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Bad Builders Bang To Rights
“Whether you’ve got a leaky roof, your boiler’s on the blink or you’re looking to extend your homes, these are the people we trust to make our homes warm, safe and secure. But invite the wrong contractor over the threshold and you could be inviting in a world of pain.” Dominic Littlewood
In this new three-part TV series consumer champion Dominic Littlewood confronts bad builders, meets the people whose lives have been ruined by dodgy contractors and helps rebuild and repair their homes.
The majority of tradesmen are hardworking and reputable but for people unlucky enough to hire a bad builder the effects can be utterly devastating.
Across three programmes, Dominic meets families whose lives have been torn apart by shoddy workmen including an 84-year-old woman who has been forced to sleep in her living room for almost a year, a single mum whose home has been made uninhabitable and a young man with severe learning difficulties who has been living in a leaking extension for the past seven years. With the help of builder Chris Payne and designer Pippa Jameson, Dominic fixes up their homes making them liveable again. He also confronts the builders responsible for the shoddy work and exposes dodgy contractors catching them red handed by secretly filming them at work.
In the first programme, Dominic meets pensioner Betty Hall and her son Trevor, whose house resembles a building site. He confronts one of the builders responsible for the substandard work and exposes a roofing company whose lifetime guarantee would not last a season.
Eighty-four-year old Betty was widowed seven years ago. At the time her son Trevor was dealing with the breakdown of his marriage so they decided to move in together. Looking for a new start they found a ramshackle house in the country, which they could extend and fix up, and employed a local building firm to do the work. The plan was to add two new bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, install a brand new kitchen, lounge, dining room and central heating. They paid £111,000 but after 11 months, work had almost ground to a halt and Trevor and Betty were forced to sack the builders and pay out another £20,000 to try to make the house liveable. Since then, the mother and son have had to live in terrible conditions with no central heating, no kitchen and exposed electrics. Trevor and Betty have spent most of the year sleeping on settees in the living room and using a camping stove to cook.
Trevor says: “We actually have had to put approximately £22,500 on credit cards in order to finish sealing the house. Mum can not survive through another winter.”
But help is at hand and Dominic along with builder Chris and designer Pippa surprise Betty and Trevor with the news that they are going to fix their home. They enlist the help of friends and neighbours and set about transforming the house in just two weeks.
Meanwhile Dominic wants answers from the builders responsible for leaving the house in such terrible conditions. He begins to investigate and finds that the company involved had two directors when the work was carried out. Dominic goes to confront one of the builders hoping to get an explanation for the shoddy work.
Also in the programme, Dominic exposes a roofing company whose working practices fall short of acceptable standards. The company have been getting lots of complaints so Dominic rigs up hidden cameras on a terraced house in Lancashire to catch them red-handed.
After witnessing sloppy and dangerous work through the secret filming, Dominic decides to confront the company boss.
Back at Betty and Trevor’s house, Chris, Pippa and the team have transformed their building site into the home they have been dreaming of with fully fitted kitchen, dining room, central heating and finished bedrooms so the pair no longer have to sleep in the living room.
Betty says: “I just can’t believe it. We have our home now, the home we planned.”