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Help - Builder Issues

Discussion in 'Development' started by LloydThomas, 29th Nov, 2015.

  1. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    Hi,

    I have had ongoing issues with my builder and most recently he has asked me to pull up my driveway. Here is the summary of the issues:


    -Driveway was done by a trade i hired as the concerete was out of the building contract
    -When the inspector did the final inspection he said there might be an issue. However i was made to sign a stat dec saying that i will re-do it into the future which was accepted by the inspector.
    -Since then i had other issues with my builder (ie i wanted a private inspector to do an inspection at handover and he didnt want to let me bring anyone). He is now stating that he wants me to pull it up giving 5 days notice saying i will incur delay damages if i dont.

    Can anyone advise me of what to do. Can he force me to do this even through i have signed a stat dec. Isn't the inspector the one that will issue the certificate of occupancy.

    Is there any property lawyer in Melbourne that i can speak to regarding this

    Thanks for your help in advance.
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Building disputes are generally handled by the state's fair trading dept equivalent. Give them a buzz and ask for advice, they might suggest a lawyer depending on the seriousness of the issue.

    Review your contract of course to see if delay damages are defined, whether there's mention of 3rd party trades work, etc. The above will advise of things you can look for as well.

    You can absolutely take an inspector along. If he's not allowing it then he probably has something to hide.

    If there hasn't been handover yet, I'm surprised you were allowed to do works there through 3rd parties. I was told to wait on my one, which i considered fair enough as the site is in their custody til then.
     
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  3. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    How will you pulling up the driveway delay him? It is out of his scope. It's your job not his. Why is there a need to do it so soon?
    Was there any on your start Dec on given to you by the inspector when it needed to be rectified? Can you just hold off till your builder is finished?
     
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  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    What is the driveway preventing access to? Why can't he wear the charge for under slab boring if he left out conduit or power to the other side of the driveway?

    Generally there is no recourse for the builder in respect of investigation of works which is found to be wanting so why is he requiring the slab be removed?
     
  5. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Either the inspector has changed his mind and won't issue the Certificate which may affect a payment you have due to builder that requires it? Not sure of your payment schedules.

    Or there is something from the Builders side which is not to code and requires changing and that needs the driveway gone.

    What was the original issue with your concrete driveway that the inspector picked up on?

    Generally the builder is responsible for the site until handover, which is why as @D.T. said they don't like your trades on site.
     
  6. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    I would look at your building contract and see if what allowances are there for delays. I think he is wanting his final payment hence does not want the any issues to delay that. he has to fix up any issues prior to the final payment. That is your legal right to bring in a building inspector. Make sure the building surveyor has stated this in writing and Call the Victorian Building Authority in docklands(and make a complaint right away siting the building registration number). i can't understand what the concrete has to do to with the inspection. Driveways are pretty standard so can't see what can go wrong.
     
  7. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    guys sorry a bit more context. The building inspector (As stated by the builder) said that the driveway was a potential issue due to the driveway not being 100mm below the weep holes. However the inspector didnt say this directly to me rather to the builder. The builder got me to sign the stat dec saying i will re-do it after handover and now the builder (not the inspector) has had a change of heart. Am i best calling the building inspector up? will he be influenced by the builder?

    @melbournian i have spoken to the building authority relating to the issues around not letting an inspector on site with me. I will be following up with them tomorrow morning again regarding this issue.

    @Westminster i had to do the driveway before handover as he need to build the mailbox on it and install the watertank. I was doing him a favour doing all the concreting at the same time.

    @Scott No Mates. Its not preventing him doing work. All that needs to be done is fix some defects as per the report when i did the walkthrough, connect electricity and install appliances.

    @DT i did it before handover as he requested it. I def have to give the authority a call tomorrow

    I guess my question now is will the fact the driveway may not be compliant hold up the handover? And will i be liable for delay damages. I still have the crossover driveway to complete the driveway isnt in the contract and the builder not the inspector is telling me i need to do this.

    Thanks everyone for your responses.

    Lloyd
     
  8. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Why did your grano/concrete worker do it so bloody high? Grrrr

    I would check with the Inspector that it is holding up Occupancy Certificate. If he won't issue it with it as is then you really need to fix it now.
     
