Celebrity builder Dion South's licence suspended

A celebrity builder has seen his building license suspended for six months.

Dion South from renovation show HOMEmade walked off a construction site in Auckland four years ago.

The Licenced Building Practitioners' board has also ordered him to pay $3500 towards the cost of their review. 

Property owner Brian Lee is disappointed with the outcome, and will be appealing the decision.

"It's a hazard for our kids," said Lee. "Our daughter [has been] living here like this since she was one - I have to check for nails and broken glass and broken parts every time she goes outside."

Lee says the outcome is a slap on the wrist.

It's been pretty crap. Wind still comes into the house in winter, and no matter how much heating you put in, it's still frozen... It's been pretty hell for the last four years. Just because we were following our dreams, this happened to us. This is something no family should ever go through."

The Lees.
The Lees. Photo credit: The AM Show

South was contracted to work for the Lee family five years ago. They initially paid him $331,000, and say they ended up paying another $115,000. When South asked for another $55,000 - according to the Lees - they refused to pay, and he walked off the unfinished site. 

South told Newshub that he was manipulated by Lee. 

"I have been absolutely shafted by Brian Lee. It's Such a shame that there are people like him in this world," he said via text, declining an interview.

"Lee has 100 percent sabotaged and used me as a scapegoat. I was manipulated by Brian Lee to give a fixed price quote - his build had a lot of variations and this is what made the costs go over budget. I have been robbed by this man. I have lost thousands - well over $100,000, I want nothing to do with him."

South said in May he didn't have insurance for cost overruns because he is "an old-school builder".