Deck On a Difficult Slope?

The following true story illustrates the reason why you need to absolutely vet any contractor you plan on using. There should be a BBB recommendation as well as successful customer stories at the company’s site. What you do not want to happen is what happened to a family in Auckland, New Zealand. Even though this happened half-way around the world, the lesson learned is valid for any geographical location.

A handyman with no proper training built a house on a steep slope. He and his wife then moved into the house. Because he had built it, he signed off on it to obtain the code compliance certificate. Then, he sold the home to new owners, citing financial struggles as the reason.

The new owners loved the home, but found that it developed a lot of leaks. Building assessors found 10 serious problems with it. Initially, a lower court said the builder was not responsible. A higher court overturned that decision in favor of the new owners.

In a judgment released this week, Justice Mark Woolford ordered the builder to pay $737,286.80 plus $17,743 in court costs to the new owners.

So how did a man who was so inexperienced end up building a home he was not qualified to build? It turns out his original training was in chemical research. When he could not find work there, he retrained in the field of computers. That did not work out. Then he became a pilot. That must not have worked either, as he entered the handyman field and built a defective home.

The point is, know your contractors. Find out how long they have been working in the field. View recommendations from prior customers. Especially if the work is challenging, such as a deck on a difficult slope, find someone who is trained specifically for that kind of challenge.  Since 1988 we have been meeting these kinds of building challenges successfully. Contact us for any of your structural repair or construction needs.

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