Cowboy Trap visits Newcastle to meet a couple whose new shower room and toilet for their foster children were left unfinished by builders.
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Cowboy builders are ruining people's lives across the country.
Shoddy workmanship, missed deadlines and what can only be described as daylight robbery.
Every time she talks about it it gets to her
because it was money I'd saved for me daughter getting married.
And it seems to me that they just keep getting away with it.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, as all the bolts were shooting out of the wall.
Our team of experts are on hand to right the wrongs and offer
a glimmer of hope to those that have been tricked by these conmen.
I can't believe it, can you?
With my top tips and insider advice, it's my mission
to help prevent you from falling into the cowboy trap.
Today, we'll be visiting the small village of Lumsden in Aberdeenshire,
where retired couple Beverley and Gordon Cameron
had high hopes for some contemporary canopies.
I'd hoped for two canopies,
one to go on the side of the house
so I could work on the car if I wanted to in the bad weather,
and the other one at the rear of the house
just to give us a bit more shelter at the back.
But the Cameron's retirement dreams fell apart
when they hired a bodging builder.
It was lovely when it was done.
But it was a terrible shock when it collapsed.
It was just unbelievable.
And later, we're in Newcastle, where Carole and George Young planned
a kitchen and bathroom extension
to help them meet the demands of being foster parents.
We thought an extension or an extra toilet on the back
would be ideal for us, especially if we had younger children
who are in and out all the time.
But they ended up with a cowboy who didn't give a hoot about this caring couple.
We had a big hole there.
And, I mean, it was cold.
You had no windows in. And no insulation.
And just thinking, "Well, you know, what do we do?"
First up, we're in the idyllic village
of Lumsden, in Aberdeenshire, where a couple's dreams
of a peaceful, carefree retirement, were left shattered by a cowboy builder
who took their money and left them with a canopy calamity.
Beverley and Gordon Cameron have lived in the same home
for the past 30 years. They love it.
And once their three children had grown up, they decided to carry out
some improvements to enjoy their retirement to the full.
Gordon's always fancied canopies at the side of
the house, in particular to put the car under when he's working.
I particularly wanted one at the back of the house
because I thought it would be nice, you know,
stepping straight out of the French windows under cover
and having somewhere to sit in the summertime.
The Camerons were keen to get their undercover haven underway
and began to search for the right man for the job.
We found there was a company, a large company,
down in Lancashire that did these particular canopies,
so we got in touch with those and then they put us in touch
with their local dealer who lived nearer to us.
This gentleman who we'd been referred to came to see us
and we told him what we wanted.
He inspected the walls and everything. Took all the information.
Because we live up in Scotland,
we queried about the weather because we do get more snow and,
"No, no, no bother at all," he said,
"I've installed canopies in far colder, worse places than this."
So we just thought this would be really nice to have,
so delved into, you know... You've saved your money, so let's go for it.
The Camerons were disappointed the canopy company
couldn't fit as far north as Aberdeenshire.
So they hired a local builder to fit them
and in no time at all, the smart new canopies were up.
Three months later, they fell down,
narrowly missing one of us.
And luckily, my son had gone to work
otherwise his car would have been smashed by the other one.
The builder should count himself lucky no-one was seriously hurt.
He did come back to fix the collapsed canopy and repair the wall,
but the Camerons were very unhappy with the repairs carried out.
When we looked at the rear wall,
oh, it was disgusting.
To call that repair work.
It wasn't even flush.
He'd made a mess of doing the repair, completely.
The water doesn't drain away at all
because of the way they install the guttering.
We had to pay a deposit of 3, 800 something on the day
that we agreed for the contract to go ahead.
We had to pay the final amount the actual day the job was finished.
The final bill from their retirement savings was...
but two years later, the Camerons are still counting the cost
of the bodged installation which damaged their home and their finances.
That was damaged at the back of there.
The guttering, they've just filled that up with sealant
and also that bracket is fitted incorrectly.
It should be round the other way.
There's a left hand and a right hand and they put the wrong hand up.
The guttering there doesn't drain properly because of the way they fitted it.
That was how they left it when they came back
and reinstalled the canopy after it had collapsed.
Wow. I wouldn't have wanted to be
anywhere near that canopy when it came crashing down.
Things are just as bad round the back.
