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Lockwood Endorses Call For Action On “Leaky” Homes

La Grouw Corporation March 27, 2002

New Zealand’s leading solid timber housing manufacturer is supporting calls for a national inquiry into homes that leak, causing major damage to untreated timber framing and requiring expensive repairs.

Lockwood believe that poor design and bad workmanship in some conventionally-built homes constructed using un-treated timber are the primary causes of the recently reported problems, creating unnecessary concerns for all those who live in timber homes.

Lockwood Executive Chairman, Joe La Grouw says Lockwood solid timber homes are designed so that water leaking into the exterior jointing system can escape without causing damage. The Lockwood Building System also builds-in passive ventilation to ensure that moist air generated in the home can escape, rather than eventually causing mould and damp in the walls.

“Some modern homes are built so tightly-sealed that they cannot “breath” to allow moisture to escape, so it simply builds-up inside the building until it rots the surrounds,” says Mr La Grouw.

He was responding to media coverage about “rotten timber in leaky homes” which has prompted the Building Industry Authority to set up an independent inquiry team headed by former State Services Commissioner Don Hunn.

“Family homes are the single biggest investment for most people and they are entitled to expect that a home built to national standards will not fall apart in a couple of years or less,” according to Mr La Grouw.

“The problems caused by the use of untreated timber in homes which have been badly designed and gerry-built often do not arise until long after “Gerry” has left the scene, leaving the householder with a rotten home and an expensive headache.

“All homes can leak to some extent, but at Lockwood we reduce the potential for damage by designing-in protection, using treated timbers which tolerate moisture and selecting properly trained and qualified builders as our Franchisees.

“The Building Code requires buildings to be weather tight, but permits the use of untreated timber in homes which are sometimes thrown up by builders who lack the necessary skills and experience. The Code should be amended to correct this anomaly, and inspection standards should be lifted to protect the public,” Mr La Grouw said.


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