The consumer series visits Chesterfield to help a couple living with a wasteland instead of a front drive, and Warrington to help a family left living in a half-built shell.
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Today, I'm going to show you some of the most common building blunders
that I've seen take place over the years.
We feel as if we've been conned.
And I'll be revealing some of the tricks that these con men use
to get their hands on your hard-earned cash.
He would tell Michael sob stories. He never told me sob stories.
My team of experts will put right the damage
and give the people their homes back.
Oh, it's lovely.
I'll give you loads of advice and tons of tips
to prevent you from falling into the cowboy trap.
Today, we'll be meeting two families
who've been double-crossed by dodgy builders.
In Chesterfield, the Cravens planned to upgrade their family home.
They wanted new windows, a conservatory
and to complete the makeover,
a posh new patio with extra parking for all their kids' cars.
One thing that really bugged us was the lack of parking,
which for a family of up to eight people, when the kids are here,
can be a bit of a tricky thing.
A meeting with a bolshy builder who reckoned he could do the lot
turned out to be their worst nightmare.
He's been challenged but he just comes up with the same sob stories
and every time you ring him, some catastrophe has befallen him
to stop him doing this.
And in Warrington, we'll meet the Wrights,
who, having outgrown their bungalow, wanted a new extension.
I was really excited
because it's just going to make the house so much bigger
because things were becoming very cramped.
We were falling over toys and things,
so I was really excited about it.
But their dream was dashed by the cowboy they drip-fed with cash
until their savings ran out.
I feel disappointed because I trusted him.
I totally trusted him.
And anger. A lot of anger.
Because I just feel like our family are suffering
and he's living a champagne lifestyle.
First up, we're in Chesterfield.
It's known for its crooked spire church
but the Cravens were hoping more conventional building work
would solve their problem.
What comes with grown-up families are vehicles
and they needed more off-road parking.
What they didn't bargain for, however,
was a full headlong drive into disaster.
Pat and Mike Craven's six grown-up children
own a lot of cars between them,
so extra parking was on their mind.
But top of their wish list was the new windows and doors
to update their '30s-style exterior.
Then one day, Mike met a man who said he could help.
Mike owns a safety clothing store
and this customer had a rather unusual request.
I first met the builder purely by chance
because he called into our trade shop
on the hunt for some size 14 safety shoes.
A very personable guy, very interesting to talk to,
and we got chatting about various things
and jobs we were thinking of having done at home.
And in particular, we were in the throes then
of having some quotes done for double glazing.
So he mentioned that their company provided double glazing,
would we give him the opportunity to quote, which we did.
Having made a good impression on Mike,
the builder came back with an enticing estimate
and soon had the Cravens talking about other improvements on their wish list.
I quite liked the guy. He was easy to talk to.
He certainly came across as quite confident.
In the conversation in our lounge while we were talking about windows,
we mentioned to him that we'd dearly love to have the front lawn turned into a drive and parking area.
We'd been told we'd never get permission for a drive on the front.
He said, "Oh, I can get that. No problem.
"I'll get that through the council. I'll get planning permission."
And that's how it all started.
This guy had managed to get his size 14s well inside the Cravens' house
and convinced them he could make all their dreams come true -
new windows, parking and posh patio.
And the list just kept on growing.
Then he came back to us and said, "You were talking about having a conservatory.
"Shall we put that on the planning?
"Even if you don't build it now, you'll have the permission."
So we said OK.
And then he kind of talked Michael into having one.
Clearly a guy with the gift of the gab.
Pat and Mike decided that this was the man for the job.
But as work commenced on the patio and driveway,
it soon became apparent that this too-good-to-be-true builder
was exactly that.
What we started to get from him was stalling tactics.
He would always have an excuse or a reason why a job hadn't been finished.
Mostly it was because his builders had let him down.
I started to smell a rat because the excuses were getting more and more exaggerated.
Mike's nose for trouble didn't let him down
but the cowboy builder did.
