Bad eggs have tarnished local builders doing the right thing
GIVEN our region's recent horror stories of builder collapses, it is understandable that people wishing to build a home would be wary.
According to local builder CJ Homes, the building industry is starting to suffer from the bad publicity generated by the misdeeds of fly-by-night shonky operators and builder collapses, which have destroyed trust in reputable building companies.
In response to The Morning Bulletin's ongoing "Save our subbies" campaign, which detailed local businesses and contractors left in the lurch of recent builder collapses including JM Kelly Group and Metro Homes, CJ Homes sales manager Steven O'Hanlon reached out to the Bully.
Mr O'Hanlon believed that people had lost sight of the fact that the majority of the local builders were out there doing the right thing and now were too scared to entrust them with the responsibility of constructing their new homes.
"Over January, there were 17 inquiries with one leading to a building contract," Mr O'Hanlon said.
"The people are scared out there because they are reading about all this stuff in the papers and the media, all the bad publicity, it frightens the marketplace."
Since establishing themselves in Rockhampton eight years ago, Mr O'Hanlon said CJ Homes had maintained their integrity by not under-quoting jobs, using quality materials and like clockwork paying their subcontractors every fortnight and their suppliers monthly.
He said it was the builder's bankruptcies, followed by widespread media coverage, along with a tightening in bank lending practices, that were leading to a decline in the construction of new properties around Central Queensland.
This shrinking pipeline of work was bad news for everybody in the community given that over a hundred businesses were either directly or indirectly involved in the construction of each property.
Brisbane-based CJ Homes founder and director Jyri Hopia said while he was honest and upfront, refusing to engage in price wars, it was unfortunate they were being tarnished by the minority doing the wrong thing.
"We do the right thing. There's a fair few other builders that are doing the right thing as well, but then you get the (other side of the industry)," Mr Hopia said.
To avoid becoming a victim, he suggested people wishing to build their homes did their homework first.
"Build with a reputable builder who has been around for longer than four or five years," he said.
"Don't go for the free gimmicks, free pool, free shed, because nothing is for free.
"You can't keep giving free stuff away because you'll end up going broke."
He also suggested customers checked out the builder's licence on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission website and read the product reviews.
"But don't be scared of committing to build with a builder, as long as you've done your homework, you should be alright," he said.
Mr Hopia e offered access to review CJ Homes' operations, including payment history for both suppliers and subcontractors, a list of current worksites and complete access to all trades and suppliers.
Visiting a CJ Homes worksite, tiler Jon Payne told The Morning Bulletin he felt sorry for tradies who were affected.
"I've been in that pit," Mr Payne said.
"I've got nothing bad to say about CJ Homes. They pay the bills every fortnight, nothing but nice things, it's all good. 2019 should be a better year," the tiler said.