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Contracts cancelled over substandard timber

Building materials supplier Placemakers has cut off some of its contractors after finding substandard timber had been used for building homes. Around 20% of the frames and trusses sold by Placemakers to contractors in Auckland were made from timber that should not be used for load bearing – a problem that could affect up to 1500 homes.
Placemakers chief executive David Edwards told Newstalk ZB the substandard timber had been marked with a red dash which he said the suppliers had been rubbing off.
The company was going through its records and contacting individual homeowners to ensure there were no serious faults with the homes built using the substandard timber.
Certified Builders Association spokesperson Derek Baxter said there had been nine affected homes identified by inspectors since last Wednesday.
It was thought only two suppliers had been identified so far, he said.
Building inspectors would now be taking greater care when going over homes and any other faults were more likely to be picked up.
“It definitely will be that inspectors will be much more cautious and rightly so,” he said.
Homeowners who might be affected should not be concerned about the safety of their homes, however.
The substandard timber could lead to sagging ceilings and cracked gib, with windows and doors potentially sticking, but there was no danger of the homes collapsing, he said.
Commerce Commission spokeswoman Alana Kalafatelis said they had yet to receive a complaint.
“If we get some information provided to us that indicates we need to take a look we would assess it and decide whether or not there was a potential breach of the fair trading act, as it would be in this case, and then decide whether or not to launch an investigation,” she said.
Following the investigation, the Commerce Commission would decide what enforcement action to take, if any.
Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey said the issue was thought to have been around for at least two years, and had the potential to be as big a problem as the leaky homes saga.
Building and construction minister Maurice Williamson ordered an investigation after the Frame and Truss Manufacturers Association raised concerns last week. —