Stonewood doubles warranty for homes

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 15:46 18/07/2014
Brent Mettrick
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ
STONEWOOD HOMES: Owner Brent Mettrick says problems will be fixed.

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Stonewood Homes has doubled its warranty on all its houses in an effort to reassure customers after TV coverage of shoddy workmanship.

The Stonewood Homes warranty was now two years and applied to all builds.

Company director Brent Mettrick today promised customers that problems with builds would be put right.

Complaints from customers - many in Canterbury - included poor finishes, cracks in new houses and unsatisfactory building products.

Mettrick admitted the company had had problems with contractors and had struggled with rapid expansion in the post-quake Christchurch market.

''Some issues have been identified with the performance of some subcontractors and with some products,'' he said.

''It is up to us to identify what needs to be done to get it sorted."

Mettrick said he would take personal responsibility for solving all the current problems, but said only a small percentage of Stonewood homes had been affected.

"The main focus for the moment is on getting it right for all, particularly those that are already stressed with the impacts of the earthquakes on their lives and homes,'' Mettrick said.

''We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers and in some cases we have fallen short."

Mettrick said the company now had a specialist team investigating key issues and reviewing the company's systems.

There were six extra teams working on warranty remediation problems in Christchurch. 

Yesterday, Registered Master Builders Association chief executive Warwick Quinn said a collision between the commercial and residential rebuild peaks was putting pressure on an already "acute" shortage of skilled tradespeople in Christchurch.

Growth in Auckland and other areas was also drawing resources away from Christchurch.

Currently complaints about delays and shoddy work to the association were within "statistical norms" but could grow if the issue was not addressed, Quinn said.

The expected completion of the Earthquake Commission's home repair programme at the end of the year would free "potentially hundreds" of contractors, Quinn said.

Bill Horncastle, owner and managing director of Christchurch's Horncastle Homes, said the quality and reliability of some building companies was becoming an issue with some taking on too much work without the systems, experience and resources in place.

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