Faults with new houses from poor work, in Cannon Hill an Eastern suburb of Brisbane

New houses with faults from poor work. Identified by Peter Weddell owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

Flashing missing from above this window awning will allow seepage to cause rot to the awning and possibly to the wall and timber of the window frame.

Easy fix:

Fit flashing that extends up and behind the weatherboard, then extends down and over the gap between sheeting and the external wall to seal.

New house faults 1

Gravel around base of a supporting steel column

  • Will cause premature rusting and potentially compromise its strength.
  • This fault can usually be rectified by removing gravel and soil, wire brushing then applying anti-rust treatment.
  • Periodic inspections need to be carried out for further rust.
  • If the columns have rusted significantly they are most likely to require replacing.

Significant rust can cause fracturing of the concrete footing that it is incorporated within. It would be costly to have the footing and column replaced. 

Important Tips:

Although top of the footing should have extended by at least 100 mm above the soil level to comply with Building Code requirements.

  • Do not fit additional concrete to achieve the appropriate level. This will trap moisture and accelerate the rusting under the concrete and potentially cause cracking of the footing supporting it.
  • Make sure water does not pond around the column bases, this will accelerate rust.

If necessary: Create trenches aroung higher sides of the footing to allow water to flow around the column base.

New house faults 1

Insufficient down-pipes:


  • Too many down-pipes connected to one storm-water pipe.
  • This will cause the roof gutters to overflow often and potentially cause rot to concealed timber.
  • Water may also enter interior of the house if the gutters overflow to their backside where the gutters have no eaves.


  • Larger gutter with more and/or larger downpipes would be required to help avoid this potential problem.
  • Bear in mind that more storm-water pipes may also need to be fitted to avoid overloading and backwash of water occuring.
  • Relief holes to front of the gutters to allow water to escape to front side would also help.

New house faults 1


Fence is attached to the lower external timber wall of the house.

  • This has a high probability of allowing a potential termite access point.


  • Fit additional post for fence support.
  • Create at least a 75mm gap between the fence and external wall of the house.

All timber must have appropriate clearances between the soil or have appropriate termite barriers fitted to avoid possible termite access.

Important point:

  • Be aware, that treated timber does not stop termites !

Faults with new houses from poor work.

Just a few examples of problems built into a new house. With the right advice from an experienced building inspector, these problems can be easily and economically rectified also avoided.

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au