Two years after the job started, nothing is finished.
The Cravens have been left with bodged windows, missing doors,
a patchy patio and the conservatory isn't even started.
We're still waiting for him to come and finish things off around the windows.
The drive looks like a wreck.
The paved area, it's just horrendous.
And it's just living in this... the mess.
And I can't stand living in mess.
Follow my top tip.
Always make sure your builder completes work in stages
and make sure you're 100% happy about the work completed
before the builder starts the next stage.
Learning this tip has cost the Cravens dearly -
lots of jobs started and none done.
And even worse, they've also been left with a huge hole
in their bank balance.
The total sum that we've paid out in hard cash is £18,500.
For £18,500, the Cravens hoped to have a home which would be the neighbours' envy.
A posh patio and parking, smart new windows
and a classic conservatory.
But now they're ashamed. Their home is an eyesore.
We've got the good guys standing by to smarten up the Cravens' castle
but first, I want to take a look at the damage for myself.
-Hello! I presume you're Pat.
-I am, yes.
-I'm Clive Holland from Cowboy Trap.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-I hear you've had problems with cowboy builders.
-Just a little!
'I got a glimpse of the bodged windows from outside
'but Mike says they're even worse inside.'
The problems here are pretty obvious to see. Finish.
Lack of finish.
The fit's not good. There's slight draughts from each of the windows.
But the lack of finish around the surround
where they've took the old windows out and put these in is diabolical.
Yeah. You can see that.
I wouldn't want to look at this mess for nigh on two years
but the upstairs windows aren't just ugly, they're dangerous.
The main concern with this window, apart from its poor fit and gaps,
-is the fact that there are no stays on the openers.
We had an incident a few weeks ago where my wife was stood here,
shouting down to a nephew who'd just come, he's a five-year-old,
and she was leaning out and you can go out quite a way with this window.
Shouting down to him and he shouted back,
"Auntie Pat! Auntie Pat! You could jump out of there."
-Well and you could.
-You could, I think.
That's the thing, definitely.
The catalogue of crazy glazing doesn't stop there.
The window in the bathroom should be glazed with toughened safety glass
but this is just standard glass.
A slip in the bath could prove deathly.
-A slippy surface...
-..falling against that glass could be lethal.
And it's not just the windows that are a worry. The door is a disaster.
Again, Mike, the problems are for all to see there.
Where he's disturbed the old plaster, the existing plaster,
that looks close to dropping off at some time.
Virtually. There's a whole panel there that needs replacing
and then making good.
-I bet you could push that in.
-You can feel quite a draught through there.
-I bet you can.
The windows and doors don't measure up
and the patio stops short, too.
-Now this is the patio that they've left you with.
The whole area should be completed, right down to the wall there,
right down here
and the path up the side of that house there should be paved.
-OK. And it's not.
This job is far from providing the kerb appeal the Cravens craved.
The driveway is down but the fence is far from finished
and the patio is very poor.
So, Pat, you're sitting in your property
and you're looking at that drive, what is the feeling?
To look out at it, it's embarrassing for starters, you know.
Everybody knows it because it's got this mess in front of it.
What is important to me at this stage, I have to say,
-is to give you that reason to smile again.
Poor Pat is embarrassed by her environmental eyesore.
But we're getting the good guys in to put right the patio
and make her visitors' walk up as wonderful as she dreamed.
'Coming up, an independent inspector tells us just how bad
'this bodged job really is.'
If this was my property and they were doing this work,
I wouldn't have paid them a penny.
We're also in Warrington, with Sharon and Jimmy Wright
and their football-mad son Nathan.
The Wrights have outgrown their bungalow
but they love living here and don't want to move,
so they planned a new extension
with an extra bedroom with luxury en suite
and swish new extended kitchen.
It's a nice bungalow for just a couple
but when you get a family, it really closes in upon you.
It was really getting me down,
to be falling over toys and to feel so cramped in it.
