A heartbroken couple have returned from a holiday to find their home in a 'horrific' state which allegedly caused them to slip in a 'pool of cement' a
A heartbroken couple have returned from a holiday to find their home in a ‘horrific’ state which allegedly caused them to slip in a ‘pool of cement’ and suffer an electric shock.
Tracey and Stephen Williams, from near Swansea, had hired a builder to renovate their house but they allege that the damage that has been caused could cost £20,000 to fix, leaving them in ‘financial ruin’.
Mr Williams, 54, claims that he received an electric shock from a live wire allegedly hanging in the kitchen of their South Wales home.
He also claims that he hurt his hip after slipping in a ‘pool of cement’ left on the floor of the couple’s lounge.
Builder Morgan Gay, 21, has defended the standard of his work and claims that the couple were told not to return to the house until the cement had dried for 72 hours – which Mrs Williams denies.
The 51-year-old – who cannot stop crying – has borrowed £2,000 from her mother to help cover the bill for repairs including re-plastering and rewiring.
‘It’s like something you see on television but you never believe it will happen to you,’ she said.
‘What kind of Christmas are we going to have? All I can do is cry. I can’t eat or sleep.’
Tracey and Stephen Williams (pictured), from near Swansea, say ‘all they can do is cry’ after coming home from holiday to their home in a ‘horrific’ state’
Mr Williams, 54, claims that he received an electric shock from a live wire allegedly hanging in the kitchen of their South Wales home. Pictured: The living room
Since their return the couple claim to have paid £4,300 for new workers to re-plaster walls and make the electrics safe.
The couple, who transferred £19,766 to Mr Gay for the work and materials, bought the three-bedroom house for £185,000 in March and moved in on July 8.
Mrs Williams said: ‘This was the last move we were making and with the profit my husband made off the previous property, we could afford to buy this house and get it done up because it was quite outdated.’
She says she found Mr Gay through an online advert and hired him for an eight-week renovation at an expected eventual cost of around £30,000.
‘We bought units and fittings for the bathroom and kitchen,’ she added.
‘He was meant to get the house re-plastered and painted, do the new bathroom and kitchen, electricity work and plumbing.’
Work started on July 16 but Mrs Williams says she became concerned over the progress.
‘Materials seemed to be getting paid for but never appearing. I had a few words with him about four weeks in. I asked him what was going on.. Nothing was finished. It felt like he was fobbing me off.’
Mr Gay, who claims he had done three previous renovation jobs, defended his work. He said: ‘I had been on the job nearly every day myself as well as the carpenter [a subcontractor] was there every day.’
The couple claim they are facing ‘financial ruin’ after they estimated the damage could cost £20,000 to fix
Before the couple went on a week-long holiday to Portugal, the couple had been living downstairs while Mr Gray was working upstairs.
Mrs Williams claims that the builder told her that work would start downstairs while they were on their trip away.
But they returned to the home at 10.30pm on September 15 and allegedly found the downstairs doors and light switches had been removed.
Mrs Williams claims that there were four or five live wires hanging from the wall and about six from the ceiling.
She also said that ‘inches’ of plaster dust covered the beds and that plaster was ‘falling everywhere’ off the walls.
In a catalogue of errors, she also claimed that radiators had been taken off the walls and piled up, that there were chips to a new bath and sink, and that there were scratches on a toilet seat.
In the darkness Mr Williams, who has osteoarthritis, slipped in the ‘pool of cement’ and suffered bruising around his hip and elbow which left him needing painkillers, said his wife. He also received an electric shock from one of the wires, she claimed.
Mrs Williams, who has three young grandchildren, said: ‘It made me afraid to stay in the house. It could have easily been one of the children who was shocked.
‘The builder put the hot and cold pipes the wrong way round, causing the shower mixer not to work, so a plumber must cut the pipes and move them round. We are lucky there is space enough for them to do it, otherwise it would be the bath being removed.’
Mrs Williams claims that there were four or five live wires hanging from the wall and about six from the ceiling. Pictured: Living room
But Mr Gray responded: ‘I understand where she is coming from with the ‘pool of cement on the floor’.
‘This was because she had gone back to the house too early after it had been self-levelled.
‘The carpenter had told her over the phone that it would take up to 72 hours to dry so he advised her not to go in there… As far as I am aware the cables in the kitchen were all in connectors and no live cables were out.’
Mrs Williams denies any instruction to return later. In a conversation she filmed with Mr Gay, he told her after their return: ‘When I left here I 100% thought [the wires] were dead to be honest.’
Later in the exchange he said: ‘I understand why you’re p****d off.’
The builder added: ‘All the bedrooms had the doors closed… I had explained to Tracy from the start there was going to be a lot of dust. Originally she wasn’t to be living in the house while the renovation was going on.’
Mrs Williams alleges that Mr Gay used metal fittings and ‘earthed none of them’. ‘The living room’s ceiling has had to come down too due to the unsafe electrics they needed to get to… It’s horrific,’ she said.
Mr Gay claimed that a qualified electrician was going to be provided. ‘There would have been a certificate for the electrical work downstairs in the kitchen,’ he said.
Mrs Williams, who claims to have post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous incident, said the renovation project has hit her mental health hard and left her feeling like her life is ‘ruined’.
She added that she expects repairs to cost more than £20,000 in total but the couple have savings of only £3,000. ‘This money was earned from working hard all our lives. He’s financially ruined us.’
Mr Gay said he had an NVQ Level 2 in bricklaying. Pictured: The back of the South Wales home
Mr Gay said he had an NVQ Level 2 in bricklaying and is hoping to turn professional as a boxer in the ‘near future’.
He added: ‘All money that had been sent over to me by Tracy for materials had been spent on materials as well as giving her my trade discount in places I get discount.
‘Also I was getting her cheaper prices on materials in places by paying cash for the materials as it was losing the VAT.
‘Tracy had not had any words with me from the start of the project up until she had kicked me off the project about what was going on.’
Mr Gay also claimed completion within eight weeks was not possible after Mrs Williams ‘changed her mind a lot through the job’.
He added: ‘For example changing the design of the built-in bed and also removing the brickwork airing cupboard in her bedroom added time to the job. Also with the really hot weather we had it was unhealthy to be working inside.’
The builder claims he has made an offer following the complaint. Mrs Williams said: ‘The only way [ahead] is civil action at a cost of almost £1,000.’