Renovation leaves family homeless

$160k renovation leaves family homeless as asbestos found

A southeast Queensland family has been left homeless after a $160,000 renovation turned into a nightmare.

AN IPSWICH family has been left homeless after a renovation uncovered asbestos and left their house little more than an empty shell.

Shontele and Glen Turner contracted DGS Property Improvement to lift and renovate their Eastern Heights home in October 2018.

What followed was a year of problems, as disagreements with the builder resulted in delays that indirectly culminated with the couple being evicted following the discovery of toxic asbestos.

Initially quoted $191,000, the pair had paid about $160,000 to DGS to lift and refurbish the Ipswich home while they were living with their two children, aged five and seven, inside.

Mr Turner said the renovation “went pretty quickly” until Christmas 2018, when progress slowed due to various reasons that the company says was out of its control.

DGS director Damien Schiks told The Sunday-Mail the birth of twins, coupled with the Christmas break and unavailability of trades, slowed the renovation.

“The Turners stated that they understood the need for me to take time to be home… although I was on site six days after their birth and co-ordinating outside trades and products,” he said. The Turners decided to cancel the renovation contract in May 2019 after lodging complaints with the builder.

The company said it was “no longer earning funds from the project” and said the couple’s repeated changes to the build had caused problems and delays.

In August the Queensland Building and Construction Commission agreed to the contract cancellation and sent several inspectors to the site to identify any defective works.

Investigation is ongoing.

The family’s problems got worse when last month Workplace Health and Safety barred them from their home after discovering the half-demolished site was riddled with asbestos.

“The inspector said take your lunches and handbag and get out,” Mrs Turner said.

“We couldn’t access the house to get medication or the children’s school books.

“We’ve been homeless since, couch surfing until we got into a housing commission home, and it’s not ideal but it’s a roof over out head.”

The company denies its work caused the family’s eviction and said future projects had been cancelled as a result of their allegations made about the business.

The Turners are now waiting while quotes are sought to remove the asbestos from the site so they can return home.

When they do, a long list of building work needs to be done, leaving the couple about $50,000 out of pocket if their insurance claim is approved.

Article originally published on Daily Telegraph.

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