  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Saw cut the last 6" & remove it - then it's not less than 100mm below the weep holes.

    Does it slope towards the wall hence retaining/directing water to the wall?
     
  10. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    @westmister not sure why he did it so high. He was given instructions and the plans stating how it was to be done. Its a seperate issue i am dealing with. Hes not really answering calls now.

    @Scott No Mate it slope away from the wall. However instead of being 100mm below the weep holes its like 20mm ish. its not a big deal as i understand it and this inspector has previously let this pass. (ie as per signing of the Stat Dec) however the builder is being difficult and i think is trying to bully me here cause i enforced the private inspector to come with me to the walkover. He didnt want that to happen. Saying he has the right to refuse entry to anyone and then i took it to consumer affairs etc.
     
  11. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I think he does have the right to refuse entry. I put it into the HIA contract if I want a 3rd party to be allowed access to the site - just to cover issues like this.
     
  12. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    @Westminister the authority said i was entitled to have an inspector attend with me. Only think i needed to do was provide notice. I have him over a weeks notice and reminded him up to the day of the walkthrough. He changed his mine after the building authority got involved.
     
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  13. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    most builders would be - no point risking their license being suspended. just provide notice and get the building inspector through. Was the building surveyor hired or is someone used often by the builder.? it seem quite dodgy that one person is saying one thing to another. With damages, it goes both ways and is calculated per week (even if it is not in the contract) one can ask for these. mine is $400 per week. i normally just get a building inspector into all the stages and then tell the builder that i want the keys and rest of the fixups before the final payment.

    once the final payment is paid it is normally sayonara.
     
  14. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    @melbournian the builder is using their inspector as part of a turnkey service. Kind of regretting not getting my own surveyor. I am going to contact the surveyor tomorrow to understand where he stands.
     
  15. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    @LloydThomas normally for smaller builders they already have a building surveyor they used who most likely have a working relationships. i had my drain pipes not put deep enough and was ticked off ok by one. if it is a turnkey you should have most likely just worry abt the keys and that's it. You can put the driveway and concrete later after handover. NAB construction loan requires all stages (slab, fixing, lockup etc) to have an independant inspector verify and clear before moving to the next stage.

    don't forget to check that your land is level and clear of dirt if you didn't choose landscaping. and also a total cleanup of the house prior to handover. These are standard policy of the handover.
     
  16. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    Hi All,


    Just a quick update on this issue. It has been resolved! J


    After some internet research I found that an Alternative solution can be prepared by a building practitioner. It was hard to find such a practitioner who would do a report for weepholes (drainage systems). However by luck I found Stuart McLennan and he got it over the line.


    Basically the report stated that because it met the drainage requirements (slope away from the building) and due to it being in a low rainfall area. Not meeting the 50mm gap between the paving and weepholes was exempt.


    Still had major issues with the builder and surveyor just making things difficulty for me but I got there in the end.


    Another thing worth noting is that Occupancy Certificate is not for compliance but just wether the building is suitable for occupancy. This was the comment by the building authority in Victoria.


    Section 46(2) of the Building Act 1993 provides the following: s46(2) An occupancy permit under this Division is not evidence that the building or part of a building to which it applies complies with this Act or the building regulations.

    That fact that the distance from the weep holes to the paving is insufficient is not necessarily a reason for withholding an occupancy permit as the building may still be suitable for occupation. Instead, a building direction or notice can be issued for non-compliant building work.

    In the end I was able to get the outcome I wanted even though I had a builder and surveyor who weren’t cooperating.
     
  17. Pier1

    Pier1 Well-Known Member

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    Great example of taking control, well done. I always believe Knowledge is Power trumps He Who has the most gold wins attitude.
     
  18. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear it worked out in the end.
    Hope the builder didn't get his nose too out of joint.
     
  19. LloydThomas

    LloydThomas Active Member

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    @Azazel he did get his nose out of joint and has delayed the completion. I did learn from it so i am better of for the experience.
     
  20. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Hard for them not to I spose.
    But with all the attention I'm sure he would do the rest to the right standard.