Tannum Sands man Declan McConchie says there are multiple faults in his new house constructed by local building company.
Tannum Sands man Declan McConchie says there are multiple faults in his new house constructed by local building company. Chris Chan

Owner says locally built home is plagued by problems

THERE'S a lot of us versus them talk in town regarding house construction.

But like most things, there's good and bad in everything.

Tannum Sands man Declan McConchie has had issues with his first experience building a house, and said the culprit was a local builder.

Showers that overflow, a leaking pool, sliding doors that fall off and slippery pool tiles - the headache is as big as the list.

Mr McConchie, a fly-in fly-out mechanical superintendent in Pilbara, Western Australia, was planning on renting the house out.

He has listed more than 100 defects with the Building Services Authority, which issued the builder with two directions to rectify.

The directions are:

  • "Visual inspection noted that the shower recess is not recessed and is hob less. This is allowing water to escape the shower recess and run through to the bedroom ... does not comply with the Building Code of Australia."
  • "Visual inspection noted that the patio and pool surround is on the same floor level. Tiles used in the patio area are not a slip resistant floor tile. Due to the location of the patio area where people are exiting the pool enclosure and introducing water into the patio area, a slip resistant floor tile is necessary."

The builder has reworked these issues to Australian standard, but The Observer can confirm the shower still floods.

Mr McConchie said he had learnt from this experience.

"Definitely make sure the contracts are watertight and every single thing is documented," he said.

"The BSA can't do much because a lot are cosmetic. The only (things) they can do is structural or to do with health and safety."

The builder who constructed the house said there is "nothing wrong with it".

Most of the listed cosmetic problems were rectified before the BSA inspection.

"He's gone through and done a defect list and we've fixed it. All there is to it, really. BSA haven't got back to me. As far as I know they're happy," he said.

The dispute has resulted in communication between the pair ceasing and money is still outstanding.

"He promised me he was going to pay me for all the extras but he didn't."

The builder said it was not bad work.

"That's just a bit of paint on a tap, it's trivial. You can go through a brand new house, completely finished, and pick what you want," he said.

The builder said the shower problem had been fixed.

"Did everything exactly the way he wanted it done... people have unrealistic expectations of just how much they're spending."

Mr McConchie said he had been too trusting, and didn't want others to get caught in the same trap.

"I'm not normally a bitch, but if it stops someone else from getting burnt, it's a big thing," he said.

"For $400,000, you would expect a bit better.

"It's happening everywhere in Gladdy too. I think everyone is building too much too quickly. The quality of builders is shocking."

Mr McConchie is unhappy with the fixed tiles on the patio next to the pool.

"(The builder) has etched the tiles now but it's still super deadly," he said.

"The BSA says the etching is Australian standard, but you can't walk there.

"I'm going to have to get it re-tiled, out of my own pocket."

Things to know:

  • When BSA issues a direction to rectify, the builder receives a penalty of $110 each to their renewal fee.
  • Check out the history of potential builders using the BSA online search.
  • Get everything in writing.


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