A COUPLE who spent nearly £25k on a conservatory are fed up after being unable to use it for four years following a builder row.
Stephen Stafford, 37, and Jen, 38, spent £22,023.10 to have a conservatory built at their property in Newcastle by home improvement company Pennine.
Jen suffers from motor neurone disease which meant the family took the decision to turn the living room of their home into her bedroom.
The couple, who are parents to Paige, 12, and Cohen, 5, had planned to use the extra space of the conservatory as a new living room.
But Stephen claims they were mis-sold by the local company and have been battling for four years to get the structure fixed.
Stephen, who works as an investigator for Durham Constabulary, told Chronicle Live: "We had no choice but to go for something like this to make sure Jen had somewhere to have as a bedroom, a place she could call her own, as her disease progresses.
"It's absolutely devastating. These last four years have gone from being stressful to being horrendous."
Read More in News
Rishi ‘preparing for PMQs’ asHunt confirms FULL autumn statement in November
Mordaunt storms out of No10 after being snubbed in Rishi’s Cabinet
The dad-of-two said that, before signing up for the build, he explained to Pennine about Jen's condition and highlighted his concerns about the conservatory being too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.
And he claims Pennine gave him a demonstration and reassured him that that wouldn't be the case.
However, after the conservatory was built in May 2018, Stephen said his fears turned into reality with the conservatory far too uncomfortable for Jen.
Stephen claims he complained to Pennine and they offered to fit a solid roof for another £15,000, which they could not afford.
Most read in News
Mordaunt storms out of No10 after being snubbed in Rishi's Cabinet
One of UK's most wanted men held in Spain over links to massive drug gang
Tributes to boy, 15, who collapsed & died in front of family at Browns
‘World’s dirtiest man’ dies just months after taking first shower in 67 YEARS
He claims they then offered him a second option of replacing the glass in the roof with a higher quality glass for another £3,883.
Stephen said: "At that point I felt that we had no other option. We were completely priced out of any prospect of getting a different roof put on.
"We were trapped as Jen couldn't use it. It wasn't suitable so, in the end, we had to try and do something to reduce the heat coming in so we went with it.
"We have seen no change whatsoever, it's made no difference."
Stephen adds that he has had nothing but problems with the work since the conservatory was completed.
He also claims that there have been numerous other issues including builders not turning up on the first day, nine windows being scratched when the conservatory was first built and shoddy workmanship with skirting boards.
Stephen, who is currently visiting Jen in hospital four times a week, said: "We're going through a difficult time as it is. I'm sick of it.
"The last thing I need is continuing to have to phone and email people to resolve issues with a project they provided for a lot of money."
Stephen said one of the reasons they chose Pennine was because they offered a 20-year guarantee – but they are suffering after four years.
He said: "The conservatory is just not suitable for our needs. We relied on them to provide us with something they told us would be fit for purpose.
"The quality of the work they did when they replaced the glass was horrible.
"To go through all of this, for the length of time that we have, it's unforgivable. I honestly don't know how they are still trading.
"They are prioritising new business rather than working with existing customers and it shouldn't be allowed to happen."
He said that he has spoken to four different managers, three of which have told him they would sort out the issues but have then left the company, leaving him to explain everything again to the next manager.
Stephen was sent an email from one of the previous managers which said that Pennine would install a heater/cooler system as a goodwill gesture.
But he claims he is now being told by the company that that offer doesn't apply anymore.
The dad-of-two is expecting workers to return to fix the remaining issues today although nothing has been agreed regarding the heater/cooler system.
I absolutely hate the build. We were promised a dream and left with a nightmare."
Jen worked as a laboratory analyst before being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in September 2017 and is now bed-bound.
The mum-of-two said: "I absolutely hate the build. We were promised a dream and left with a nightmare.
"The way we have been treated by Pennine Home 'Improvements' is disgusting. I've lost count of how many people Stephen has dealt with to get the issues resolved.
"If I could have it demolished and start again I would, and it wouldn’t be with Pennine.
"We have had enough to deal with over these past five years, this should have been something to look forward to.
"I feel like all the stress of this has increased the speed of the disease. I am completely bedbound now."
But the company hit back against the claims from the couple.
A Pennine spokesperson said: "Mr Stafford has had market-leading glass installed in their conservatory that reflects 83% of solar heat.
"This means that the conservatory would be cooler in the day time; however, 27% of that heat still enters the conservatory.
"At night time, the glass would reflect heat produced internally from a heat source like a wood burner making the conservatory warmer in winter months.
"However, at the height of summer, as temperatures can reach extreme heights, it should be noted that the conservatory still has normal glass surrounding the frame which will allow in solar heat and the conservatory will still require ventilating as any normal room would.
"As Mr Stafford remains unhappy with the product (although there are no failings with the product), and in appreciation of his personal circumstances, we have offered Mr Stafford £1,000 towards the cost of a heater or cooler system in which we will deduct from the remaining balance from his account that is outstanding from the installation of the new glass. This offer has been rejected.
"Pennine has experienced many challenges that have delayed us in attending to Mr Stafford’s reported issues with other parts of the product, in which we have apologised for and thanked him for his continued patience whilst we organised the repairs under the 20-year guarantee.
"Pennine’s reputation is built on delivering the best possible products and customer service, and we have been working hard behind the scenes to minimise any disruption to the service we deliver."
Read More on The Sun
Joey Essex breaks silence after kissing Maura Higgins & leaving bash together
I have big boobs – my genius hack will stop your button-downs from gaping
Pennine added that they were still experiencing effects from Covid which caused unforeseen challenges that affected their service.
The statement continued: "Nevertheless, we can be confident now that these have been overcome and customers have seen a marked improvement in the service they receive from us – Mr Stafford included."
Source: Read Full Article