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Botched home renovation prompts buyer warning

24 November 2016

Botched home renovation prompts buyer warning

Tradespeople who get called in to fix costly renovation botch-ups is becoming a common occurrence.

The worst culprits are renovators who have launched into additions without regard for restricted work, passing on costly problems to the next buyer.

Yesterday’s prosecution in the Tauranga District Court brought by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (PGDB), is a timely reminder for those who want to upgrade in the property market by buying a house that has already been renovated.

Morris Connon, a local builder who installed a gas hob/cooker as part of getting a house ready for sale, was fined $4,500, plus ordered to pay Court costs of $130 and a solicitor’s fee of $113.

Restricted plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work conducted by anyone, who does not hold a licence from the PGDB is illegal. Mr Connon was not qualified to do the gasfitting work which was non-compliant and potentially hazardous.

In the month following moving into the home, the new homeowner noticed an unexplained smell of gas and contacted a local plumbing and gasfitting company who inspected the home. It was discovered that the gasfitting work completed by Mr Connon was defective.

There was a significant gas leak coming from a gas pipe in an upstairs wall cavity leading to the upstairs cooker.

Martin Sawyers, Chief Executive for the PGDB said; “In addition to the usual high health hazards associated with gas leaking within a home, gas pipes leaking into a wall cavity are particularly dangerous. The wall cavity can fill up with gas, which can then be ignited by a spark given off by the working of a light switch or other electrical fittings.”

“For the protection of your families health and safety and insurance, homeowners need to ensure they check any renovations prior to purchasing a home, and always seek the services of a professional for restricted work”, said Martin.

The PGDB’s advice for buyers is to check renovated homes carefully. Homeowners could face problems insuring or selling properties if restricted work has not been carried out by a licensed tradesperson.

Tradespeople carrying out restricted work must produce their licence card – and homeowners should ask to sight it. This provides assurance that the work is being legally carried out by an authorised and competent tradesperson, who is currently licensed by the PGDB.

Homeowners looking for information on what plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work they can do and what work is restricted, can find information on the Board’s website (

If a homeowner believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of a tradesperson, they should notify the Board.


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