So it was really exciting to have an extra room
and a bigger space in the kitchen.
It was going to be our dream, basically.
But everything went wrong for the Wrights
when it came to choosing their builder.
He was recommended through someone we knew.
His price was mid-range.
We thought, that's good.
Erm... So it was between him and another guy we were looking at,
who were very, very similar in price.
Erm... And the other guy couldn't start for six months.
Six months seemed an age away and Sharon couldn't wait,
so she ignored all her friends' advice.
He could start immediately,
so that, again, kind of swayed us.
We ignored people's advice on if people can start straight away,
don't go for it.
We got rather excited, thinking, "Wow, he can start straight away.
"This is fantastic."
Follow my tips and stay out of trouble.
Listen to advice and be wary.
If your chosen builder can start right away,
alarm bells should be ringing.
Expect to book your builder well in advance.
Remember, a good builder is a busy builder.
Sharon's builder was so anxious to get started,
he decided to skip the paperwork.
All the other builders, when they'd come out,
had itemised everything.
So I said, "Are you going to put it in writing?"
Erm... And he said he would do but he would rather start the job.
Then came the cowboy con.
He asked us for some money
and I kind of said, "Well, are we not doing stage payments?"
Because that's what we'd agreed with all the other builders.
Because we'd rushed to get him started,
we hadn't kind of agreed any stage payments.
And he said that because he was only a little builder,
he wasn't one of the big builders,
he didn't actually have big accounts with people,
so he couldn't actually afford to put thousands of pounds up front
and if we could kind of drip-feed him.
We did, a number of times, drip-feed him a few payments -
well, quite a lot of money, to be honest, when you look back,
but you don't realise, when it's £1,000 here and £1,000 there that he's asking for.
The Wrights' drip-feeding became a flow and then a flood,
even though the builder's work was drying up.
In total the Wrights drip-fed their thirsty builder £59,000
and he still didn't finish the job.
I need to find out exactly what went wrong,
so I'm going to check the evidence for myself.
-Are you Sharon?
-I'm Clive from Cowboy Trap. How are you?
-Fine, thank you.
-Now, we've got problems with builders.
-Could you show me the destruction?
-Yeah, come through.
'Just how difficult can it be
'to add one bed, one bath and kitchen to a modern bungalow?
'I'm about to find out.'
Really quite messy still. Things to finish off in here.
So what were the intentions for here?
It's just a breakfast room.
We're going to knock through there and have our table and chairs here.
-Great. So kitchen...?
-Is on the other side.
So you're going to have this as a breakfast kitchen,
-an extension of...?
So again, still lots to do.
There's so much still to do,
considering how much of their savings Sharon has shelled out.
And shell is just what she's been left with.
What sort of disturbs me as I look down there
is not just the fact that you've got no insulation
but you've actually got some hardcore, rubble
and it's cement, as well.
They've just thrown anything down there.
-It looks to me like it's above the damp course.
So it's above the DPC line,
so that's something again, for future, I'd be concerned about.
-But again, just not finished at all, is it?
-Everything's half finished.
-Or in some cases, looking at it, just a quarter finished.
It's just not there at all.
This builder has covered up to fool Sharon into thinking the job is close to completion
but sadly, it's a sham.
We've got some plasterwork that's been started
but the electrics hadn't been done.
So we've paid for the electrician to come in and put these electrics in.
-He's had to go into the plasterboards.
-So they plasterboarded up before putting any of the cables in?
-What are all the carcases for?
-That's the carcases for our kitchen.
We had that delivered in November 2007.
But the rest of the kitchen, the builder took delivery of.
We could only fit the carcases, because we had them in the front bedroom, into the house,
so he took delivery of the rest of the kitchen
in his lock-up.
-Has he still got them, to your knowledge?
-I think so.
We have asked him for them and the solicitor's asked for them
but we've had no response.
'This job has a bad smell about it.
'No, really! It does!'
-This is due to be...?
-An en suite.
