Ron and Noeline Nichols, of Ballina, paid to have broken roof tiles replaced after roof insulation was installed in their home.
Ron and Noeline Nichols, of Ballina, paid to have broken roof tiles replaced after roof insulation was installed in their home. Jay Cronan

Feeling the heat over shoddy job

IT WOULD be enough to get anyone hot under the collar.

Elderly Ballina couple Noeline and Ron Nichols suspected one end of their house was still too hot after insulating their home through the Federal Government's insulation rebate scheme.

When they got the job checked out their suspicions were confirmed.

Several square metres had not been insulated, leaving the rear of the house unprotected.

They complained to the Queensland-based insulation company, who then returned to 'fix' the job.

“They told me they had sacked the other fellow and would fix it up,” Mrs Nichols said.

The uninsulated section was at the opposite end of the house to the ceiling access.

Rather than pull the insulation through the ceiling, the contractors tore open the roof to finish the job.

“I feel bad about telling you this, but it's got to be told. I wasn't sure what to do next,” Mrs Nichols said. “I'm worried other people might be in the same situation.”

In their haste to finish the job, the installers broke six tiles and cut completely through the sarking barrier.

They undertook makeshift repairs with silicone and cheap electrical tape, leaving the roof vulnerable, according to local roof tiler Michael Harvey.

Mr Harvey said that sarking was the second defence against severe storms and in this district must be kept in good condition to prevent ceiling damage.

He said he felt sorry for the couple and only charged them $100, which they had to pay themselves.

When Mrs Nichols contacted the Federal Government Home Insulation hotline to explain her problem, she was told to call the installers.

If they didn't fix it, she was advised she should then notify the Department of Fair Trading.

The Department of Fair Trading told The Northern Star that insulation installers didn't need a licence - though it is illegal for unlicensed contractors to undertake any building work - and referred us back to the Home Insulation Program.

When contacted by The Northern Star, the insulation installer denied any knowledge of the problem and agreed to reimburse Mr and Mrs Nichols for the repair work this week.



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