Engineer sues developers Persimmon over 80 defects in new home

Engineer, 53, sues developers Persimmon Homes after his £210,000 four-bedroom home had EIGHTY defects including wonky brickwork and a bumpy lawn

  • Darren Harris, 53, is furious after finding 80 defects in his brand-new house
  • The engineer paid Persimmon Homes £210,000 for the new build in Wales
  • But he discovered brickwork was ‘wonky’ and the front door wouldn’t open
  • Persimmon say they are working with him to ‘reach a satisfactory conclusion’

Engineer Darren Harris, pictured, 53, is taking legal action against Persimmon Homes after claiming to have found 80 defects in his brand-new home

An engineer has launched legal action against Persimmon Homes after finding eighty defects in his brand new house including ‘wonky’ brickwork and a ‘bumpy lawn’.

Darren Harris, 53, paid £210,000 for his four-bed home in Pembrokeshire before it was completed after viewing an impressive showhome.

Now he says his neighbours have been laughing at the property because of  the ‘shoddy’ brickwork at the side of the house.

Persimmon, who built the house, say they are aware of the concerns and ‘are working to reach a satisfactory conclusion’.

Mr Harris says the problems started on day one when he got the keys in June.

He said: ‘The neighbours came over and asked me if I had seen the brickwork on the back of the house. They said to me “We have been having a bit of a laugh and a giggle”.’

When Mr Harris examined it, he said he was shocked to find wavy brickwork that wasn’t straight and looked unsafe.

The civil engineer said: ‘I know all about brickwork. I’m a builder myself, and have run my own company for 36 years,’ he said.

He added the walls were ‘just the start’ and later found he could not open the door with his keys due to a poorly fitted frame.

Mr Harris said: ‘We couldn’t get in. I thought there must be a problem and wentback to the site office. 

‘A Persimmon agent came back with me and in the end, he had to shoulder-barge the door to get it open.’ 

Mr Harris said his neighbours have been laughing at the ‘wonky’ brickwork at the side of the property, pictured

He also said there were problems with the drainage, pictured, causing waste water to pool

Mr Harris said the workmanship was ‘shoddy’ and the lawn, pictured, is ‘bumpy’

Mr Harris added: ‘Everything is appallingly built – the workmanship is just shoddy. The problems are unbelievable.’

Mr Harris, who lives in Sutton Coldfield in the Midlands, bought the house at Martello Park, Pembroke before building was completed.

Together with his wife, who is an area manager for Greggs, he has a number of buy-to-let properties in Pembrokeshire and had planned to rent out the house once it was finished.

He added: ‘When we went to see the development initially, we looked round the show home.

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‘It looked like a nice spot, with views onto Pembroke Castle, so we put a deposit down in February 2018.’ 

‘As well as the poor brickwork, we have found paving slabs have been laid straight onto rubble and earth, without any cement.

‘The ground isn’t level in the garden, the drain covers are sticking out of the ground, and the drains are positioned in the wrong place so the water runs straight past them.

‘While I was there, I saw a worker laying some slabs and I could see he was doing it all wrong.

The civil engineer added he broke a toe while mowing the lawn and accidentally kicking the exposed drain cover, pictured

Mr Harris said he could tell from experience that builders were ‘doing it wrong’ and also highlighted issues with pipes and guttering

‘I’m a bricklayer by trade, so it was clear to me there were no footings under the paving.

‘Even the guttering is all wrong, and not just on my property. None of the guttering reaches the end of the houses and water cascades down the sides when it rains.

‘While I was mowing the lawn, I kicked my foot on the raised drain cover and actually broke my toe, causing me to take three weeks off work.’

He added his marriage was even tested by the work due to the stress levels. 

Mr Harris said: ‘It’s caused my wife and I no end of worry and stress. She has been in tears. If my marriage wasn’t so strong this could have finished us.’

Mr Harris highlighted the problems on Facebook and said he was then directed to Persimmon’s social media page. 

He said: ‘After I posted my story, I was contacted by Persimmon who said they would like to address my complaints. 

‘They sent a young guy round – he could only have been 20 years old. He spent half a day taking doors on and off, and making it worse.’

While Persimmon agreed to rectify some of the issues, the problems persisted and Mr Harris started fixing the problems himself. 

He drove the 440-mile round trip between the Midlands and Pembrokeshire throughout the summer, staying on a mattress in the back room of the property.

Persimmon say they are trying to work with Mr Harris to find a ‘satisfactory conclusion’

Mr Harris said he had spent thousands to fix the problems and is taking Persimmon to the small claims court

After spending thousands of his own money to fix the problems, Mr Harris has launched legal action.

He said: ‘I have been on to head office. I have been brave enough to take them on and take them to the small claims court.

‘The rectification work they attempted was not acceptable. I have given them the opportunity to put it right.

‘I have had to put off getting my tenants in, which has resulted in losses of £1,600.

‘We have been forced to get on with the retrospective work ourselves and it has cost us thousands. That’s the only way I could get the house finished and ready for our tenants.’

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes West Wales said: ‘We are aware of Mr Harris’ concerns and we are working to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

‘We have many happy customers across South Wales and we take customer service seriously.’ 

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