GAYWOOD: Builder denies ‘cowboy’ claim
Trading standards officers have contacted a couple over work carried out on a Gaywood house by what they allege is a ‘cowboy builder’.
It follows Lynn News revelations that engaged couple Peter Mortin and Fran Ikin had put up a giant banner outside their new home in Wootton Road to name the Fakenham builder who they feel left them in the lurch.
Since Tuesday’s story about their claims against builder Dean Watts, there have been offers of support from other people in the building trade.
Yesterday, the Lynn News spoke to Mr Watts, who said that he had not been contacted by trading standards and did not wish to comment on the claims of a list of unfinished work in the house, alleged by the couple, but he strongly denied he was a ‘cowboy’ builder.
He said: “I don’t want to get into an argument with them through the papers. They know how to contact me.”
The Lynn News understands Mr Watts was horrified when the banner, suggesting he was a cowboy builder, appeared. He told us he has been doing this type of work for years and has hundreds of satisfied customers who still use his services.
However, builder Simon Butter, of SB Building & Maintenance in Gaywood, who did a report on the house for trading standards, outlined a number of problems he found on the site.
A 23-strong list of ‘problems’ he found included bathroom sealant used around a log burner which had also been fitted incorrectly, putting a steel girder hole in the wall without notifying building control, an uneven living room floor which needed levelling and no bath, shower or working toilet.
Ms Ikin claimed Mr Watts had received just under £8,000 for work on the house that had been valued in Simon Butter’s report at about £600.
She claimed this week Turner Contracting, from Wisbech St Mary, repaired the roof in two days and Chalk Farm at Narborough installed a new nine-kilowatt log burner, with the correct chimney flue lining, at a special rate for them.
A plumber has also provided them with running water, but further work is needed to sort out the drainage.
She also alleged building regulations officers would not approve an internal partition wall because although the steel support frame was the right size, it had not been fitted correctly.
She said: “There’s still a long way to go. Peter has managed to get some more money on the mortgage but we are going to be repaying it for 25 years because we have paid out all the money we had.”
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