Builder fined after Alkimos house loses its roof in storm

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The detached roof of the Alkimos home after it was cleared from the road. Picture: Building and Energy

A BUILDER has been fined $15,000 and its nominated supervisor reprimanded for not properly managing and supervising building work at an Alkimos house.

Today Building and Energy said Ben Trager Homes finished construction of the two-storey house in late 2017.

During a night storm in April 2019, the upper roof detached from the unoccupied home and landed on a road around 200m away.

Building and Energy acting executive director Sandy Randall said following mediation at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), Ben Trager Homes and Ben Trager admitted that particular systems and procedures during construction were inadequate.

This included a failure to develop an appropriate solution or obtain additional engineering advice prior to the installation of key roof components and fixings.

Building and Energy said specifically, there was a failure to:

  • seek advice from an appropriate engineer regarding the connection of the ribbon plate to the top plate over the balcony beams and bulkhead beam on one side of the house;
  • use an adequate method to connect the ribbon plate to top plate over the beams;
  • ensure the manufacturer’s specifications were followed for the fixing of timber framing connectors; and
  • make sure the correct screw fixings were used.

The SAT noted that Ben Trager Homes and Mr Trager had cooperated with Building and Energy’s investigation and they had not faced other sanctions during their 10 years in the building sector.

Mr Trager also advised that 335 roofs had been inspected after the incident to ensure they were properly constructed.

Ms Randall said it was fortunate no one was injured when the roof failed.

“The lack of proper management and supervision of building work resulted in critical connections required to hold down the roof being inadequate,” she said.

“The community rightly expects builders to have robust systems in place to ensure buildings are safe and work complies with relevant codes, standards and manufacturers’ instructions.”

The registers of building service providers are available at commerce.wa.gov.au/buildersearch