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The ACT Building Industry. How do we seek redress?

By cranky - 7 December 2012 30

I had a bulldoze – rebuild exercise on our house about 8 years ago. Love the result – brilliant design, works magic.

However, it has become apparent that the quality of the cement render is appalling. Rust showing through, cracks everywhere, a couple of spots where we are waiting for it to arrive on the ground.

HIA cover the builders arse, so where do I go to get any recognition/assistance/remedial action on this disaster? Sure, its cosmetic, but it sure is ugly, and will require fixing before the place could ever be placed on the market.

The builder will remain nameless for now, but surely we could establish a system where this incompetence is rectified by the industy itself.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
The ACT Building Industry. How do we seek redress?
1
enrique 10:11 am
07 Dec 12
#

*Disclaimer* I’m only speculating here…

Is there a clause in your contract that gives you the ability to have defects resolved? If so, what is the timeframe after practical completion in which you are able to do this (this known as the defects liability period and is usually 12 months)? Are you within that timeframe? What is the definition of ‘defect’ as per the contract? Does what you’re describing fit within that definition of a defect?

It could be that you are well within your rights from the contract point of view or it could be that what you’re asking for was never originally agreed to in the contract…

Stay professional and objective regardless of which side of the coin you end up on.

Best of luck.

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2
Wodgie 10:44 am
07 Dec 12
#

The fair trading website has some good strategies you can use before needing to contact the fair trading mob.
http://www.ors.act.gov.au/community/fair_trading/make_a_complaint_against_a_business_or_trader

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3
ezy10z 10:56 am
07 Dec 12
#

8 years ago…… and now it just need a bit of a touch up???
its called ‘property maintenance’…. every property needs it….
its idiots like you that make life difficult for everyone else.

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4
enrique 1:23 pm
07 Dec 12
#

ezy10z said :

8 years ago…… and now it just need a bit of a touch up???.

That’s a fair point actually, I overlooked the ‘8 yeas ago’ bit on first reading.

Yep, the question is a bit strange. If it was within the first year or so the tradie might have something to answer for but after 8 years… well, you’re probably looking at fair wear and tear. Perhaps you go what you paid for? Perhaps the specific type and method of render that you paid for was only ever meant to last that long before requiring a touch up.

Once again, it all comes down to what was agreed to in your contract.

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5
PantsMan 1:30 pm
07 Dec 12
#

Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA

GPO Box 1020, Canberra, ACT 2601
rattenbury@act.gov.au

Phone: (02) 6205 0005
Fax: (02) 6205 0007

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6
Holden Caulfield 1:48 pm
07 Dec 12
#

I’m sorry to hear of your dodgy render, but 8 years ago, don’t make me laugh. Our runaway builder has done us out of a figure that may well sit on the wrong side of six figures by the time we’re finished, if we ever finish, and the MBA, ACTPLA and ACT Fair Trading didn’t give a s***!

The only person interested were the lawyers, naturally, but sadly we’re not in a position to take that path. We need every cent we can get to finish the project.

Besides, home warranty (as worthless as it is) expires after 7 years, so you’ll be fat out of luck I reckon.

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7
Madam Cholet 2:33 pm
07 Dec 12
#

Neighbour of ours had a shocking render job done on his property. It was evident from the get-go, so I’m not sure that 8 years is going to cut it for re-dress. His is getting worse though and it’s only 6 years old from memory.

However, it is s only what he deserved for all the times his builders woke us up at an ungodly hour for months on end and parked in stupid places in order to put the carbuncle on top of his house.

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8
GardeningGirl 4:26 pm
07 Dec 12
#

I don’t know what maintenance is required for render but rust and cracks sounds like it could be beyond that. If some sort of regular cleaning or minor touch-ups are required then shouldn’t the customer be informed of that so they can make an informed choice between render and plain brick (mind you I’m hearing worrying things about some modern styles of bricks too lately). Then if they choose render they know how to keep it looking its best and what is reasonable to expect from it perfomance-wise over the years. Sadly I think 8 years is pretty good going these days before you need major work done to a new house. We didn’t get close to halfway there before we needed to do renovations to put things right. Holden Caulfield, I’ve seen you mention your build before, I’m sorry you are still battling with that situation, best wishes to you.

