AbstractProject and regulatory control measures implemented over the low-rise residential home-building process, the way the controls are distributed among participants, and the timing of the controls can influence defect incidences and the ability to resolve associated conflicts expeditiously. The specific purpose of the study reported here is therefore to provide insight into how defects and defect-related conflicts and disputes can be minimized via redistribution of the project and regulatory controls. Drawing on a conceptual framework developed using the theory of procedure and in-depth qualitative analysis of three disputed building defects cases, we discovered that in the current practice, the builder exercises a one-sided process and content control that often leads to issues during design, construction, and postconstruction in relation to defects. Process and content control by the owner is inadequate and ineffective and the control allocated to the building surveyors is also ineffective and untimely. Thus, defective work can easily occur and be covered unnoticed. Control strategies to strengthen the building surveyors’ and owners’ roles include (1) allocating them a greater process and content control via the mandatory appointment of a clerk of works by the owner and by making the role of building surveyors more independent, (2) the use of Internet of Things (IoT) data collection technology to provide owners and building surveyors a greater level of control and increase the transparency of the building process, and (3) the use of retention monies within the provisions of the contract so that where the builder fails to rectify any valid defects, the retention can be drawn by the owner to rectify such defects. This control will increase the incentive for the builder to attend to defect issues expeditiously and motivate change in behavior toward better quality. Although the proposed approaches might increase costs, they put the owner in a better position when compared with the current practice where most owners do not seek any remedy due to the economic and psychological costs involved.

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