-So this is your en suite?
-It stinks in here. I'm going to be honest.
That is... That is an open drain,
an open soil stack.
That's not healthy, either.
-You've got a child with you, too.
And it's not good for anybody.
Sharon's extension shouldn't be left like this any longer.
We can't do everything
but we should certainly get this en-suite stink sorted.
Is there anything that we can do that would make you smile?
Give you that opportunity to be able to move on?
I'm out of savings now, so any job.
OK. How important would it be if we could do that en suite for you?
-That would be great. Fantastic.
-Is that a deal, then? Should we do that?
You know, Sharon and Jimmy have lived in this mess for way too long
and it's cost them an absolute fortune.
And of course, their good nature has been taken advantage of
by this cowboy builder.
But they've put their hands up and said they've made mistakes, too,
but it's time for me to get the good guys in to show them what good guys can really do.
It's time to bring in the team to install Sharon's luxury en suite.
I hope we can right the wrongs and restore her faith.
Coming up, I discover Sharon's cowboy con man has form.
He's done this not once, not twice, but three times to ladies.
There wasn't one room he hadn't touched.
Back in Chesterfield,
the Cravens dreamed of updating their 1930s detached home,
with extra parking, a posh patio, classic conservatory
and new doors and windows.
Mike thought he'd hit the jackpot
when a customer in his safety-clothing shop said he could do the lot.
But it soon became clear
the Cravens' lucky number wasn't 18,500.
The work slowed down.
Some days only one builder would turn up,
some days no builders would turn up.
We obviously challenged him about this each time
and he was very good at excuses
and there was always some particular reason,
either the weather or one of his workmen was ill
or something had happened that had let him down,
which obviously then let us down.
The Cravens don't have much to show for their investment.
The new windows are woeful,
the patio appalling
and don't even ask to see the conservatory.
It was never built.
It's been one excuse after another.
Each excuse gets a little bit more fantastic than the previous one
and just that little bit more unbelievable.
And he wouldn't speak to me because Michael's not as aggressive as I am.
I lose my temper.
Michael's very mild and says, "Oh, let me sort it."
I tend to be a little bit more generous
in giving people a bit more time and a bit more faith in people
than my wife does.
She kind of lost patience very early on
and, quite rightly,
started to challenge the delays and the excuses.
But the cost here isn't just financial.
It's emotional, too.
The cowboy con job has crushed a once happy family.
The main impact on our life is the strain between myself and my wife.
The relationship there has been fraught.
Because he was coming in to see me and giving me sob stories,
I kind of defended him a little bit.
That, clearly, has backfired and it's created quite a strain.
I have said to him, "But you did it.
"You've got this guy round and went ahead with it."
And I do feel... I feel impotent
that I can't make this man do what he's supposed to do.
You know, we gave him this money in good faith
to please do this for us.
And he didn't and it's so...
I'm so angry about it, really.
Pat's brother Lee has seen the heartache
this cowboy has caused his sister and brother-in-law.
She'd break down in tears.
We'd say, "Is everything all right?" and she'd seem pretty choked.
Mike, you'd speak to him about it
and it was as though he was holding back.
Here's a tip.
Don't let a builder wreck your home and your relationship.
You have so much more strength when you stand together.
Talk to each other, agree a plan of action and stick to it.
'There's been too much heartache for Pat and Mike.
'I think our good guys can achieve so much more here
'than simply laying a patio.
'But before they get to work,
'I want independent building inspector Barry Hodgson
'to give me his expert verdict on the jobs that have been done.'
-I've had a good look round and there are all sorts of problems.
All this mortar pointing, you can hear it's loose.
It's hollow. That'll be away soon.
One thing that particularly concerns me is the crack
that goes between ground floor and first floor window.
When you see cracks like that, there's a similar crack on the other side, it does make you wonder.
You can imagine that whole slab falling off.
It could certainly pull away and need structural repair.
