A couple has been forced to wash their dishes in the bath for the past nine months after builders left them with a leaking pipe and no kitchen sink.
Bryan and Alison Simpson say they have been “living in a building site” for since January despite builders assuring them their extension would take just four weeks.
Their new extension and kitchen is still unfinished 11 months on and leaking pipes, no kitchen sink and a flooded kitchen are among the problems they have been left to deal with.
The couple moved into the property in Consett, County Durham, last February and hired well-known local firm Pennine to undertake the work.
Bus driver Bryan, 62, said: “When we first had Pennine around, the surveyor told us the work would take about four weeks and it’s still not finished now.
"They began in October and we haven’t had a sink since January so we’ve been forced to do all the washing up over the bath, which has been back-breaking.
"When they were moving the pipes for the sink they put the stopcock in the concrete floor but it started leaking everywhere. They are going to have to dig up the floor to re-lay it but they haven’t even said when they are coming back to do that.
"We had to send our new kitchen units back because the company we ordered them from weren’t able to continue storing them after all this time.
"We haven’t been able to decorate because of the dust. It’s not somewhere you want to come home to after work, we are living in a building site.”
‘I can’t explain the amount of sleep we’ve lost’
Bryan and NHS worker Alison claim they have lost sleep over the botched job which cost them £20,000, and said it has caused a huge stress to the family.
He added: “I can’t explain the amount of sleep we have lost and how much stress and upset it has caused to our family.
"We were looking forward to enjoying our new home and thought we would be able to do so by now.
“We have already had one Christmas ruined and we don’t want another one ruined this year.
“We went for Pennine because we knew the name and thought they’re a reputable company up here - but we wish we never had.”
‘Complexities of the work caused a delay’
A spokesperson for Pennine said they were committed to bringing the build to a “satisfactory conclusion”, adding that the “intricacies” of the build affected its ability to meet the expectations of the couple.
The spokesperson said: “Upon commencement of the installation an old stop cock was found to be hidden behind a wall that was due to be removed, under the existing kitchen sink.
"We advised the customer that this would need to be removed and that it was not part of the originally planned works, as per the technical survey agreed and signed by the customer.
"The customer refused to arrange and pay for the works to be carried out in order for ourselves to commence the remainder of the build.
"After a complete impasse, and in order to have the build completed, Pennine agreed to carry out these non-contracted works, and bear the cost of them.
“However, the complexities of the works involved has caused a delay in sourcing a plumbing sub-contractor to take on the works involved; notwithstanding, this also requires complex scheduling of other works to be carried out following the plumbing works, in which we are currently processing.
“Whilst we do appreciate the concerns of the customer following their original estimated lead time for completion; however, when matters are experienced that are outside of our control, then lead times can change.
“We always strive to provide a comfortable customer experience, and to go above and beyond in order to overcome obstacles we may face during construction, alas on this occasion the intricacies added to the build have affected our ability to meet the customer’s expectations.
“In the meantime, we will remain in contact with the customer in order to confirm a plan and schedule of works to bring the build to a satisfactory conclusion.”