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Home buyers hit out at 'the builders from hell'
A COUPLE have labelled a construction company “absolute builders from hell” after discovering 27 flaws in their newly-built home in Carterton.
Alf and Jan Kenchington, both 73, bought their house for £340,000 eight and a half years ago but since then they have discovered a myriad of problems.
They said their chimney has moved by about three inches, slate and felt was missing from the roof and windows were too small to be used as fire escapes.
It comes after it emerged that David Wilson Homes, which built 678 of the 1,338 houses on the Shilton Park estate between 2002 and 2005, failed to get an unknown number of the homes inspected after they were built.
The company has said it is working to resolve the issues and said only a “relatively low number” of houses built by the company in the area had problems.
But Mr Kenchington said: “They had filled our chimney with concrete and building rubble.
“The chimney, which was only supported by two pieces of two-by-four, was so heavy that it moved. The chimney could have come through our ceiling.
“We spent £340,000 on this house and David Wilson Homes did not check anything. They are absolute builders from hell.”
Developers are required to get completion certificates after building houses, which involves inviting building inspectors in to see whether they meet regulations. If they do, the houses get certificates. West Oxfordshire District Council’s building inspectors have now been brought in to inspect the homes and faults, including chimneys, windows and ventilation, have been found in 24 houses.
Former Carterton mayor Norman MacRae and his wife Carole have had a string of problems with their house in Hibiscus Way, which they bought for £400,000 in 2005.
These have included leaks in the roof from poorly-fitted felt, leaks in the garage, creaking floors from day one and the chimney moving.
Mr MacRae, pictured, said: “It is disappointing that such a major firm that advertises high quality executive housing does not follow up on that. We have been let down.”
He said having no completion certificate meant he and his neighbours would not be able to sell their homes if they ever chose to.
Simon Kirk, technical director at David Wilson Homes Southern, said: “We are aware of outstanding issues at Carterton.
“We are working closely with West Oxford District Council to ensure that these issues are resolved.”
A spokeswoman said the company was working with the district council to ascertain how many properties do not have a completion certificate, but added that it was anticipated this would be a “relatively low number”.
West Oxfordshire District Council spokeswoman Carys Davies said: “Where we have identified issues, David Wilson Homes are implementing the remedial measures, agreed by the district council and the property owner, as quickly as possible so that a completion certificate can be awarded.
“We have identified 24 properties where works are required and discussions on remedial works are ongoing.
“This includes work to chimneys, windows and ventilation issues.”