Illegal Works

Illegal Works

The Ballarat crew (ENGINEERS2U) were recently engaged by a client to provide advice on the Structural Integrity of a Retaining Wall.

The client is a delightful young couple, who embarked on building their own home, in a new subdivision.

In obtaining quotes for the Retaining Wall, they turned out to be astronomical. When another company replied with a quote for approx half the amount, the home owners jumped at it.

Turns out this very substantial retaining wall has been installed with no Building Permit, no structural designs and a lack of clarity about how water run off is to be managed. (Homeowners have a legal responsibility to manage the outflow of water from their properties under the Water Act 1989).

It needs to be said, Builders react in very different ways when these concerns are bought to their attention. In this case we have had nothing but co-operation from the Building team when we asked for the following:

– Depth of footings for the posts

– Type, size and positions, and backfill material of the agi-drains placed in behind the retaining walls

– The exit points of the agi-drains and connections to stormwater

These are all important factors for any design, and the types of things that would be covered, if the contracting company had sought the appropriate permits and engineering designs.

These types of projects are incredibly expensive, so please ensure you (or your building contractor) work with a registered Engineer, to ensure long lasting stability, and appropriate water management, of your design. Much harder to fix these things after the event.

Building works over $10,000 or Retaining walls over 1m ALL REQUIRE a building permit.

Happy gardening out there. Earthmoving is back breaking work!

For further information or to schedule a consultation, you can contact us via email at, or call the Ballarat office at 03 53 399 899.

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