Bad workmanship ends a dream

Lisa and Noel Squires lost $70,000 due to stormwater pipes not being connected. Picture: Shawn Smits

A Werribee couple is warning home owners to ensure their properties are properly inspected throughout the building process after mistakes made during the construction of their dream home left them $70,000 out of pocket.

Lisa and Noel Squires moved into their newly built Simon Court house in 2009.

By 2012, it had suffered major structural damage due to stormwater pipes not being connected during its construction.

The mistake caused the slab to bow in the middle, and the house moved.

The builder returned to make the connection, but the damage had been done.

“The water wouldn’t drain away, causing movement in the house,” Mrs Squires said.

“By the time we looked into it, it was three years down the track and there were relatively significant issues with the house and the slab.”

The Squires took both their builder and plumber to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which issued a building contract for repairs and put the builder in charge of selling the property.

The property was sold last year, and the Squires now live elsewhere in Werribee.

Ms Squires said the three-year legal battle had cost them $70,000 in fees, and the experience had opened her eyes to what she said was a flawed regulatory system.

“I think people need to be more aware … they’ve managed to sell the house, which I’m conflicted about because I’m not sure how much due diligence the new owners did before they bought it.

“You can’t afford to assume things will be done the way they’re supposed to be done. You’re relying on the experts … but you should use an inspector.”