There are parts of the paving area that we're going to sort out
but what did you make of these steps?
Unfortunately, the top riser's too small
-and the rest of the risers are unequal.
So it's dangerous.
Anybody visiting the house, they're going down the stairs,
they quite easily could fall because of the irregular heights.
It's incredible when you think,
"How would they leave that job and think that was right?"
The most annoying thing about this type of thing
-is that it would have been just as easy to have done it right.
If this was my property and they were doing this work,
I wouldn't have paid them a penny.
Could you give us a mark out of ten for the work that the builders have carried out?
To be quite honest, with the level of work,
the danger that's been created,
the possibility of problems, structural problems
and future maintenance, I wouldn't give them a mark.
-So for you, it would be a big fat zero?
Zero out of ten. That says it all.
It's time to bring in the good guys and see how it should be done.
We plan to lift and relay the paving to complete the patio and pathway.
Our thorough preparation will ensure the job not only looks good,
but is laid to last.
While we're at it, we'll complete the missing fencing, too.
Pat and Mike can rest assured our boys will be scoring ten out of ten.
While they get on with the job, I want to track back
and find out how this cowboy caused so much grief.
In terms of how much you paid him,
did you pay him stages or did you give him money up front?
We paid him the full amount for the drive up front.
-We paid him £6,000.
Next question. Why?
Because we were gullible, I guess.
He'd kind of come with a dream that we never thought we'd ever realise
and it seemed too good to be true.
The price did seem reasonable.
Everything about it seemed plausible.
He gave us the reasons that he needed the money up front.
It would be for the hire of plant and equipment and skips.
Nine times out of ten, a good bona fide builder will have accounts
with builders' merchants, hire companies...
We found out afterwards that the skip place up the road,
he owed them megabucks.
So here's a hard-won tip.
Always be wary of a builder who asks for payment up front.
Good builders have accounts
which they don't have to settle for at least 30 days,
so you shouldn't be handing over any money.
I wonder what Mike would like to say to his builder now.
If you could pick out three questions or thereabouts to ask him,
what would they be?
Where are the missing fence panels?
What's happened to the patio doors that we've paid for?
And when is he going to fix all the mistakes with the double glazing?
I'm going to give you that opportunity, Mike, to give him a call.
If he answers the phone, put those questions nice and succinct.
RINGING TONE Here we go. It's ringing.
'Amazingly, the builder has picked up,
'so perhaps now, Mike can finally get some answers.'
I've been trying to get you for quite a while now with regard to all the unfinished work.
Can you give me some idea of where we stand?
'The builder says that as the company has gone into receivership,
'there is nothing he can do to help with the mountain of mess
'the Cravens have been left with.'
So you're saying we're going to get nothing and no work finished?
'I've heard enough excuses.
'I think Mike deserves an apology at the very least.'
Was all the work you carried out satisfactory? Do you believe it was quality work?
'He says he hired qualified builders to do the work,
'so it's not his responsibility.
'But, surprise, surprise, finally, he does come up with that apology.'
Was that an apology you just give us?
I've got to say, in all the time I've been doing this job,
right, and the thousands of cowboy builders that I've come across,
not one of them have given an apology.
But at the end of the day, you've left them living in Stressville
because of all of the hassle that they've had
through you undertaking the work at their property.
And that, you cannot put a price on, I'm afraid.
'Coming up, I'm hoping Pat and Mike will be thrilled
'when they finally see what the good guys can do.'
Meanwhile, back in Warrington and the Wright family's bodged bungalow.
They drip-fed their builder cash
to add a one bedroom luxury en suite and swish new kitchen.
They were left with an incomplete shell
after shelling out £59,000,
including six grand for kitchen units he's holding in his lock-up.
My little boy's desperate for his bedroom to be done.
He wants sleep-overs.
He's got to the age where he wants all of his friends round.
Sharon and Jimmy are nice, genuine people
and they expected their builder to be the same.