This is the rear canopy that collapsed with the weight of the snow.
And it pulled the stonework from the corner there,
pulled that out completely.
I managed to put a door underneath it to keep it upright.
It pulled the lintel out and twisted it.
And it also pulled out and moved the other bracket
on to the guttering over there.
After that happened, they came back
and made a patchwork repair of the lintel which was a mess.
I then had to fork out another £1,300 to get
a new lintel fitted and repointed again.
The Camerons' dream has brought nothing but heartache,
but fortunately, this canny couple collected all the evidence
as things went wrong. Here's my top tip.
If you're not happy with the quality of your builder's work,
or faults develop later, it's a good idea to take photographs.
In the case of the Camerons collapsed canopy,
their picture is worth a thousand words.
If you do end up in court, evidence like a photo
showing a canopy collapse under the weight of snow,
can help make your case.
It's time to find out exactly what's happened.
The Camerons' canopies shouldn't have collapsed
with the first fall of snow.
These canopies should be able to withstand that sort of thing.
They know the area you live in as well,
so it should be able to withstand that and it didn't.
Gordon did query at the time about the bolts that he used
and he did ask him, "Why have you only used two bolts
"when the facility's there for three bolts?"
-He said, "We only ever use two."
-and I thought well, he's the expert, not me.
-We only use two.
Why do you think three holes are made into the actual material?
For three bolts.
He came back after the canopies collapsed
and reinstalled the one canopy.
And fitted legs to it which we didn't know he was going to fit.
He fitted two legs to it.
The rear canopy he couldn't install because they'd drilled
into the lintel and it had twisted the lintel block, pulled it out.
He did a repair on it which...
-A kid of six could have done better.
-It was a disgrace.
-There was no money in it for him though.
There was no money in it now.
I watched him and he was picking up stones out of the garden
and putting in to fill in because the wall had been damaged so much.
You've been done over, two lovely people, what does that feel like?
It's a terrible shock. Yeah.
And stressful and angry.
Very angry and frustrated.
What could we do to help?
What you could do to help really is to come and install the canopies
as they should have been done in the first place.
Help us get what we paid all that money for.
I think it's high time we got the good guys in to clear up this mess
and give Beverley and Gordon the retirement they've dreamed of.
The good guys have got plenty to do here to complete this couple's dream.
At the side, the canopy will have to be reinstalled
so that Gordon can work on his car safely undercover
confident the whole thing won't come down on his head.
And we'll remove those unsightly legs.
At the rear, we need to rehang and secure the canopy
which Beverley hoped would shelter her from the elements.
Coming up, the Camerons are in for a bit of a surprise when their
builder answers the phone and makes them an offer they can't refuse.
I'm getting the thumbs up and the nod.
Next, I'm heading to Tyneside, watched over by the angel of the North.
The Youngs live in Newcastle.
They'd hoped their builder was heaven sent, but he took them to hell and back.
Carole and George have lived in this happy home for 34 years.
They raised their three children here and they decided
they could give other kids a home, too, and became foster parents.
To cope with the extra demands, they decided to extend the kitchen
and add a new toilet and shower room downstairs.
We had two children, the twins, Ryan and Rebecca were still at home then.
We had two foster children here.
So you had set times to get into the bathroom upstairs.
What we decided was it would be nice
to have a downstairs toilet and shower room.
In the mornings, you know, we could have two showers going
if needed or a shower and a bath going upstairs.
We want a calm house, kind of thing, you know, because that's
part of fostering, if you've got challenging behaviours
or you've got a child with a problem.
Things have got to be calm in the home, you know?
The Youngs drew up plans to enlarge the kitchen and add a shower room
and separate toilet, so the morning routine for all the children
staying with them would run like clockwork.
Time then to find a builder.
Carole and George are really busy people,
so they needed a builder who could start as soon as possible.
So, they chose someone they thought they could trust.
There's a couple of lads I work with, who I've worked with for some time,
nice lads, and I happened to mention that we'd had our plans passed and we're looking for a builder.
And one of the lads said, "My dad does quite a lot of work, good work.
"He says would you want him to give you a price?"
I says, "Yeah, that'd be fine, yeah."
The first thing the builder did was to try and big up his part
by offering to take on lots of extra jobs,
as well as the brickwork the Youngs had in mind.
