Homeowners forced to pay $10k+ over botched pool fight
A GOLD Coast couple has been ordered to cough up more than $10,000 after a tribunal found damage to their plunge pool was caused by their botched preparations of the site, and not the installer.
But the pool company has been told to pay Michael and Anne McMahon $3300 after the truck driver who delivered the pool got bogged at the Gilston property and destroyed their grass.
The long-running saga came to end this week when the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) ruled the McMahons had to pay Swimsmith Pty Ltd, which trades as Brisbane Prestige Pools, the remaining $9844.68 for work it did in early 2018.
According to the QCAT judgment published this week, the McMahons entered into a $21,000 contract for the installation of their new pool, but told the pool company they would "use their own equipment" to lay 50mm of 5mm gravel into the hole where their old pool was, instead of paying an extra $2500.
Mr McMahon told the pool company in January 2018 that he had used 10mm gravel and the site was a "little wet underfoot after the spate of afternoon thunderstorms".
It was revealed in a subsequent phone conversation that the pool was actually sitting on a total of 800mm of gravel, the judgment said.
The pool was installed the next week when the McMahons were not home and seemed to have no defects but later began to crack and the water was not level.
The pool company offered to rectify the issue, but the McMahons asked instead for a "structurally sound replacement".
Brisbane Prestige Pools later advised Mr McMahon the damage was caused by the gravel installation "inadequately prepared by yourself", but the couple refused to pay the contract.
The tribunal also heard in an additional bungle that the truck carrying the plunge pool got bogged on the lawn and the pool had to be unloaded on to the grass to try and get the truck out of the mud.
The truck had to be removed by excavator.
During the QCAT hearing in October, Mr McMahon claimed a photograph of the installation was "fake" and did not show the pool at his property but in fact a spirit level resting on gravel elsewhere.
In March 2018, the McMahons hired lawyers and claimed the pool company had breached its contract by delivering a faulty pool and damaging it during the installation by placing it on the grass.
They sought damages and claimed the lap pool was not "fit for purpose".
But QCAT found the damage was a "remedial defect" that the pool company had offered to fix and there was no evidence the pool was not fit for swimming.
The tribunal found the damage was caused by the McMahons and "not a defect in the pool for which the applicant (Prestige Pools) is liable".
The McMahons were ordered to pay an additional $1050 to the pool company as well as the remaining $9844.68, both with interest of 18 per cent.
Originally published as Homeowners forced to pay $10k+ over botched pool fight