So they handed over their hard-earned cash, hoping for the best,
but what they ended up with was the very, very worst.
'I feel sorry for Sharon.
'She can't see any easy way out of this mess
'and there's so much still to do.
'Our good guys are waiting to get stuck in
'but first, I want independent building inspector Colin Harrop
'to give his verdict on the work.'
Now, you've had a chance to look around.
What have you seen that particularly gets up your nose, if you like?
It looks like they've made a start on things.
They've put some things together
and then work's pretty much ground to a halt.
Then they've come along and done a load of work
to let the person in the house know that something's happening.
So someone's come along with a paint brush and painted things
before the windows are in and it's wind and water tight.
It's the kind of thing has just been done to fob off the homeowner.
The other thing is that nowadays, when it comes to building houses,
there is a big push for houses to be energy efficient.
This house hasn't been insulated yet and it just cannot happen now,
that a house is extended without appropriate thought to insulation
and how it's going to be heated
so that it won't cost the homeowner an arm and a leg to do so.
Now, I have to say one thing. I'm sure you've noticed this.
-If this was Smell-o-Vision you could...
-There's a certain aroma,
which is not one that you'd choose for an air freshener, you're right.
And you're standing right next to it, I'm afraid.
-An open stack, there.
-It is an open stack.
Not very hygienic, not very clever.
The sort of thing that you would find halfway through a building job.
During mid-project, you have to open these things.
Certainly not something you'd leave open, though,
for humans to wander around or animals or anything,
because it does create a bit of a pong.
-And children. We've got children here.
What, in real terms, would you give the builder
in terms of a mark out of ten for the work that he's carried out?
I would give it a four out of ten.
For the homeowner, the problem is that it's nowhere near finished,
therefore I'm sure they would mark it a zero
because they haven't got what they paid for.
My own thought is that it would be a four out of ten mark.
Four out of ten.
I can understand where Colin's coming from because some things were done OK.
But when you consider the amount of money that he took from Sharon and Jimmy,
I've got to say, that's more than generous.
It's more than I would have given him.
I've seen enough. It's time to get the good guys in.
We're going to make sure the Wrights get their state-of-the-art en suite.
We're going to sort out the plumbing, panel the walls
and install the luxury steam shower cabin.
Hopefully, we'll bring the family some well-deserved happiness.
While they get to work, I want to track back
and find out how Sharon was conned
into drip-feeding her cowboy so much cash.
So how much did you give him?
Er, I think the first payment was £7,000.
Cheque? Banker's draft?
But thing is, I didn't like to give him the cash
and I did question this.
And I said to him, "Do we get any receipts?"
And he said he didn't have a receipt book, so I created my own.
Good. I'm glad you created your own receipt book.
-You both signed it?
-Yes. And dated it.
And I wrote down what it was for.
So the final payment made what? What was the total?
It was £53,000.
-£53,000, all cash pound notes?
-Think what you could do with 53,000 cash pound notes.
-Plus 6,000 for the kitchen, as well.
-That he still holds.
-That he still holds.
-At this stage.
We're £53,000 lighter.
Take me through the emotion of what it's like.
It's a mixture of emotions. It's anger.
It's frustration, as well.
But also added to that
was the fact that my mum was very poorly at the time
and she'd been told that she didn't have very long to live.
So I was having to deal with that as well.
It was very, very stressful when my mum actually died
because of the fact that my mum planned the kitchen with me
and I did want her to see it.
Even up to two days before she died,
she kept saying to me, "How's your kitchen going along?"
I'd say, "Fine, Mum, fine."
And I just said to Jimmy when my mum died, "Knock it down, I never want to see it.
"I'm not going in there."
-That's how much it got to you?
So what would Sharon like to say to her work-shy builder now?
If you had the opportunity to speak to him on the phone,
what would you like to say to him?
-I'd like to ask for our kitchen back.
And I'd like to ask him why he didn't return to finish the job.
And what's he done with the money that we've given him?
But will he answer?
