling (2021), latent defects are flaws that are not visible and cannot be found by reasonable inspection during or in completion of construction. Whereas, patent defects are flaws that can be easily identified during regular inspection in the course of construction.

Defects may occur due to the following factors:

  • Poor workmanship
  • Changes of use
  • Poor design
  • Environmental influences

A defect being a flaw in a building/property, can be replaced or repaired. Some defects may easily be fixed while others will take longer due to availability of manpower and materials in accordance to the nature of the defect. For example, a roof leakage will require equipment such as a hydraulic crane (cherry picker) if this is unavailable, scaffolding will need to be erected, which will cause the repairs to take much longer. This also depends on the availability of materials, for example, a flooring defect, if the materials required to fix this are not available, repairs will be delayed.

A defect is a flaw in the structure of the home either due to the production stages of the materials used or poor handling of materials during construction. However, most often, defects can be repaired once identified.

*Google Images: faulty electrical wiring

Floor boards loose

*Wall molding due to condensation

What is a Wear & Tear?

A Wear & Tear refers to the gradual damage that one would expect upon daily usage of an item over time. Wear & Tear is exactly as it sounds. These are damages that are likely to occur during the normal and intended use of a material in a home. For example, scrapes on walls or surfaces, faded materials such as floor wood, loose door handles/locks, ceiling stains, etc. All these are damages that will occur because of their intended daily usage.

Damages done through Wear & Tear can be repaired at times. Such as a loose door handle can be screwed back in place, or a cupboard door hanging from its hinges can be retightened. However, most often, a damage that is categorized as Wear & Tear cannot be repaired but will need to be replaced. For example, the silver finishing peeling off a door knob will need to be replaced with a new knob or need to be refurbished.

However, there are cases where homeowners may cause certain damages that are reasonably unacceptable. For example, broken windows, broken door handles/locks, unapproved paint jobs or unapproved infrastructure changes, etc. These, although are at times, expected to occur, they will not be categorized as a Wear & Tear.

*Google Images: Scratches on wood floor

*Google Images:  Floor wood color fading

*Google Images: Loose door handles

What is the difference between a wear & tear and a defect?

A defect can be repaired. For a Wear & Tear the damages can be repaired, however, most often these damages will require a replacement rather than a repair.

The main difference between a wear & tear and a defect can also be seen in the nature by which these damages occur. For wear & tear, it is simply the gradual or natural damage done to items due to their intended use. Whereas, for defects, these are flaws in the building/home that were done without human action but it was made possible by human error.


How to clean grout in a dirty house (2020) Retrieved from,

Restoring colors, vibrancy and the former beauty of your carpet & rugs (2017) Retrieved from

Rodriguez, J (2020) Identifying Common Roof Problems, retrieved from

Suttling, D (2021) Latent vs. Patent Defects and How to manage them, Retrieved from

Top 10 Most Common Residential Building Defects (2020) retrieved from,

Why Gutter slope is essential to your home (2021) Retrieved from,

bigoneDefects VS Wear & Tear
** Artist Impression Disclaimer: This artist's impression intends to illustrate the appearance of this home, once completed. There is no guarantee that the completed home will comply with any degree of the artist's impression, as shown on the website. The Developer discloses that all colours, textures and finishes are indicative only. The Developer reserves the right to alter any colour, material and or design features, such as orientation and site levels in order to comply with all relevant constraints, including but not limited to local council, planning guidelines, PNG building codes and energy efficiency laws. This Artist impression may include optional facade features.
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