FED UP: Rachel Thorley and her partner moved into their newly built home at Fernvale a year ago. They have been left frustrated with a number of defects to the house and struggled to get help after G.J Gardner's North Ipswich franchise went bust in January.
FED UP: Rachel Thorley and her partner moved into their newly built home at Fernvale a year ago. They have been left frustrated with a number of defects to the house and struggled to get help after G.J Gardner's North Ipswich franchise went bust in January. Rob Williams

Defects turns new home dream into year of frustration

WHEN Rachel Thorley and partner Daniel Taewa moved into their first home a year ago, they thought most of the hard work and stress that came along with the process was behind them.

Instead it had only really begun. The build was undertaken by G.J Gardner in March 2017 and the couple moved into their Fernvale in September last year.

Within the first few months they began noticing problems with the house and when they went to contact the builders to fix the issues, they found the North Ipswich franchise had been put into liquidation in January and their calls went unanswered.

"Everything went fine up until settlement date, we had the normal walk through but then probably a month or two after we moved in we started noticing some defects like small things, the paint chipping off and stuff like that," Ms Thorley said.

Problems only piled up from there.

Water damage in the kitchen has caused the bench to swell and floorboards to lift. There are cracks in the skirting boards, a shower leaked through a wall causing more water damage in a bedroom and other problems are "constantly" popping up.

They were shocked to find, after believing solar panels had been installed on the roof, their first power bill was nearly $2000.

It turns out they hadn't been connected.

With G.J Gardner having gone bust, their only option was to turn to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.

The couple put in a complaint in January and nine months on, they have finally received help from the QBCC this past week to fix the shower and a defective sliding bedroom door.

"It's just been such a long process either waiting for their help and even some of the things that we have put in as complaints they've just pretty much said it's not on them," Mrs Thorley said.

"Because we didn't put the complaints all at the same time we now have to wait for the kitchen to be assessed all over again.

"The floorboards are lifting and (QBCC) are saying that won't come under (insurance) because that's not a building defect so we're going to have to sort that out ourselves."

The couple paid $407,000 for the house and land with the build itself coming to $273,000.

"It's just been really stressful," Ms Thorley said.

"We've got young kids. It was hard to try and get ourselves into a home to begin with and with our first mortgage. I know it might sound like first world problems but it was a brand new home and we thought we could jump in and that's it we're done. It's just been so frustrating. My concern is if this is the stuff we can see that's wrong, what damages are there that we can't see?"

QBCC spokesperson said The Queensland Home Warranty Scheme (QHWS) was in place to protect every Queenslander who is building or buying a new home.

"It's here to protect against defects if your builder won't come through and fix their own work," the spokesman said.

"But the scheme is also here to protect you if your builder becomes insolvent.

"The collapse of GJ Gardner Homes caught a number of families off guard. The QBCC has compensated 20 homeowners so far with more than $790,000 paid out.

"An initial complaint with a number of items was received from the homeowners of the property in question, these items were inspected by the QBCC and an insurance claim was approved.

"The identified defects are currently being rectified.

"On Sunday September 22, the QBCC received a second complaint by the home owners and this is currently being assessed."