Liquidators have been appointed to troubled builder PlanBuild leaving devastated homeowners including one who has been ‘left with a pile of rocks.”
Liquidators have been appointed to troubled builder PlanBuild leaving devastated homeowners including one who has been ‘left with a pile of rocks.”

Builder collapses leaving home owners ‘devasated’

Liquidators have been appointed to award-winning Brisbane builder PlanBuild leaving "devastated" homeowners across the city.

Richard Albarran, Kathleen Vouris and Marcus Watters of Hall Chadwick have taken control of the Kedron-based company that has been the subject of complaints to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) about unfinished projects.

The company has told several clients in recent weeks that it was "shutting down its business."  The company has undertaken 34 projects so far this financial year valued at $12.2m compared to 51 homes built in the previous year valued at $19m. 

Customers fear the company's collapse may now impact on grants received under the HomeBuilder scheme. The company was founded in 2003 to "provide Queensland homebuyers with affordable new houses that represent outstanding value-for-money." In 2015, the company won a national award for its projects homes.

 

The company, founded in 2003, was named Australian Project Home of the Year in 2015.
The company, founded in 2003, was named Australian Project Home of the Year in 2015.

Single mother Felicity Cameron said her plans for a dream home at Griffin on Brisbane's northside had been "devastated' by the company's collapse.

Ms Cameron said she signed her contract with PlanBuild in February after paying a $10,500 deposit and applying for a $25,000 HomeBuilder grant. "But building work never even started," Ms Cameron said. "All I have is a pile of rocks they dumped in the driveway."

She said she is now scrambling to find a new builder to start construction of the house in time to meet HomeBuilder grant deadlines.

"Potentially I could lose both the deposit and the HomeBuilder grant," she said. "This has been devastating and the impact extends across many, many families."

She said she had contacted the State Government to request special consideration so she and others impacted by the collapse can still receive the grant and engage another builder.

Subcontractors say problems have been brewing at the firm over the past several weeks with clients in early stages of their projects reportedly having the job abandoned.

 

Plan Build's offices at Kedron have been cleared out. Photo: Glen Norris
Plan Build's offices at Kedron have been cleared out. Photo: Glen Norris

People in the industry believe price increases for highly sought after materials, paired with the company's attempt to remain competitive by dropping prices has contributed to its problems.

"Some of their build contracts I couldn't justify what they were selling it for," said one subbie. "It seems to be a trend when builders are struggling financially they drop the contract prices to get more money in the door straight away but it destroys them later down the track."

According to QBCC data, the number of projects undertaken by PlanBuild has been declining since 2015 when it built 133 homes valued at more than $30m.

Originally published as Builder collapses leaving home owners 'devasated'



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