When my wife and I decided to build a house we thought we knew what we were getting in for, after all, we had done it before 7 years earlier. I had no idea just how wrong of an assumption that was. It turns out that not all builders and site supervisors are created equal.

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of what went wrong as i’m over most of it now and I really want to put the whole experience behind me, but I do want to take a minute to celebrate a little win I had last week. You see after handover you are told by the builder that you have a chance to rectify any faults with the house that you find at your 6 month inspection – this is standard practice for most builders, so I took them at their word, after all, we did this with our last builder and didn’t have a problem.

So we did our 6 month review and the majority of the items we found were repaired within about 3 months of the review date, however, when it came to our kitchen and laundry cabinetry there were some pretty major faults which needed rectification. The builder and I went through each of them and it was agreed that they would get fixed by a 3rd party contractor.

The owner of the 3rd party contractor came to our house to inspect the defects and proceeded to have an argument with me in our kitchen about the quality of the work. He claimed that this was as good as I was going to get and that he was going to dispute it with the builder – so I knew we were in for some fun from that point on-wards.

Anyway, the builder sided with me and paid for the work to be redone. The contractor came to our house and repaired 2 of the panels that needed work, but conveniently forgot the other 8. After months of trying to get them to come back they finally did come back, but this time only with another 1 panel.

At this point the builder stopped being so friendly and told us that getting the rest fixed wasn’t likely to happen. I couldn’t believe it, something that was already agreed to just wasn’t being done because some guy runs a dodgy fucking company who does dodgy work and is super aggressive towards people so they don’t argue the point – ummm no, I won’t tolerate that and so I proceeded to threaten to first take them to the BSA (an agency that looks after this type of dispute) plus, sue them for the cost of the panels, the labour to have them replaced and my mental anguish over the entire ordeal, as I had a signed contract stating they were doing this work for me.

Boy howdy did this kick up a stink. The builder couldn’t get the 3rd party to commit and started trying to find a different contractor. All the while proceeding to tell me that this wasn’t their fault and that I should take it up directly with the cabinet maker. I likened it to me buying a car from Toyota and Toyota telling me to talk to the glass manufacturer when our car arrived with smashed windows. My contract in that scenario is with Toyota, not the 3rd party glass maker.

I finally got a commitment from both the builder and the contractor that the work would be completed and last week it was – finally, I can be done with this ordeal. If anyone is buying a house in Australia and want to know the name of the companies involved, please email me and I will gladly provide you the details so you can avoid my pain, but I won’t be posting it publicly.