A man has successfully fought for his builder to rectify defective works on his Eumundi home.
A man has successfully fought for his builder to rectify defective works on his Eumundi home. Brett Wortman

Death threats over $50,000 build blowout

A HOMEOWNER who threatened to kill a builder over dodgy work won't be able to witness its repair.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that Keith Holtham was not allowed to be in his Eumundi home when the contractor returned to rectify the work years after it began.

The same tribunal ordered the builder was in the wrong for defectively installing tiles, including using wall lining as underlay in some rooms and failing to install structures to specification.

The messy dispute played out over several years after Mr Holtham entered into a cost-plus contract with the builder, Acecol Pty Ltd, with estimated costs of $287,000 in 2015.

Nearly two years on and an extra $50,000 later, Mr Holtham terminated his contract, and claimed the works had not reached the fit-out stage.

The builder then issued him a $51,993.42 invoice for unpaid work, and later told a Queensland Building and Construction Council representative the figure was closer to $140,000, though there was no evidence to support this.

The QBCC was called in when Mr Holtham lodged a non-completion of building work form and a defective building work complaint with the industry regulator.

Between June and August last year, QBCC representative Chris Coombes considered the technical information and manuals in relation to the flooring complaints, and engaged an independent engineer to assess the existing floor framing at the premises.

Mr Coombe's visual inspection confirmed 10 separate

defects including cracked tiles and defective termite barrier installation, later determined to be the builder's fault.

It was during the QBCC inspection on June 26, 2017, Mr Holtham allegedly made

derogatory remarks and threatened to kill the builder, who was also present.

On August 4, Mr Coombes advised the QBCC had considered Mr Holtham's complaint and decided at that point in time it would not be fair or reasonable to issue a direction to rectify to the builder, and they could not offer further assistance to resolve the matter.

The tribunal reviewed this decision, and ordered the QBCC's earlier decision be set aside.

The QBCC was ordered to issue a direction to rectify to the builder in relation to the defective work identified in the site inspection report on August 4.

If necessary, as a result of engaging a structural

engineer, the tribunal ordered they rectify any defects identified in relation to the constructed flooring.

The QBCC stipulated the homeowner was not to be present during the rectification works.