DC Living collapses into administration with $10m worth of building projects

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A building company that undertook more than $10 million worth of construction work in the past year has collapsed.

News.com.au can reveal that DC Living Pty Ltd, trading under the names Living Homes VIC and Living Homes QLD, went into administration last week.

The builder was headquartered in Brisbane and it’s unclear if anyone in Victoria has also been impacted.

Signs such as “pay up ya flog” have been scrawled across at least one building site that news.com.au knows of.

A year before the company went bust, a company director had said it was a “viable” business.

According to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), DC Living’s record of residential construction work shows that it had 29 jobs in the state during the 2023/2024 financial period.

That came in at a total value of $10,224,965 worth of construction projects.

Ashton Close, a tradie who has been left $26,775 out of pocket over the debacle, said “it’s a disgrace”.

The brick renderer estimates that he’s worked at 133 sites in total during the four-year period his business did work for DC Living.

“They’ve dragged the chain on paying us, they’ve said they need an extra couple of weeks,” Mr Close told news.com.au.

“Before Christmas we were just getting the run-around.

“They’ve stung us about $26,000, it hurts, it definitely hurts.”

Mr Close said he also did brickwork for a related company, called Kalkamoning Pty Ltd, working on around 29 build sites according to his records.

This company entered liquidation the same day DC Living went into administration.

ASIC records show that Hugh Bridle and Angelo Augostis are co-directors of both DC Living and Kalkamoning.

On Friday, Mr Close learned the company had gone into administration.

He claims he tried to call the company but a police complaint was made against him for harassment.

News.com.au attempted to contact the company for comment but the number was blocked.

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In a video on LinkedIn from a year ago, one of the directors, Mr Augostis, assured clients that DC Living was solvent, as seen in the video holder above.

“To be completely honest, DC Living is a financially viable business,” he said in a video from late 2022.

“We have consistently paid our suppliers on a fortnightly basis and will continue to do so for many moons to come.”

News.com.au has contacted the appointed administrators, Daniel Quinn and David Stimpson of insolvency firm SV Partners, for comment.

According to the QBCC, DC Living’s pipeline of work peaked in the 2020/21 reporting period.

The builder took on 87 jobs worth $31 million, which coincided with the government’s announcement of the HomeBuilder grant.

The following year, it had 76 construction projects on its books.

By the time of its collapse, this number had dwindled down to just 29 building sites.

On its still-active website, the company claims to have a “deep passion for designing and constructing quality homes for the Greater Brisbane market”.

DC Living was awarded the HIA QLD Project Home of the Year and Affordable Housing Awards in 2021, and was a finalist the following year.

The building firm was founded in 2015.

News.com.au has reported on dozens of builders going into administration and liquidation over the past two years.

In times of economic hardship and inflation, building companies are usually the first to feel the pinch as they run on such small margins.

A staggering 2349 construction firms have collapsed in the past year — with fears more may fall soon.

Indeed, of the 8471 business collapses for 2023, almost 28 per cent were in the building and construction industry, according to data put out by the corporate regulator.

The previous Morrison government’s HomeBuilder grant, which was introduced in June 2020 and handed out $2.52 billion to owner-occupiers who wanted to build or substantially renovate a home, turbocharged the sector.

More than 130,000 customers signed on for the program, with many tradies agreeing to the work under fixed-price contracts that soon became unsustainable as prices began to soar.

alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au