High fines for builder’s substandard roof work

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Osborne Park builder Danmar Homes Pty Ltd (reg. BC9032) and its nominated supervisor Robert George Williams (BP7911) have been fined a total of $45,000 plus costs for negligent conduct that contributed to one house’s roof blowing off and another being substantially damaged during a storm.

The Building Services Board determined the company was negligent in that it failed to comply with engineering details in the approved plans for the construction of two double-storey brick and steel roofed dwellings in Singleton between 2008 and 2011. The conduct resulted in the roofs being insufficiently tied down.

The State Administrative Tribunal fined Danmar Homes $30,000 and ordered it to pay costs of $1,500. Mr Williams was fined $15,000.

Both buildings sustained significant damage as a result of roof uplift, during a storm event in the Mandurah area in June 2012. The front of one of the roofs was completely blown off and parts of it were found in a neighbouring yard.

“Danmar Homes’ conduct resulted in significant risk of injury to public health and safety,” Building Commissioner Peter Gow said.

“Flying roof debris may have struck and seriously injured or killed residents and damaged property, especially with the storm having occurred during daylight hours.

“The two properties subject to this particular investigation are located close to the coast in elevated positions, so it is critical that the roof structures were constructed in accordance with the engineer’s approved plans, which did not occur in this case.”

The repairs to both properties were covered by the owners’ insurance policies. The insurer is in the process of recovering its costs from the builder and has reached an out of court settlement in relation to one of the properties.

This was not the first time Danmar Homes and Mr Williams have been fined for disciplinary matters. The former Builders’ Registration Board (BRB) fined Danmar Homes $2,500 for negligence and incompetence in 2002 and $7,000 for negligent conduct in 2003. In both instances, the company had failed to ensure that a building licence was obtained prior to the commencement of building work. Mr Williams was also fined $500 in relation to the 2002 matter.

Danmar Homes’ unsatisfactory roof construction work was brought to its attention by the BRB on four occasions between 2006 and 2010.

“The Building Commission’s 2016 general inspection report into sheet metal clad timber framed roof construction in Western Australia identified that insufficient roof tie down is an area of construction that needs improving,” Mr Gow said.

“The Building Commission will continue to carry out regular audits and inspections, which help us to identify potential problem areas and work with the industry to deal with them before they pose a serious threat.”

Information for home owners is available on the Building Commission website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/building-or-renovating-your-home-0 or phone 1300 489 099.

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Media release
16 Jan 2017

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