Committed to Helping
Building Matters Assist was formed to fill a perceived gap in the help services available to small residential property owners when they encounter difficulties with their own building or maintenance projects or, are being adversely affected by building projects being undertaken by others.
With the introduction of private certification of building developments in NSW in the late 1990’s, Council can no longer be called upon to help homeowners in many situations where a problem with building or development matters arises. This role is now largely the role of the Private Certifier.
The company is headed by Rob Thorburn who is a registered professional engineer and has over 40 years’ professional experience in the building industry.
Our approach is simple. As a building professional, we start by establishing the facts relating to the particular building matter (technical, compliance and procedural) and use these facts to then work towards a resolution of the problem with the other (or opposing) party using normal (or commercial) building management and contractual procedures. We do not set out to provide an alternative to a legal solution to a problem. Rather, our services can be considered as a steppingstone towards a legal solution if in the event we are unable to resolve the problem using our approach as a building professional. In most cases, we find that we can reach a resolution without the need to escalate to legal action.
Rob Thorburn BE (Civil) UNSW NER (Civil)
I’ve worked for over 40 years in the construction industry on projects in residential, commercial and Government sectors. I started as a structural and civil engineering designer then later in the management of the overall design and construction process as a Project Manager. This has given me extensive experience in all facets of the building industry. As I know how building projects are supposed to be run, I can easily spot when things aren’t right and know how to put things right again.
In recent years I, along with many other building professionals, have become increasingly concerned by the problems that have crept into the industry following part privatization of the building approvals process in 1998. The number of times I have heard the phrase in relation to a building problem “Council won’t do anything about it” or “I can’t take legal action because it will cost a fortune” tells me that there is a need for a service to fill the gap left by Council’s absence in this area, but one that hopefully avoids the need for lawyers.
My approach is to take the expertise and good practices that are standard for most commercial and larger scale projects and apply them to small residential projects to assist property owners who are experiencing problems.
My expertise covers most aspect of the building industry including architectural, planning, structural, civil, waterproofing, facades, geotechnical, paint coatings, hydraulics, air-conditioning and ventilation, lifts, electrical, arborists, energy and acoustics. Also preparing and dealing with Council on DA’s, CC’s and other approvals and permits and preparing complaints and submissions to Fair Trading, Councils and NCAT. My strength is in knowing a little about a lot of building matters. Where specialist or expert advice is necessary to achieve the right outcome, I will recommend to clients engagement of additional expertise in the appropriate area.