A DAD suffered a fatal heart attack in his “nightmare” new home as he was trying to unblock a drain – with the family now locked in a battle with the builders.
Paul Daker, 44, said the move “killed my dad and destroyed my mum” as his parents Margaret and Roger were swamped with problems at their new home in Bilston, Wolverhampton.
For their dream retirement, the pair swapped their high maintenance Victorian terrace for a new-build semi-detached home – one of five put up on a quiet street in the area.
But Margaret, 75, is now struggling on alone – after her beloved husband Roger collapsed with a heart attack while trying to unblock a drain at the property, and later died.
She is now widowed and struggling with depression.
Her son Paul, 44, told Birmingham Live: “It has been a terrible time.
“We regret the day mum and dad ever bought this house.
“I made a promise to my dad that I would fix this, and make sure my mum had a house for life that she could live in peace in.
“I have spent every day since trying to make things right, it has destroyed my mum but I thought if I just make it all right she will feel better.”
Speaking about when they first bought the house, the joiner said: “They were so pleased, they thought they would have no worries and would just spend their retirement in the garden, living peacefully.
HOME FROM HELL
“They brought a brand-new property outright – costing £125,000 – with the proceeds of selling their home, in good faith, with a guarantee – if anything failed or there were any problems in the first ten years it would be rectified.
“But that’s not how it has turned out.”
Paul claims that there was raw sewage coming into the house via the downstairs bathroom – and they had to replace the whole floor, with a foul odour still lingering.
He says that the toilet is still unusable and that his mum has to use a portaloo.
The 44-year-old added: “The back garden regularly flooded because of drainage issues; damp has appeared because the driveway and surfaces are too high up the walls and cover the damp proof course; there have been problems with the windows leaking.”
With the state of the house on his mind 24/7, Paul’s dad was worried sick and believed he had to sort it out himself.
The stress took its toll, said Paul.
He said: “One afternoon he was rodding the drains, trying to solve another blockage and my mum told him to take a break, but he collapsed – he had a heart attack.
“I later had to agree to switch the machines off, he could not survive, he was braindead.
“This move has killed my dad and destroyed my mum, and made me ill. It has been a nightmare.”
Mr Daker says in his opinion everyone involved in the build – from the builder and developers, to the inspector who signed off the work, to the insurers – has let them down, with new problems turning up.
Builder Colin Beardsmore, now 73, denies the homes are poorly built and disputes the claims.
Meanwhile, he claims that he and the developers offered to put right some work as a goodwill gesture last year – but the offer was rejected.
The five homes were built in Hall Green Street in 2013 on land purchased by developers Michelle and David Thomas.
Both developers and builder say they are shocked by the level of concerns raised, and dispute any claims of poor workmanship.
They say the homes were built according to building regulations and signed off by an independent inspector in line with building regulatory rules.
Michelle and David Thomas, now living in Devon, said: “Mr Daker and other residents initiated a claim in 2019 and we instructed our solicitor to respond.
“Our solicitor on our behalf opposed the claim in correspondence, and as a gesture of goodwill made a without prejudice proposal which was not accepted and the matter was not pursued any further.”
Insurers Premier Guarantee, part of MD Insurance, issued a statement connected to the 2019 claims.
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They said: “The property in question is insured under a Premier Guarantee for New Homes policy. Our new home warranty protects buyers of new homes from specific structural defects for a period of 10 years.
“With regard to the issues raised that are currently subject to the Financial Ombudsman review, we can confirm that we responded to their preliminary email on 2 November 2020.
“At this point, these issues remain under consideration by the Financial Ombudsman and we await their conclusion before commenting. We will of course act promptly on their adjudication.”