At first, I said, "Can you just do the brickwork?"
He says, "I'd rather give you a price for doing the whole extension,
"because I have my own roofers who are excellent.
"I have my own window fitter who's top quality.
"These people are what I class as tried, tested, by me."
And I thought, "If he uses them on all his jobs, we'll just go with that."
Follow my top tips to stay out of trouble.
If you're going to hire a general builder
to take on your entire project,
and pick his own contractors, then go and see their previous work.
That way you can make sure you'll have the best people for your job,
not just the builder's best mates.
The Youngs' builder promised a brick extension,
complete with roof, drainage, French doors and window,
plaster boarded walls and a fully completed shower room.
He made good progress with the brickwork,
but then things slowed right down and the excuses came thick and fast.
He couldn't contact the plasterer, the window making machine
was broken, the fitter wasn't answering. You get the picture.
Half the time we didn't know if he was coming or going.
And it was a case of, "Are you coming today or are you not?"
You know, "Well, I'm rained off today, I'm going to be on this other job."
By this time, I was starting to think hang on here,
I mean, there's people not turning up,
so basically, what we had was a shell with a roof on
and a big empty room with no windows in.
The builder took advantage of this couple and every time they
handed over their hard earned cash, he would disappear.
The Youngs' cowboy went off with over 7,500 grand of their cash,
but left them without windows,
without plastered walls and no shower or toilet.
Obviously, I was upset. I was mad and upset.
But Carole was upset because you had a big hole there.
And I mean, it was cold. You had no windows in and no insulation.
And it's September, and just thinking well, you know, "What do I do?"
The Youngs' builder was hired to help them
keep their house calm so they could give a loving
and secure home to the kids they were fostering.
Instead, he left them in the lurch with a half-built shell and a lot of stress.
But I really need to find out exactly what went wrong.
I am Clive from Cowboy Trap.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-I hear that you've had problems with a cowboy builder.
-Yes. We have.
-Do you mind showing me the damage?
The Youngs have had to spend extra cash
to complete lots of unfinished work their cowboy left behind.
But they're short of funds and there's clearly lots left to do.
This is like the new extension, just from here down to here.
Now, in terms of your wet room, what was going on in here?
This was just a shell, Clive.
There was nothing there. Just the bare breezeblock wall.
-The whole shell was breezeblock.
There was nothing at all finished off inside.
Well, it's certainly unfinished, let's put it like that, at this stage.
It's that he left you in the lurch with no windows, no doors, no border.
And of course, in your wet room. OK.
Well, this is the cloakroom, Clive. The same again here.
This was just left with breezeblock walls.
We've bordered it and had it plastered.
-So you plaster boarded it out?
-Yeah. We had somebody in. Yes.
-Somebody else plaster boarded.
-And put the window in.
Yeah. The window. And the ceiling next door. Window plaster boarded.
This was just like, as I say, concrete.
There's loads still unfinished here.
I want to know what our team of good guys can do to help
and what work the Youngs have had to do since the builder left.
What was left in there?
How was it looking?
You've got walls and a roof on.
No windows. No doors. It was freezing.
And when he left in September, we thought
we'll try and get something sorted by December.
It's cold and so you can imagine that extension,
what we've seen today, Clive, had no windows, no doors, no insulation.
What can we do, all right, to make things a little better?
Just finish the shower room and the toilet.
-That's really all we need.
-Would that make you happy?
Then we can just get on with our lives, can't we?
-That would make you very happy.
-That's good cos that'll please me then.
The Youngs' builder left them with loads of work unfinished,
but we can help give them that final lift
so they can put their troubles behind them.
This wet room has been a total washout.
It's time to put things right.
Let's bring on the good guys.
Our guys have got their work cut out
over the next couple of days to restore Carole and George's faith.
We need to line the walls of the shower ready for tiling.
Tile the walls and floors throughout and complete the plumbing
and drainage for the shower in the wet room.
In the separate toilet, there's more tiling to do
and we'll complete the installation of hand basin and toilet.
Coming up, we'll discover how an independent inspector
rates the tiny amount of work the original builder actually did.
The bricks have been butchered.
Meanwhile, back in Aberdeenshire, Gordon Cameron was looking forward to a happy retirement
tinkering with his car under a brand new car port canopy.
