Relaxed Living Homes builder Craig Otto and apprentice Ben Thiele tighten off cyclone tie-down rods that keep the building attached to the slab; a requirement for building in a cyclone-prone area.
Relaxed Living Homes builder Craig Otto and apprentice Ben Thiele tighten off cyclone tie-down rods that keep the building attached to the slab; a requirement for building in a cyclone-prone area. Lee Constable

Builders ‘ignoring standards’ of newly built homes

YOU get what you pay for.

That's the message from one Mackay builder who has been left frustrated that some companies have been getting away with not completing homes to the correct cyclone standards.

Craig Otto, builder with Relaxed Living Homes, said while some companies, particularly from out of the area, offered a cheaper price it wasn't always the best.

"People go by price," he said. "But they shouldn't.

"(A house) is the most expensive asset you will ever own."

He said it was a fact there were plenty of building opportunities in Mackay and didn't mind that companies from out of the area came for work. However, he said it was a problem when some didn't follow the rules and regulations.

According to the Australian standards, building a home in a cyclone-prone area is completely different to building in other places in the country.

Master Builders regional manager Malcolm Hull said rules included where you put the bolts, how many nails were in the cyclone sheeting and how many cyclone rods were placed in the walls, just to name a few.

Even the thickness of the glass in windows is different.

"Over the years we've had people saying, 'why are houses dearer'," Mr Hull said.

"This is why. They're built properly."

A spokesman for Minister for Housing Tim Mander said he had not received any direct complaints about Mackay buildings not meeting high-wind building codes.

The spokesman said builders could face fines of up to $183,000 for not following regulations.

REQUIREMENTS

According to Australian Standards 1684.3:

  •  Cyclone rods are needed on either side of every opening and every corner
  •  Nails can't be less than 2.8mm in diameter in vertical lamination
  •  Machine-driven nails can't be less than 3.05mm in diameter for hardwood and cypress, 3.33mm for softwood framing in flooring
  •  Beams have to be installed a certain way between joints

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