Michelle van der Veer



PHOTO: RYAN ANDERSON/STUFF “It is unbelievable to me, even now, to find ourselves go from being well-off and financially secure to have it all go up in smoke over a small wooden deck replacement,” Michelle van der Veer says.

Michelle van der Veer says her family was driven to the edge of financial ruin over an $80,000 deck.

A catalogue of problems with building the deck resulted in spiralling construction and legal costs blowing out the family’s debt, ultimately forcing them to sell their home, their business and an investment property bought to pay for their retirement.

She estimated the ordeal has cost the family around $1.3 million thanks to the fire sale, and the missed opportunities that flowed from it.