A furious mum is demanding change to building regulations after her severely disabled daughter’s brand new custom-built home was knocked down after it was deemed unsafe.
Paige Nicotra, 24, spent less than a year living in her $770,000 home riddled with so much mould that the dwelling had to be demolished, including the concrete slab.
A dusty and vacant lot of land in Redcliffe on Brisbane’s outskirts is all that’s left of the home specifically built for Paige, who now must wait for her house to be rebuilt.
The ongoing saga has caused much stress for the family who have called for a building regulation overhaul and intervention from the state government.
Linda Hartman is demanding answers after her disabled daughter’s unsafe home had to be knocked down and demolished
‘It’s just been a nightmare,’ Paige mum’s Linda Hartman told A Current Affair.
‘It’s very surreal, like you would never believe this would happen to someone and it’s happened to us.’
‘We’ve got a double whammy. With Paige, what we’ve already been through and now with this house.’
The house was custom built to meet Paige’s extensive needs after she was awarded $5.5 million compensation from Queensland Health for a hospital error which left her with severe brain damage when she was a toddler.
The hunt for another builder is underway in the hope Paige can move in her new home by Christmas 2022.
‘I’m quite relieved because now I don’t have to deal with the builder,’ Ms Hartman said.
A vacant lot is all that’s left of Paige’s home which had to be knocked down due to the mould
Perpetual, the trustee of her daughter’s money has launched legal proceedings against PJ Burns, which built the original home.
‘The builder has to be held accountable for what he has done to us and I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,’ Ms Hartman said.
Earlier this year, regulator Queensland Building and Construction Commission ruled PJ Burns Builder failed to rectify structural defects and slapped the building company with 10 demerit points.
The damage was so extensive even the concrete slab had to be demolished.
The regulator ruled the mould was caused by ‘rising damp through the slab due to faulty installation of the damp proof membrane’ and decided the ‘demolition and rebuilding’ of Paige’s house was ‘reasonable and necessary’.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted PJ Burns Builder for comment.
The company told A Current Affair it couldn’t comment on the matter due to ongoing court proceedings.
Linda Hartman (pictured) described the saga with her daughter’s home as a nightmare
Ms Hartman also slammed the building regulator over she claims a lack of action.
She believes the home should have been listed as Tier 1 defective work, which would have resulted in a automatic three-year ban for the builder.
‘How can they say it’s not and I’ve been waiting for a response and it’s just never coming, it’s like the QBCC are protecting the builder,’ she said.
‘These people affect so many people’s lives. They ruin people’s lives’
Ms Hartman also claimed requests of a meeting with minister Mick De Brenni fell have fallen on deaf ears.
Paige’s home was originally built by PJ Burns Builder (headquarters pictured)
The minister says the QBCC has been in regular contact with Paige’s family during the process and that matters involving the builder are ongoing.
A QBCC spokesman told Daily Mail Australia the family filed for a claim under Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, which was approved and paid out.
‘Whilst there are a number of court proceedings underway, and due to privacy laws, the QBCC is unable to provide certain details of the case,’ he said.
‘The QBCC administers the country’s only first-resort home warranty insurance scheme, which means if there’s a builder insolvency or defective work, Queensland’s statutory insurance is available much earlier in the process than any of the other states. Queensland’s insurance also covers a lower dollar value threshold than any of the other states.
‘In the last financial year, the QBCC processed 168,468 insurance policies for residential construction work, and approved $31.3 million in insurance claim costs.
‘The home warranty scheme provides protection to thousands of Queenslanders who are having building work done.’
The family’s calls for a meeting with minister Mick De Brenni (pictured) have fallen on deaf ears