WE ARE THE ONLY CONSUMER ORGANIZATION IN AUSTRALIA REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF ALL BUILDING CONSUMERS

house-second-headeraa1jpg-1Consumers who attempt to build, extend, renovate or do repairs are totally unprotected and we can prove that this has been the case for the last 23 years. Many independent inquiries have confirmed this fact, but no government will listen or act to stop what is essentially ‘legalized’ building fraud. Just read some of the stories of those whose lives have been ruined, Then come join us and be part of bringing about genuine change. 

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Faulty Tower: What a Lemon.

Bob the bad builder

Fatal Floors, Dangerous decks.

Slab Heave

Rogue Tradies

Lana`s house building disaster

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TAKE THE CHALLENGE (1 OF 2) AND PROVE US WRONG

CHALLENGE 1

If your tile roofed home is on a concrete slab & was built by any builder since 1994, we dare you to take this challenge and report back to us.

Just inspect for these 12 defect items in your own home… and if you find less than 6 of them, please let us know...

Because we say that you are one of only 5% of new home owners in such a category.

• Roof tile final pointing coat far too thin (3mm to 4mm required)
• Roof tiles fixings below 75% requirement (every full tile every 2nd row)
• Silicone incorrectly done at wet area wall tile junctions (3mm min req’d.)
• Garage plasterboard ceilings unlikely to last a reasonable life time (many popped nails / edges away / undulating)
• MDF not oil-base primed & therefore unfit for use in wet areas
• Articulation joints not installed at external doorways & shown on drw’gs.
• Truss to truss nailing inadequate (over-riders on truncated girder trusses)
• Hardwood non-durable external timber trims & doors not oil-base primed
• Articulation joints at side of windows non-existent but in brickw’k below
• Insulation batts not tight against trusses and/or draped over gas and water
pipes, battens or other batts (heat sensing devices do not find out why)
• Tap seals to shower taps required but not done
• Paving abutting garage brick walls and/or downpipes not control jointed

OR

CHALLENGE 2

If your Colorbond roofed timber floored home was built by any builder since 1994, we dare you to take this challenge and report back to us.

Just inspect for these 12 defect items in your own home… and if you find less than 6 of them, please let us know...

Because we say that you are one of only 5% of new home owners in this category.

• Silicone incorrectly done at wet area wall tile junctions (3mm min req’d.)
• Garage plasterboard ceilings unlikely to last a reasonable life time (many popped nails / edges away / undulating)
• MDF not oil-base primed & therefore unfit for use in wet areas
• Truss to truss nailing inadequate (over-riders on truncated girder trusses)
• Hardwood non-durable external timber trims & doors not oil-base primed
• Articulation joints at side of windows non-existent but in brickw’k below
• Insulation batts not tight against trusses and/or draped over gas and water
pipes, battens or other batts (heat sensing devices do not find out why)
• Tap seals to shower taps required but not done
• Inadequate sub-floor ventilation (6000 sq. mm required every metre)
• Heating ducts too close to the ground (75 mm clearance required)
• Sarking not taken out past wall and turned down over back of gutters
• Inadequate roof screw fixings to ridge / hip / valley / parapet flashings

VBAG keeping building consumers aware of what is going on / not going on.
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WHEN IS AUSTRALIA GOING TO SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

COAG MUST CHANGE ALL AUSTRALIAN BUILDING WARRANTY INSURANCE SCHEMES TO AVOID OUR ECONOMY BECOMING BLIGHTED.

If you thought VIC. domestic building warranty insurance was bad… you were right… But it isn’t so different from WA, ACT, NSW or SA.

All have compulsory last-resort domestic building warranty insurance schemes which require home owners to chase their builders to bankruptcy before they will act (unless the builder died, disappeared or become insolvent during construction)… and virtually all are government-owned.

Periods of cover for defective work are generally 6 years for structural defects and 2 years for all other defects. SA has extra cover against incompletion and loss of deposit for 5 years after practical completion… but how was the building deemed complete and issued with a completion certificate if it was incomplete?

Queensland Building and Construction Commission seems to handle all complaints directly… BUT THE PERIOD OF COVER IS JUST 25% FOR DEFECTS OTHER THAN STRUCTURAL ONES (6 months only).

