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Couple hit out at Bovis Homes after new house in Norwich had holes in the wall and ‘bits of the conservatory missing’

PUBLISHED: 08:34 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 June 2017

James and Rachel Hipperson have bought a new homein Cringleford that remains unfinished.

Picture: Nick Butcher

James and Rachel Hipperson have bought a new homein Cringleford that remains unfinished. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Furious homebuyers have expressed their frustration after a developer failed to deliver on the house of their dreams.

Issues at Jimmy Hipperson's new build Bovis Home. These pictures were taken two days before he moved in. Picture: James Hipperson Issues at Jimmy Hipperson's new build Bovis Home. These pictures were taken two days before he moved in. Picture: James Hipperson

They are the latest in a series of complaints from customers of Bovis Homes at its Round House Park and Queen’s Hills developments.

More than a dozen home-buyers have contacted this paper with concerns about their property and the difficult process they had been through including holes in the wall, cracked tiles and parts of their home missing.

Jimmy and Rachel Hipperson claim they found their new home, in Rowan Way, Cringleford, littered with problems despite having waited more than six months to complete the deal.

“We were supposed to move in on December 9 but it has taken until now to move in,” Mr Hipperson, a pharmacist, said.

Issues at Jimmy Hipperson's new build Bovis Home. These pictures were taken two days before he moved in. Picture: James Hipperson Issues at Jimmy Hipperson's new build Bovis Home. These pictures were taken two days before he moved in. Picture: James Hipperson

“We were told they didn’t want to rush it and wanted to get it right. But when we got the keys there were more than 100 snags.

“There were holes in the wall, fittings missing and cracks in the floor. It may have been legally ready for completion but it was not what we were expecting.

“It really has been extremely frustrating - we have had excuse after excuse.”

Jessica McLeod, 33, lecturer in Geophysics at UEA, with her daughter Brianna McLeod and dog Nox, has had problems with her Bovis Homes property. Picture: D Faulkner Jessica McLeod, 33, lecturer in Geophysics at UEA, with her daughter Brianna McLeod and dog Nox, has had problems with her Bovis Homes property. Picture: D Faulkner

MORE: Housebuilder Bovis says it has made ‘clear progress’ in tackling complaints

The couple said they had previously bought a Bovis property and been very happy with the experience.

Bovis said it was working with the couple and had received a 100pc satisfaction score at Round House Park since February.

Mr Hipperson, 29, said: “There are parts where they just haven’t finished it. Bits of the conservatory are missing, the kitchen light is missing and there are windows that have got the locks the wrong way round.

“It is very far from being home. We agreed to move in on the proviso that identified snags were fixed but they haven’t been.”

Since moving in there has also been a problem with drainage which led to sewage leaking around the outside of the house.

Bovis said it worked hard to ensure customers were “entirely happy” with their homes before they moved in.

A Bovis spokesman said: “Our regional team have been working closely with the customer throughout the build process and communicating regularly with him to address any concerns raised.”

MORE: Housebuilder Bovis sets aside £7m for customers after admitting standards fell

The Hippersons are not the only family to experience difficulties.

Jessica and Ben McLeod, along with their four-month-old Brianna and dog Nox, say they were left in “purgatory” after Bovis kept pushing back their completion date.

“Our original completion date should have been October, then it moved to December,” said Mrs McLeod, 33, who moved in on Friday. “I was pregnant and we wanted to be here before our daughter was born. Now I have just a month of maternity leave left to get things sorted.”

On top of the delay to get the keys to their family home, the couple found more than 150 snags including the bathrooms not being waterproofed.

Like the Hippersons, the McLeods discovered the plans they had agreed to had been structurally unstable and so columns between the kitchen and living room had to be extended from 9in to 15in.

Mrs McLeod, a lecturer in geophysics at the University of East Anglia, said: “It is a very lovely area and I am sure we will be happy here eventually. It is just a shame they have hired people that don’t show any pride in their work. Some of it we think we could do a better job of but then it is not for us to do.”

Katy Green, 31, arrived at Round House Park in January with her wife and their two young sons.

She said: “Our tiles have been put in so there is a gap between them and the carpet where you can see concrete. We paid a lot of money to get them put in before we moved in.

“Every time workmen come in, it seems they fix one problem and create another.

“We had to have painting done and they spilt paint on the carpet, so then we had to have the carpet relaid and something else was broken.

“It is not acceptable and it is definitely not what we were expecting.”

Bovis response

A Bovis spokesman said: “As a business we are taking a number of measures to drive improvements in our quality and customer service, and recent feedback to us from Round House Park have been very positive. These improvements include increasing resources and training to support our people in delivering our expected levels of quality and service, putting more customer care operatives on the ground and strengthening our quality assurance processes.

“We apologise to any customer who believes they have not received the traditional high standards of quality and service that they expect and deserve. We understand that when buying a new home, customers want everything to be perfect, and while we do strive for this, our two-year warranty is an obligation we take very seriously and will see us working closely with our customers and contractors to resolve any outstanding issues should they arise.”

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6 comments

  • If they built them correctly the first time round it would probably work out cheaper in the long run and reputation intact. Unfortunately, most managers are too thick or greedy to realise that nowadays.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • it's not just Bovis, I live in the next street to the couple above, But in a Kier home, i've been in 18 months and the catalogue of issues, some Major, is crazy i've had to contended with water leaks destroying hallway ceilings (twice), living room ceiling replacement, landing floor replacement, carpet replacement, sink, bath, hob replacement, kitchen unit replacement (twice), front garden decontamintaed and returfedlandscaped. whole staircase repainted, hall and lounge redecorated, as well as 3 pages of minor issues.

    Report this comment

    Greg Sayer

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • The gist of it is everything has to be built yesterday as everybody is so desperate to live in these places. Can't think why you would want to live on a construction site and Bovis has had plenty of bad publicity about their quality but it doesn't seem to stop people buying. Bigger fools them. Diss man is right - avoid like the plague unless you want to live in a goldfish bowl with paper thin walls on a roundabout of course...

    Report this comment

    rancidiser

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Essentially workers for such big companies are all under the cosh to build stuff as quickly and cheaply as possible. When you do that quality just goes out the slightly askew window. If I had found all that I would have said I would get an independent builder in to fix it all in two or three days and send the bill to Bovis rather than wait 6 months.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Having been involved in housing activities for 30 years I advise canny house buyers to avoid brand new properties. They are normally overpriced by 5 -10% compared to the market price to allow for the developer's profit and the build quality is often poor.Poor skills in most trades and greedy developers just want their turnover and profit . Avoid.

    Report this comment

    Diss man

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • That is awful. I worked in the building trade for many years & six months late on something that should take way under 6 months to take from set out plot to lived in home is a joke. Then add in things like that massive crack that can be seen in the floor below the radiator & I am amazed that Bovis felt happy handing it on. If it were me I would be looking for an independent surveyor & getting letters into Bovis as that crack is potentially far more than just a snag. At the minimum that crack is a red flag that should not be ignored. The surface that can be seen is a thin "Screed" over the main concrete pad of the house & my concern would be, why has that screed cracked? Is it because the main pad of the house has issues? And the only person to answer that is a qualified surveyor.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Monday, June 19, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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