A housing company have been forced into completely rebuilding a home from scratch after the owner discovered ‘hundreds of issues’ with their initial construction work.
Andrew Higgs, 41, soon discovered his family’s new house wasn’t suitable to live in, when they moved into it in 2019.
The five-bedroom house in Cardiff, built by Charles Church – an upmarket homebuilding company owned by Persimmon – was a victim of ‘poor workmanship’, according to Higgs, who spoke to Wales Online about his family’s ordeal.
“There was a long list of snags from day one and each week we would notice additional issues of poor workmanship.
“Our main concern was the external brickwork which we felt was of a very poor standard aesthetically.“
In total, Mr. Higgs’ complaints ran into the hundreds, including visible plasterboard joints, cracks appearing in the walls and ceilings, damaged roof joists and drainage issues to the front garden.
The father-of-two spent a year locked in discussions with Charles Church, until they agreed to knock the walls down and build them back again brick-by-brick.
However, it was only when Mr. Higgs contacted a director of Charles Church directly and walked him round the house that a decision was made to rebuild.
“They did accept all the issues and looked to get them addressed but the brickwork I felt was so poor I insisted it all be replaced in line with building codes of practice.
“Eventually they agreed to replace all four external walls or potentially compensate.”
Even after an agreement was made, Charles Church took several months to send builders to the site to begin work. However, the construction company insisted on a second survey being carried out, this time from the NHBC – the National House Building Council.
The NHBC concurred with the previous report, and advised that repair work should indeed be undertaken.
Mr Higgs continued, “I kept on and would not back down on the agreement that was previously made, replace the walls and rebuild as per the codes of practice.
“A number of internal rework snags they had already done were of a poor quality and we were extremely reluctant to allow partial patch repairs to the external walls, especially when they already agreed previously.”
Charles Church eventually relented and agreed to begin rebuilding work in October of last year, although they labelled Mr. Higgs’ requests as ‘unreasonable’ and claimed the work they were doing was a ‘goodwill gesture’.
Yet, things were still far from plain sailing, as Mr. Higgs explained.
“We were issued a six-week completion date, which was then pushed out to eight weeks, then we were notified that all works was complete on December 1 but in fact was nowhere near complete and Fox refused to move items back until December 5.“
In addition to this, Mr. Higgs then discovered the reconstruction work had led to further damage within the property to his carpets, his CCTV cameras, the alarm system and the large family fridge freezer, which he was also reimbursed for.
Oh, and as if all that wasn’t enough, Mr. Higgs has also revealed issues are resurfacing now his family are moved back in.
“Having returned we’ve noticed most cracking issues have reappeared and are now suspicious there may be movement occurring with the timber frames.
“I own two local businesses. If I treated my customers the way Persimmon do I would be out of business within a week.
“If you purchase a new product you expect it to be of an acceptable standard. We were expecting our new build Charles Church house to be of a high standard but it has taken 18 months to get it to an acceptable standard.
“My family has endured immense stress and upheaval over the past 18 months, no thanks to having to move home during the pandemic and be given two completion dates that were not honoured.
“Persimmon repeatedly remind us we are having ‘gestures of goodwill’ but these are all issues that should have been right in the first place.”
What an absolute nightmare.
(h/t Wales Online)