'The person you're calling is unable to take your call.
'Please leave your message after the tone.'
It's Clive Holland here from Cowboy Trap on the BBC.
Erm, I've got a few questions I'd like to talk to you about,
from Sharon and Jimmy's extension that you did for them.
It's really important that you call us back on the number I've called you on.
Loads of questions, not enough answers.
So it's your right of reply. We're giving you this opportunity.
If you'd give us a call back as soon as possible, I'd really appreciate it
and I'm sure Sharon and Jimmy would, too. Thanks a lot.
I reckon he was looking at the phone going, "Don't recognise that number,"
-I think he lets it go to answerphone
-and then decides if he wants to return the calls.
It's no surprise the builder isn't answering
because, can you believe it, it's not just the Wrights he's been treating wrong.
This guy is a serial offender
and Sharon has found two more of his victims.
I'm shocked by what I'm hearing.
I hated going home, wondering whether he'd be there.
If I was out, I nipped out, going home,
whether he'd be there doing anything
and that would bring on an emotion because I didn't want to see him.
Or if he wasn't there, I'd think, "Why isn't he at my house, finishing my work off?"
I asked him. I said, "Have you still got the money I gave you?"
And he said, "Yes, I have
"and you can take me to court, you will not get it back."
You know who you are and now we know who you are
and by revealing your tricks,
we're preventing others from falling into the cowboy trap.
This cowboy really should be run out of town.
Coming up, there's a special surprise for football-mad Nathan.
You're absolutely star-struck, aren't you?
'And an even bigger surprise for his mum, Sharon.'
Back in Chesterfield,
our boys are putting the final touches to the Cravens' new patio area.
This couple have been through the mill
because of a dodgy dealer who promised them new windows, patio
but ended up giving them not much more than a whole load of stress.
He seems to have no conscience about leaving us in the lurch,
leaving the house in the state that it's in, unfinished work,
poor quality work.
All of this has been done and he doesn't take it on board,
the importance and the impact that's had on us.
So, yeah, I feel gullible and a bit stupid and naive
in the way that we've handled this
but also that we've been taken for a ride.
But this cowboy didn't just cause the Cravens financial problems.
Emotionally, the whole situation put a huge strain on their relationship.
You've already said about Mike being this sort of laid-back guy,
which I appreciate 100%,
and there's this fiery devil going off on one.
What is the relationship like?
What is the emotion like at that stage?
Michael's very calm and I'm not.
-You've had earache, haven't you?
Well, I'm embarrassed by it. I can't stand it.
And I'm angry that we're in this situation
because somebody has duped us and I don't like being duped.
I don't like lies from anybody.
His attitude, as well.
He's just so rude about it or he comes up with another excuse
as to why it didn't happen.
What I want to do is to make sure
that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel,
draw the line, take him out of your system.
-Otherwise, it will poison you forever.
And is that any good? He's still having an effect on you as a person.
His time will come, his time will come.
-Well, we hope so.
-Yeah. His time will come.
-What goes around... You've heard the saying.
Make sure that you draw that line.
And that will be an agreement between you and I at the end of it, OK?
-It's good to get it off our chests, isn't it?
-And I would imagine that it's something that's been bugging you for a long time.
'So the Cravens have learnt an expensive lesson
'and will never again be seduced by the charms of a silver-tongued builder
'who promises the earth and leaves you in the dirt.
'So here's a tip.
'Keep your relationship with your builder business-like.
'He's there to work and get your job done.
'Keep a careful eye on his progress
'and make sure you get exactly what you paid for.
'Now our good guys are putting the finishing touches
'to Pat and Mike's posh new patio.'
So it's time to show them just what the good guys are capable of
and bring a little light back into the family's lives.
Before we go take a look, I just want you to remind me
what it looked like on that patio at the front.
-Pebbles and just...
OK. What are you hoping for?
-A pretty patio.
-A finished patio would be good.
-That would be very nice.
