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Norfolk pensioner left with leaking kitchen roof for seven weeks as builders fail to return

PUBLISHED: 14:54 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:36 02 December 2017

Stephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Stephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A west Norfolk pensioner has been left with a leaking kitchen ceiling for seven weeks after builders ripped back part of his roof, covered it with tarpaulin, and never returned.

Stephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian BurtStephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Stephen Jones, from Wereham, said the company never told him they were not returning to fix the job - something the firm denies.

Norwich firm Ideal Choice Home Improvements, based at Rackheath Industrial Estate, said they had sent Mr Jones two letters telling him the job was not going ahead anymore, letters which he said he never received.

It means since October 9 when builders came to start the £4,000 job to replace the leaking roof, water has been coming through the military veteran’s kitchen ceiling.

“They pulled back the covering on the roof and made the leak worse,” the 65-year-old said. “It has not made things happy here.

Stephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian BurtStephen Jones is in a dispute with builders to repair the roof at his home in Wereham. Picture: Ian Burt

“We have now lost the opportunity of any good weather to get the job done. I was still under contract with them so couldn’t get anyone else to come.”

The cupboards and kitchen walls are now mouldy and the light can not be used.

After the workers left the house on October 9, Mr Jones said the only contact he had from the firm was an answer-machine message on October 25 suggesting they would return.

But the next day, the company cancelled the job and refunded his £1,000 deposit.

The damage to Mr Jones' roof which needed repairing. Photo: Stephen JonesThe damage to Mr Jones' roof which needed repairing. Photo: Stephen Jones

He said he was never told about this and only realised when he looked at his credit card statement this week.

Managing director Kassim Leonard said when the roof covering was pulled back they found rotten wood and more work needed doing. “At that point we couldn’t continue to fulfil the contract,” he said.

Mr Leonard said they told Mr Jones that through letters.

But unaware the company had cancelled the job, Mr Jones paid a solicitor £125 to draft a letter to Ideal Choice Home Improvements on November 24 complaining.

On Google the firm has received a series of one-star reviews for “pushy” sales tactics.

Mr Leonard denied sales staff were pushy and said the bad reviews came from disgruntled ex-employees. He recently took over as managing director and said he was improving the firm.

Ideal Choice Home Improvements is owned by a Thai businesswoman, according to documents at Companies House.

See also: Buying a £500,000 new home in Norfolk village turns into nightmare for one grandfather

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