- Rebecca Chrystal, 39, and David Mount, 40, were sorely dismayed with home
- Within 22 months of moving into Norfolk build they filled three pages of ‘snags’
- Personal assistant Ms Chrystal said the struggle to fix it has taken its toll on her
- **Have you had problems with a new-build home? Get in touch: [email protected]**
An exasperated couple have found more than 200 flaws with their new family home, leaving them angrily demanding: ‘Were the builders drunk when they built it?’
Rebecca Chrystal, 39, was reduced to tears when she and David Mount, 40, found crooked walls, uneven floors and cracks in the ceiling inside their Norfolk property.
Since moving in 2018 the problems have kept piling up and within two years they have now filled three double-sided A4 pieces of paper with a list of all the faults.
Personal assistant Ms Chrystal said the constant struggle to fix their home has been emotionally draining and taken a toll on their mental health.
It was especially worrying as initially Ms Chrystal was pregnant with son Joseph by way of IVF and so had to ‘be careful’ not to get stressed.
But in a phone call with developers Persimmon she could not contain her outrage and recalls now: ‘I said “were the builders drunk when they built it?”‘
A catalogue of faults: Some of the 200 problems with the house
- Misaligned walls
- Uneven floors
- Cracks in the ceiling
- Visible pins and joints on stairs
- Bathroom flooring not stuck down
- Warped fence panels
- Markings on doors and paintwork
- Poor quality garden turf
- Door did not fit the frame
The couple moved into the house on Orchard Croft estate, Diss, in December 2018, and were horrified to keep finding problems.
Ms Chrystal continued: ‘There were so many problems, everything looked rushed. When we first moved in I didn’t want to live here, I hated it and was in tears.
‘I was pregnant and didn’t want to have any stress because Joseph was IVF, so we knew he was special and had to be careful.’
But she described the gruelling process to try to have the problems repaired, which were eventually blown of course by coronavirus.
‘Contractors have been back and forth and then we went into lockdown, which is no one’s fault, but since then we have still had more snags – it is more like 200.
‘The after care and communication have been terrible. It has taken forever to get back to us.
‘It’s constant battles getting contractors to come, it’s tiring and stressful constantly having to organise the work being done and fight them over every little thing.’
Ms Chrystal reeled off the mountain of problems that have bedeviled their new family home, including pins and joints visible on the stairs and bathroom flooring that was not stuck down and needed relaying.
They also discovered warped fencing panels in the garden, scuff marks on doors and paintwork and poor quality turf.
Even the front door did not fit the frame.
Ms Chrystal said : ‘We have to get our front door wall knocked through, the front room flooring had to be all levelled out – they weren’t expecting to have to do that but the whole floor was cracking and uneven.’
Ms Chrystal and Mr Mount bought through the government’s Help to Buy scheme to first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder.
The mother said: ‘If we had the money we would pay for it ourselves. The whole reason we bought it was so we wouldn’t have to do anything to it when we moved in and it would be ready.
‘It’s exhausting and disrupts our busy work lives. It’s been hard, really hard work.’
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‘We are having to have the en-suite bathroom flooring retiled again. Behind some chipboard in a kitchen cupboard they [the builders] had hidden a pile of rubble and just boarded it up.
‘The oven suddenly went off due to a loose fuse, apparently it could have caught fire. There was leakage to part of the floor as well.’
Mr Mount, who works in property maintenance for a charity, said the process has been frustrating.
He added: ‘It’s been nearly two years. We hoped for it to be ready before Christmas 2018 and thought we wouldn’t have to do anything when we moved in. But it’s been a catalogue of errors, it’s been so frustrating.
‘I have had to crack the whip a few times. They’re not doing what’s required. We didn’t even get a welcome pack when we moved in.
‘It’s the quality of the work in the first place that’s been the problem as well as the after care.
‘We’re not looking for compensation, we are looking for them to change the way they do things going forward.’
Persimmon Homes Suffolk apologised to Rebecca and David and pledged to fix the problems that still needed rectifying.
A spokesman said: ‘We apologise sincerely for the inconvenience caused.
‘Our customer care team has been in regular contact and remains committed to resolving the outstanding issues.
‘All of our new homes come with a two-year Persimmon warrant plus a 10-year insurance backed warranty, ensuring every property is built to rigorously inspected standards and providing reassurance to customers that defects will be rectified under the guarantee.’
Who is responsible?
In the UK all new homes are covered by a free 10-year home warranty and insurance guarantee, which provides protection against problems with the home’s construction and many other eventualities.
DURING THE BUILDING PROCESS
If you have paid a deposit and something unforeseen happens with the building of your new home, such as the builder goes out of business, either your deposit will be refunded or, if the construction is close to competition, the home will be finished.
WITHIN THE FIRST TWO YEARS
The builder will rectify any problems picked up within the first two years that do not meet the warranty provider’s technical requirements at no cost to the homeowner.
BETWEEN THREE AND 10 YEARS
The warranty protects against issues with items such as staircases and internal plastering during years three to ten, as well as a range of structural defects too.