NSW recently removed its 6.5 years cover for all structural defects to 6.5 years cover for major defects, which wipes out cover for structural defects after 2 years, unless the defect…
• Will cause the building to become uninhabitable/unusable, or
• Will cause the destruction of the building or part thereof,
or
• Will threaten to cause the building (or part thereof) to collapse

TAS and NT don’t have any official requirement for domestic building warranty insurance… and VBAG actually thinks they are actually better off than having the sort of pathetic cover that all other states have in place at present.

Our present DBI schemes actually cover us for just 2% (if that) of what we need as minimum cover to match the cover we have on our motor cars.

NOWHERE DOES ANY STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIA ACTUALLY DEFINE DEFECT THOROUGHLY.

VBAG attempting to keep building consumers informed on how owners of new homes, units, renovations and additions have been stripped away from us by our governments... and kept in the dark about the definition of defect.

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RE-POSTED REMINDER... Tell your friends to access our growing archive. There are over 30 months worth of articles and the list is still growing.

FEEL FREE TO SCROLL DOWN TO A WEALTH OF ARTICLES

Scroll down (particularly those of you who are just starting to visit our site)... and you might be surprised at how much information there is on our Facebook page... right back to July 19th 2015 (there are over 280 articles now).

For instance there are articles posted on:-
July 10th 2017 'Ticking time-bombs missed by most inspectors'
June 14th 2017 (Half the battle in VCAT is)... Getting your Scope of Works right.
August 13th 2016 'Up to 90% of garage ceilings will fail too early'
August 5th 2016 'Maintenance of defects is just band-aiding'
June 11th 2016 'How to get a capable building consultant'

... to name but a few...

And once you know the date it will take about 4 minutes or less to find it... not long if there is a chance of it putting you on the right path and potentially saving you considerable trauma and thousands of dollars.

That is what VBAG is all about... helping building consumers.
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NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE: Act before you become a victim of greed.

Term Distortion 8. (Why many new home owners may not prosper).

THE WORD STANDARD IS BEING MISUSED & DISTORTED.

If materials are good quality, there is only labour left… And labour is on longer spelt out in specifications as regards manufacturer minimum requirements and detailed areas of work associated with each and every trade… so…

What is commonly thought of as STANDARD WORKMANSHIP in the residential building industry is whatever tradespeople install.

We have all been dumbed-down to the point that very few people know what WORKMANLIKE is any more.

Workmanlike is described in manufacturer specifications and Australian Standard Codes… even some of these found wanting in recent times… including our National Construction Code (and before it the Building Code of Australia) and AS 2870 the code for residential slabs and footings (which has not been complied with in at least tens of thousands of soil reports carried out in Victoria, (as cheaply as possible as instructed by builders we believe), since ABNORMAL site conditions have prevailed since just before the year 2000).

Tradesmen (and soil report writers) are asked to lower their prices over and over again by bigger building company supervisors; who gain bonuses on the lower rates and savings achieved. Big business largely exists because of greed.

Often the bargaining power is the lure of continual work, instead of tradespeople having to wait for the phone to ring when their builder contacts have available work. But today, bigger builders rule something like 90% (+) of the housing market… and supervision is one of the short-cuts in the industry.

So do not assume that that the results will be workmanlike installations by these down-trodden tradesmen.

It is far more likely that their work will be full of short-cuts, due to several reasons including one or more of the following…
• Tradesmen being disgruntled and getting their own back for the reduced pay,
• The pressure on tradesmen to complete their work faster and faster,
• The knowledge that their supervisor is extremely likely to be so busy, that he will not have time to closely inspect their work… particularly if it is neat.

To bigger builders in particular, things are cut-throat and time is money.

The typical situation is that supervisors are asked to supervise far more houses than is humanly possible to supervise thoroughly.

They are basically managers running a very tight schedule… with a huge drop in checking every step of the way at the quality of the completed work.

Many are not sufficiently knowledgeable to know that short-cuts are occurring on their watch… or they do not care… as long as it looks neat and complete.

The unfortunate outcome has been a huge drop in the quality of work being produced for home owners and unit owners.
Standards have not been adhered to in a multitude of ways.

