Resolving/escalating issue with builder

Hi all, I was hoping on some opinions on how to resolve an issue/escalate an issue that we have been having with our builder.

- A less than 1 year old home had a sudden major underground water leak (flooded our neighbours' gardens and road) that was fixed under warranty by the builder
- It left us with a quarterly water bill of ~$1700 (previous bills max out at $400), which we have asked the builder to partially compensate
- We have questioned their calculations and reasoning, but the person we are corresponding with is stubborn, crap at basic maths, and doesn't answer our questions

- This negotiation started in Nov 2020, but most of the correspondence has been this year
- We have requested their work phone / mobile to perhaps discuss in more detail and have been ignored
- We have requested to talk to someone else given the above and have been denied

  • We are asking for ~$700 (Approx $1700 leak bill - $400 highest regular bill - $700 goodwill from SYDwater).
  • They have made a final offer of $400 (and said, any further challenges and they will refuse to refund or discuss anymore)
  • This was after they proposed many different convoluted methods of calculating the cost, resulting in offers of $200, $300, and finally $400.
  • But the their calculations are still full of simple mathematical errors like 12months / 4 = 4 months and a few other things and double subtracting service fees

We are wondering where to go from here?


  • Which state?

  • $400 builder + $700 Sydney water = $1,100 compensation, is it seriously worth arguing for the $200 discrepancy?

    • We are considering just taking it and moving on, just wanted some thoughts on if anyone would do anything different.

      • I’m surprised the builder is willing to compensate at all, I’m sure the contract will say he’s not liable for consequential losses. Take it and move on

      • Ring a lawyer as they need more business nowadays and you can donate a few K to them :)
        For the amount you are talking about you must be in the elite 1% er TA club on here .

        • Considering the top deals on ozbargain can be saving cents or dollars, are hardly think so :)

  • So the leak cost you $1300 (max), SYDwater is giving you $700 and the builder has offered $400. So you're $200 out.

    I mean unless there's other stuff going on I'd probably just wear the $200 cost and count it the expense of not having the stress of small claims + further negotiations in my life.

  • Take the money, move on. The extra money isn't worth the hassle.

  • +3 votes

    consider going to his work and addressing it face to face?
    you can add that to the incident report :/ :/

  • +3 votes

    full of simple mathematical errors

    Wouldn’t have made it to university.

    However, highly likely makes more money than people with a degree.

  • I'd be more worried about what else they'd shortchanged you on regarding the structure/quality of the build for a major issue like this to occur after just 1 year.

    Accept the $200, then once it hits your bank account, get an experienced building inspector to go through the whole place inside out, tell them you want to find every fault however minor it might be and get the builder to fix all under warranty.

    • +1 vote

      We've had a few issues with the building site supervisor and the quality of the build. Which is why we feel if we settle on this issue it is yet another issue we've let side and let them bully us a bit

  • We are asking for ~$700 (Approx $1700 leak bill - $400 highest regular bill - $700 goodwill from SYDwater)

    Looks like the builders not the only one that has trouble with maths.

    Seriously though, as others have said, for the small difference between what you asked for and what they are offering, it's best to move on (presuming there are no other issues you're experiencing)

  • I agree with the above comments that $200 on the price of the whole build isn't worth arguing about. However, I'm more intrigued as to how you managed to build the entire house without having a work or mobile phone number of this builder! You had a whole house built on email correspondence & not a single phone call?

    • Let alone his builders license no.

    • We have ph numbers for most people, just not this particular customer service rep. Wasn't previously involved with this member since he is now 'post settlement care etc'.

  • Just take the money offered and move on

  • A Current Affair

  • ring consumer affairs, get their advice. then decide

  • $400 a quarter wtf, we have a 40 square home with 3 bathrooms and a pool, just got water bill for $135.