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Shonky Builders WA

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by theperthurbanist, 3rd Oct, 2016.

  1. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Just came across this Facebook group for 'naming and shaming' (more or less) WA builders responsible for defective plastering or any other defective building issue.
    Shonky Builders WA Public Group | Facebook

    I haven't had a thorough trawl through but it seems like an interesting source to assist in vetting builders in Perth. - My recommendation would be to take any one comment with a grain of salt, but reading through the thread there seems to be some recurring culprits.

    Anyway just thought I'd put it out there for anyone interested...
     
  2. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Appallingly (but somewhat unsurprisingly), all the big names are on there... I guess the more projects you build the more chance there is for doing the odd one poorly - or are these guys actually that bad?
     
  3. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, no, it depends. It's not the builder as such that is at fault, it is the individual tradesperson. Since the first post raised plastering, I will use that as an example. There are some gun plasterers around in Perth. I have seen their work and it is very, very good. If I hire builder x to build a house for me and they sub-contract to one of the gun plasters, that is brilliant!

    Conversely, it is likely that there are some sub-standard plasterers around. If builder x sub-contracts one of those to plaster my new house, that's not good!

    That said, it is up to the builder to manage the trades and to ensure a quality product. And it is up to you to manage the builder. If you are not happy with some aspect of the work done, you should raise it in writing with the builder. If you can't get the fault rectified, there is a process to follow.

    Western Australia’s Building Commission is very strict and I have seen builders bend over backwards to avoid a formal complaint to the Building Services Board. Because I this I don't really know of any shonky builders in WA as such. However, I know there are some shonky tradies. I have seen their poor workmanship first hand.
     
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  4. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    True, but what is a builder if not the sum of its tradespersons (and/or the coordinating and control of their work)?

    Absolutely agree, in an ideal world, but that relies on the investor having a reasonable understanding of every single aspect of building construction, which very few actually do (and which even fewer homebuyers do). I agree it is a valuable area of learning for a well rounded investor, but really, should we even be in a situation where we need to become skilled in another persons profession just so we can check the quality of their work? When I pay a geologist to do a report I trust they have not lied (and that their sub consultants haven't), when a boat builder constructs a boat I assume it is built as specified and of a high quality without me having to do a corse in boat building to check their work. Why not expect the same standards of builders and their subcontractors?

    Ok rant over.
     
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  5. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    You raise a very good point tho @Perthguy , which is 'how much can the reputation of a builder (and/or other people's experiences) be a guide of the quality of their work going forward, when it is likely different tradies working on each project, especially for larger builders.
     
  6. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    This is the conundrum. Last year I went around to a mates house and inspected his new build. Reputable builder and he was really happy with the build. I was concerned about some of the quality of the brick work. It looked very poor quality to me.

    I have no answer to this. This is my attitude:
    1) Pick a builder with a good reputation and hope for the best
    2) If things go wrong then demand they are fixed
    3) If they are not fixed then (in writing) threaten to lodge a formal complaint with the Building Services Board
    4) If they are not fixed then lodge a formal complaint with the Building Services Board
     
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  7. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    And I would hope that the builder would ensure quality work. It doesn't always happen though. The real test is what the builder does when work is not done up to standard.

    You don't. One complaint I have is poor workmanship on brickwork. You don't need any education to see if walls look like a dogs breakfast (I saw this recently). They might be built to code but just look like crap.

    For the more technical aspects that we don't know about such as footings, plumbing, electricity etc, your risk mitigation is New construction inspections. Here is an example only, not an endorsement of their services.

    Master Building Inspectors - Building Inspections Perth : Services

    Your site supervisor will have many jobs on the go at the same time. They are largely dependent on their sub-contractors to complete work to the required standard. While they will pick up as much as they can, the reality is they are busy and won't pick up every fault. This is not an excuse, because all buildings should be delivered without faults. However, the reality is that there will be issues with some builds.

    As mentioned above, the risk mitigation is a building inspection service. I would love not to have to hire a building inspector to check my builders work but reality is that this is a necessary service. From the prices I have seen, it is not very costly to have the inspections done. IMO it is a good investment.

    I think @Westminster and maybe @MTR have used building inspectors on new builds. Hopefully they can recommend some good ones.

     
  8. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Completely agree with your points @Perthguy . At the end of the day all you can do is choose reputable builder with good recommendations etc and hope for the best and if need be follow through with your points 2,3,4. Besides tradies, if it's your bad luck and the builder is going through a divorce battle/depression etc during your construction then you reckon it won't affect your project? fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: 4th Oct, 2016
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  9. Phase2

    Phase2 Well-Known Member

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    I'd be very careful with lists like this. It's just a gripe list, for people who have had a bad experience.

    Sometimes a Construction Manager will hire a supervisor who seems great, and turns out to be rubbish.. it can happen to anyone.

    Remember it's in the builder's interest to ensure that all homes are built as quickly as possible (cashflow) and with the best finish possible (reputation). It's not like they go out of their way to give you a crap product.
     
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  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. While some concerns are genuine, such as a slab being poured too thin, others seem petty, such as badly installed a/c ducting. The ducting thing is an easy fix. Take photos, send to builder, request in writing that it be fixed. If the problem isn't fixed, escalate. I noticed a lot complained about timeframes when they built in the middle of a construction boom. The other group of complaints seemed to relate to people who don't know the process of getting faults rectified. There seemed to be very few legitimate problems.
     
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  11. boeman

    boeman Well-Known Member

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    I find with any online reviews it is normally people who have come on line to air their grievances, whereas there are probably hundreds of others busy enjoying their new home.

    That said, most builders use the same trades on every job. I was a supervisor for a large volume builder and our trades were dictated to us. Quality wasn't what I would call the best, but at the same time it was of an acceptable standard and we had a lot of power to send people back several times until we were happy.

    As mentioned, there is a formal process for complaints you can follow, so really the consumer is pretty well protected and the builder has a lot to lose.

    I now work for a high-end builder, and can assure you that even at this level some trades get lazy and you have to crack the whip. Tradesmen are people too (much like a police officer) and can have their off days and make mistakes or get lazy. A good supervisor will make the real difference.