the hidden dangers of sinking houses
  • June 26, 2024
  • Effective Building
  • 0

In recent news on 7 News, homeowners are facing a daunting reality: their houses are sinking due to inadequate compaction during the construction phase by developers. This alarming issue not only poses structural risks but also leads to financial and emotional distress for homeowners. Here’s how to detect if your home is sinking and what steps you can take to address the problem. 

Detecting Signs of Sinking:

One of the most noticeable signs of a sinking house is cracks in the walls. These cracks may indicate structural movements and should prompt immediate inspection by a structural engineer. Additionally, observe the concrete pathways or driveways for any signs of movement or displacement. Look for marks on the walls where the original concrete was once aligned, as well as indications of shifted downpipes.

Another clear indicator of sinking is uneven ground levels and water ponding in certain areas. If you notice dips or dislodged ground surfaces, it’s likely that the ground was not compacted properly during construction.

Causes and Consequences:

Sinking houses often result from inadequate compaction of the soil during construction. This oversight can lead to gradual settlement and structural instability over time. Issues such as improper backfilling of pools or building structures over poorly compacted areas exacerbate the problem.

Taking Legal Action:

Fortunately, recent regulations provide homeowners with recourse against negligent developers, builders, site supervisors, and directors. Under the Duty of Care outlined in the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021, homeowners have the right to sue for damages caused by defects related to building construction. This includes holding accountable those responsible for failing to uphold proper quality control measures.

Seeking Solutions:

If you suspect your home is sinking, don’t delay in seeking professional assistance. A structural engineer can assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate remediation measures. This may involve underpinning, soil stabilization, or other corrective actions to restore the structural integrity of the property.


The prevalence of sinking houses underscores the importance of proper construction practices and diligent oversight by developers and builders. By being vigilant and proactive in detecting signs of sinking early on, homeowners can mitigate the risks and protect their investments. With the support of legal regulations and expert guidance, those affected by sinking houses can seek justice and find solutions to safeguard their homes for the future.

Related Posts
building inspection report
What Does a Building Inspection Report in 2021 Look Like?

A property inspection is an excellent step in purchasing a new property during a transaction. Most buyers don’t know what Read more

5 step by step procedure to rezoning your property
5 Step by Step Procedure to Rezoning Your Property

Rezoning is rezoning a parcel of property from one kind to another, such as industrial to residential. Land zones govern Read more

difference between a defects report
Difference Between a Defects Report and An Expert Witness Report

According to Murphy's Law, whatever may go wrong, will go wrong. Even with a well-thought-out building plan, anything can and Read more

About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

Book Your Standard Building Inspection In Sydney Today
Skip to content