This is why so many defects are built into the vast majority of completed and approved new homes being built today… defects such as:
These 6 defects each found in over 95% of new homes:-
• Silicone incorrectly done at wet area wall tile junction joints
• Garage plasterboard ceilings unlikely to last a reasonable life time
• MDF inadequately primed /unfit for use in wet areas
• Articulation joints not installed at external doorways where required
• Truss to truss nailing inadequate at over-riders to truncated girder trusses
• Non-durable external timber trims and doors inadequately protected
And these 4 defects each found in over 80% of new homes:-
• Roof tile final pointing coat far too thin
• Roof tiles fixings below 75% requirement
• Aluminium window sill flashing corners inadequate
• Plasterboard in wet areas inadequate treatment to raw plaster edges.

There are well over 400 defects which occur in new homes today, some of them serious structural ones.

It is time for a thorough definition of defect and a national audit of new homes built since 1994, when so many standards were simply discarded… and the governments were happy for this to happen as long as the price of houses was kept as low as possible… even if many will become dangerous and economic disasters for their tens of thousands of home owners.

VBAG attempting to keep informed those building consumers who really care.
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Blog

Victoria’s building industry is failing consumers

September 3, 2016

Victoria’s building industry is failing consumers Fifth Estate 2 July 2015 Anne Paten, Victorian Building Action Group | 2 July 2015 The verdict on Victoria’s domestic building industry is in and on the public record. And it’s not pretty. The evidence of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office Audit into Victoria’s Consumer Protection Framework for Building Construction … Read more

The Great Australian Dream: Spin, Lies and Fantasy

September 3, 2016

The Great Australian Dream: Spin, Lies and Fantasy 69 SHARED THIS Contributor: Anne Paten Published: 21 September 2015 Victoria’s ‘Great Australian Dream’ industry is supported and stimulated by spin, lies and fantasy. The building companies’ spin includes the ‘dream’ as a star fantasy feature. The standard slogans include ‘Build your Dream into Reality,’ ‘Create Your Dream … Read more

Consumer Protection Reform Strategy Fails. Dodgy shonky bad builders prevail.

September 3, 2016

Why the Consumer Protection Reform Strategy Fails and dodgy shonky bad builders prevail. By Anne Paten Sourceable 15 July 2015 LINK: https://sourceable.net/why-the-consumer-protection-reform-strategy-fails 88 people shared this article No 10 of Top 10 articles for July 2015 It is clear that the Domestic Building Consumer Protection Reform Strategy was created as a mirage, to give a … Read more

Was Australia’s Unaffordable Housing Crisis Avoidable?

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Was Australia’s Unaffordable Housing Crisis Avoidable? Over recent decades, the price of Australia’s housing stock has continued to soar. Now in 2016, we have reached a crisis point where, for so many Australian families, the dream of owning their own home is no longer achievable. However, Australia’s ‘unaffordable housing syndrome’ did not happen inadvertently or … Read more

What Lies Ahead in Construction: Leadership or More Licentiousness?

September 3, 2016

What Lies Ahead in Construction: Leadership or More Licentiousness? Published in Sourceable 31 August 2015 143 people shared this article By Anne Paten Link: https://sourceable.net/what-lies-ahead-leadership-or-more-licentiousness It is clear that we have a major crisis in the Victorian building industry. Hundreds of thousands of Victorians are living in limbo, casualties of a blatantly non-compliant and completely … Read more

The Truth Behind the ‘Consumer Protection Reform Strategy’

September 3, 2016

                        The Truth Behind the                        ‘Consumer Protection Reform Strategy’ Anne Paten in Sourceable 6 July 2015 109 shares 23 Comments https://sourceable.net/the-myth-and-reality-of-the-consumer-protection-reform-strategy/ After the damaging Auditor-General’s Report of 2011 and the Ombudsman’s Report of … Read more

Over the last fifteen years, there have more than one hundred (100) Inquiries into the building industry and its governance. These have included parliamentary inquiries and investigations by the Auditor-General, the Productivity Commission, the Ombudsman and other independent organizations. 

The Victorian building industry has suffered from systematic and systemic failure for decades. We now have overwhelming evidence to confirm that this ‘system’ has been malfunctioning for the last 22 years.

After decades of criticism of  the Building Commission’s failure as the ‘industry regulator’, and following damning Reports from the Victorian Auditor-General (2011 and 2013) and a scathing Report from the Victorian Ombudsman in 2012, the Government decided that the Building Commission’s record was so tarnished that it had to be abolished.