-So are you ready to have a look?
-Yes, we are.
-Follow me. Let's go.
OK, guys, come and take a look.
-Look at that! Wow! A finished patio.
-Does that look good? Doesn't it look good?
-It looks very good.
-I can't believe it.
This is what the good guys are capable of doing.
Our good guys have done a great job.
We've taken up the badly-laid paving, levelled the land
and relaid the slabs.
The front of the Cravens' home now has the welcoming look they dreamed of
and Pat can be proud when her guests come calling.
We've completed the paving around the side,
creating a classy look.
And we've gone further, fixing the missing fence panels,
which is just the finish you expect when you hire the professionals.
-We can invite friends round again.
-They can walk up without breaking their necks.
The threshold of your property is the first thing you see, really,
so now that it's really presentable and looks great,
-it's something to be proud of.
-It is, it's lovely.
-So is that a result?
-It's certainly a result.
Come here! Come here, you.
'It's good to see the Cravens smiling again.'
Time to do the same for the Wright family back in Warrington.
Our good guys have been hard at work,
trying to put right some of the mess left by a cowboy builder
after the family hired him to build an extension onto their bungalow.
We're installing the state-of-the-art shower
and bringing a luxury look with these special panels.
During this whole period, there was somebody else that was affected, too,
and that was their nine-year-old son, Nathan.
I kind of feel like I'm letting my little boy down all the time.
There's been scaffolding, there's been holes, cement mixers.
I keep saying, "No, you can't play out in the garden with your friends.
"It's too dangerous."
Dealing with the building work swallowed up his parents' time and money
and treats like going to see his beloved Wigan Athletic play
became a thing of the past for Nathan.
Now, that might not be a big thing to you and I
but to a nine-year-old boy, it's huge.
But I have got a secret little trick up my sleeve.
It's a massive surprise and I can't wait to show him what it is.
While we leave the good guys to finish up,
I've arranged a special trip for Nathan,
to meet his heroes at a training session.
You're absolutely star-struck, aren't you?
'It's great to be able to bring a bit of joy
'into this lovely lad's life.'
And back at home, my boys are doing their final tweaks
and I can't wait to show Sharon the kind of work
good guys are capable of.
Do you mind just talking me through what it was like before we arrived?
Erm, it was just a shell, basically.
-So, really, it was just a mess, wasn't it?
-OK. So are you ready to take a look?
-I'm ready. Yes.
-OK. After you.
Oh, it's lovely. It's really nice.
-Is that sweet?
-Yeah. A completed room! Hey!
-A completed room. Wonderful shower and steam room, as well.
-And all the pipe work boxed in as well.
All the cladding in, cupboards up, that sort of thing.
The old dodgy plumbing is a distant memory.
Everything now runs like a dream.
The ugly unfinished walls have been luxuriously transformed
by the gorgeous panels,
giving the room a warm and modern look.
And of course, the jewel in the crown, is that shower unit
that's been fitted.
Look at this.
I'm loving the light in here.
This family will be squeaky clean
with the amount of time they're going to want to spend in their watery wonderland.
-Do you like it, Nathan?
Really nice. I do like that.
-What do you think, Nathan?
-It's got a radio in it.
-It's got a radio in.
-Yeah, it's even got a remote control.
'Sharon finally has her dream luxury en suite
'and it looks like things are definitely on the up for the Wrights.'
You've got some great news. Tell us what it is.
We're going to get our kitchen back.
We contacted the storage company
who've basically said, if we can prove ownership of the kitchen we can have it back.
So we have all the receipts and everything now,
so we're just waiting for our solicitor to write a letter
and then they will release the kitchen to us.
That is magic news.
You know, Sharon, Jimmy and Nathan have had it rough
in these last few years.
It's time their luck changed and I hope we've gone some little way
into helping them move on.
Cowboy Trap visits Chesterfield to help a couple living with a wasteland instead of a front drive, and Warrington to help a family left living in a half-built shell.