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9
Spykler 7:24 pm
07 Dec 12
#

Forget MBA/HIA they are closely aligned with most of the major builders even though they are supposed to be the over-arching organisations that set rules/standards etc.. In a city of this size they all know each other well and a lot are close friends, appealing for help from the MBA was a dead end for us and indeed our confidence was broken when my builder recited a private conversation back to me verbatim that I had at the MBA office in Fyshwick.

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10
chilli 7:29 pm
07 Dec 12
#

ezy10z said :

8 years ago…… and now it just need a bit of a touch up???
its called ‘property maintenance’…. every property needs it….
its idiots like you that make life difficult for everyone else.

Rubbish. If render is done properly it should last decades – look at houses in Reid that were rendered in the 1920’s and still look good.

It seems more likely that cranky’s builder didn’t do the job properly to begin with.

But good luck getting any help with that.

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11
cranky 8:43 pm
07 Dec 12
#

chilli said :

ezy10z said :

8 years ago…… and now it just need a bit of a touch up???
its called ‘property maintenance’…. every property needs it….
its idiots like you that make life difficult for everyone else.

Rubbish. If render is done properly it should last decades – look at houses in Reid that were rendered in the 1920’s and still look good.

It seems more likely that cranky’s builder didn’t do the job properly to begin with.

But good luck getting any help with that.

Thank you Chilli.

I should have explained that these problems go back to day one. The builder did ‘fix’ the problem in the most serious spot, only for it to reappear virtually instantly.

A builder who has advised us was of the opinion that the builder/renderer were incompetent, and he would consider the degredation of the render to be similar to a 100 year old building.

But who do you turn to? As explained, the HIA/MBA only serve their members. I’m in no position to take anyone to court.

The bottom line is a render job that anyone would recognise as a shocker, and requiring remediation prior to any sale. I paid good money for this job, but apparently have no path short of legal action to have the builder correct this mess.

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12
gooterz 9:41 pm
07 Dec 12
#

You’d probably best off filing a dispute in the small claims court against the builder.

Warrenty is based on what is reasonable for the price you paid. If you paid for a cheap render you can’t expect more. If you paid the going price 8 years ago then you would expect the render made of concrete to last longer than the carpet. This applies to pretty much everything. (Go read the Trade practices Act 1979) It has a new name but very much the same.

I’d also contact Act fair trading office. They have an office in woden and usually require you to submit a request for action to the store. (Not 100% sure they cover building but it is a service and a contact).

Failing all of the above. Post around the internet quoting the builder and the dodgy work chances are they also did dodgy things to others and at least you could consolidate your attack, or find out what settlements the others got and possibly prevent others from falling victim to the same fate.

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13
Pork Hunt 10:11 pm
07 Dec 12
#

Madam Cholet said :

Neighbour of ours had a shocking render job done on his property. It was evident from the get-go, so I’m not sure that 8 years is going to cut it for re-dress. His is getting worse though and it’s only 6 years old from memory.

However, it is s only what he deserved for all the times his builders woke us up at an ungodly hour for months on end and parked in stupid places in order to put the carbuncle on top of his house.

If there are three words/phrases in the English language I hate, two of them are from the “get go”. The other is “straightaway”, alledgedly being the straight portion of a US race track.
They get on my nerves like finger nails down a blackboard.
I cannot express strongly enough in words how much they shit me to tears…

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14
Madam Cholet 7:54 am
08 Dec 12
#

Pork Hunt said :

Madam Cholet said :

Neighbour of ours had a shocking render job done on his property. It was evident from the get-go, so I’m not sure that 8 years is going to cut it for re-dress. His is getting worse though and it’s only 6 years old from memory.

However, it is s only what he deserved for all the times his builders woke us up at an ungodly hour for months on end and parked in stupid places in order to put the carbuncle on top of his house.

If there are three words/phrases in the English language I hate, two of them are from the “get go”. The other is “straightaway”, alledgedly being the straight portion of a US race track.
They get on my nerves like finger nails down a blackboard.
I cannot express strongly enough in words how much they shit me to tears…

Sorry.

‘going forward’, I will ‘pro-actively’ use less americansation and generally annoying phaseology in my posts in order that your ‘ass’ does not make you cry.

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15
gazket 1:31 pm
08 Dec 12
#

There are 2 types of concrete. Concrete that’s cracked and concrete that’s going to crack.

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