Hello all.

I have to say I felt rather sorry recently for a young couple who within the last month or so purchased an established home that had been renovated. The house itself is obviously some thirty years old and the internal areas of the home have been prettied up with new bathroom, laundry and kitchen renovations as well as painted throughout and looking rather up market.

All the walls were painted trendy colours and the tiles in the wet areas gave that first impression of style. Flashy up market toilet suite and tap ware, you know the look, glass hinge door on the shower screen, glass stylish shelves on the walls of the bathroom.

Warm and fuzzy aesthetics to give you the feeling of having made a success of yourself should you be the owner of such well planned and thought out renovated dwelling.

Don’t get me wrong, it “Looks” terrific, but when an experienced eye starts to run over the aesthetic artwork and some of the more practical things are zoned in on, it becomes pretty clear the place has been given a pretty comprehensive DIY make over by someone with little regard for due process, but with a fast track mind for the quick sale for which I have no doubt the renovation was performed.

It needs to be pointed out that a great many renovations are in fact done for “the sale of a property”, not so much for the comfort of the current occupant, and that in itself should call for caution.  

When I say “obviously some thirty years old” I have to stop and remind myself that something like that is not so obvious to everyone, and some people need help with such assessments.

On walking into the home and being guided to the immediate problem for which I had been called to look at, I started to see things straight away that lit up the warning lights and told me things were not all they seemed.

The reason for being called in the first place was because the first time the young lady of the home bathed her baby in the flashy free standing bath, she pulled the plug and most of the water simply spilled out all over the floor of the bathroom.

Straight away I could see the bath was not of an industry standard quality, probably purchased at some limited import emporium for “cheap plumbing stuff”, it was not even fixed to the floor, if you push on it, it slides across the surface of the floor, the bathroom floor and shower base looks to have been tiled by a blind man. The shower base is uneven and holds water in one side. 

The plumbing is atrocious and I have no doubt has been done by someone unqualified because its not just bad plumbing, its plumbing done by a weekend worrier, someone who either has no idea or simply just did not care because the idea is to do the renovation and sell it off.

The plumbing in this place is going to cost a small fortune to fix because of the manner in which the renovation has been executed. 

This is a young couple, new baby, probably with a considerable mortgage and paying off the cars and all the rest of it, who now have come to the realisation they have been swindled by one of the weekend warrior class who learn their skills on television.

When this couple expressed with frustration in their voice, uttering those famous words “ but we had a building inspection done I just thought to myself “here it is again”. 

People need to understand that general building inspections are essentially for the “structure of the building”, to ensure there are no “structural issues” that could compromise the building. General building inspections while giving cursory attention to other matters such as electrical and plumbing are not in tune with the finer details of those trades.

If anyone wants a closer look at and detailed information on such matters when looking to purchase property, then they should employ people who specifically represent and are licensed in those trades.

People also do not generally understand that it’s not just the plumber who has to be accredited, but the plumbing fixtures, fittings and method of install also have to be accredited as well. A plumber who values his licences / his livelihood will always use accredited fixtures, fittings and approved methods because it is illegal within his trade to use anything else.

A licensed plumber can be heavily fined and have his licence / his livelihood put on suspension for not following procedure, this can happen “because he is licensed” / registered / identifiable.

The person who performed the plumbing in this young couples renovated home is unidentifiable, a shadow, and without the right paperwork being able to be produced the culprit cannot be traced. He has caused huge expense in trying to rectify the problems he has created.

Don’t underestimate the value of using licensed tradespeople, don’t underestimate the value of doing the transactions properly through the books, this is your security.

If you’re looking to purchase a home recently renovated, insist on seeing the trade work has been done by licence people, get copies of the receipts as part of the purchase agreement so you have some security once you have taken possession of the property.

It amazes me how people will keep detailed records on the mechanical history of their twenty to thirty thousand dollar car, but do not follow the same record keeping habits when it comes to their four, five, six hundred thousand dollar investment in their home.

Anyway, I have just been informed I’m supposed to be writing a BLOG not a book, so I better take the hint and sign off.

Catch you on the next one, and I promise to make it shorter.

By Tony

May 2013