In fact, he and wife Beverley wanted his and hers canopies.
Beverley would have her very own covered sanctuary out the back.
But those dreams were shattered when their bodging builder left them with a canopy catastrophe.
I could hear bang, bang, bang, bang as all the bolts were shooting out of the wall.
And when the builder came back to re-hang the canopies,
things went from bad to worse.
The gable-end canopy had been pushed back up, but very poorly
and it was in an entirely different position to the original place.
It was further forward to the front of the house and lower down.
And it hadn't been finished off properly.
And the drainage pipe, of course, was just hanging at an angle
cos it didn't reach the drain any more.
In total, the Camerons paid their builder £9,000
to supply and fit the two canopies.
Although he did come back and refit them when they fell,
Beverley and Gordon are far from happy with the work.
They worry the canopies are unsafe and may hurt someone.
We've asked the manufacturer to come and inspect the installation
and tell us if they've been fitted correctly.
We've been asked to come out and assess the canopy
and it's fair to say that it wasn't installed
to the best of what I would have thought their ability.
It was physically leaking.
There were areas where the water was coming through.
Purely and simply, it just hadn't been sealed correctly at all.
There was no vertical brackets that had been installed.
There was no gallows brackets installed and that is a paramount
procedure that you have to do when installing a canopy of this sort of projection.
But how is it actually secured together?
Was he using the right bolts, that sort of thing?
I mean, in fairness, he had used the correct raw bolts
to put the beams on the wall, but he fitted them directly to the wall.
And what he'd also done, he'd only applied two raw bolts
per beam which is, again, really going against the grain.
This should be a minimum of three raw bolts in that size of beam.
With the whole thing collapsing, it could have been dangerous.
-They're fibreglass, the corrugation at the top.
But in real terms, falling with snow on it or whatever,
that could have put anybody in danger, even the postie who's coming through.
So, if I could ask you one question,
in terms of the work that was carried out here,
if you were to give it a mark out of ten, what would you give it?
-I'd be pushed to say four and a half.
-Four and a half.
Again, for saying that it'd actually come down, he's doing well.
I think that's quite generous at four and a half.
The guys are going to install the canopy as it should be fitted,
making absolutely sure there's no chance of collapse.
They'll be removing the unsightly support legs that were
never part of the original plan and interrupt the view into the garden.
While the guys get cracking, I want to track back
with the Camerons to find out how their builder managed to ruin their plans
for a relaxing retirement.
So you're happy to hand over the money?
You're standing back going that's exactly what I want. Is that correct?
-But we know that disaster was looming, somewhere along the line.
Did you offer them any further work beyond that?
We did offer them further work, yes,
because the rear canopy was going to have side panels installed.
He said he hadn't got them, but if we gave him a £2,000 deposit,
he would get the side panels and install them.
So, you did.
I gave him a £2,000 deposit.
-OK. For your side panels?
-What did you get for the two grand?
-Nothing. Not a thing.
-Not a thing.
It makes my blood boil to see this couple who had such
happy dreams of their retirement,
handing over their savings and getting nothing in return.
Their son Chris is angry his parents have lost out to their builder.
When it fell down, there was the building repairs to do.
He didn't do them properly.
And then he tried to claim money for repairing the work
that was his fault in the first place.
And he's still got £2,000 for a deposit
for a job he hasn't done or even begun to do.
We want this job done to the manufacturer's exact specifications,
although they don't normally install this far north,
they've come especially to help the Camerons.
Stuart Miller is the operations manager
and he'll be running our job today.
He's going to make sure the full weight of the canopy
is evenly supported so we can remove those unsightly legs.
These posts here were from the original build. Yeah?
-You don't need these any more.
The poles shouldn't be needing to go in,
because what we've done is put vertical brackets on
which are actually taking the load there on the wall.
There's three studs there. The beam is fixed to those studs
and then the gallows bracket will go underneath and that is
supporting the whole structure, so you're doing away with poles.
That's the purpose of having a cantilever system.
I want to know what the Camerons would like to say to their
bodging builder who promised them canopies,
but delivered them a calamity.
Now, if you had an opportunity to speak to him,
what would you like to say?
I know what I'd like to ask, why he's left us in such a mess?
I would like to know if he's going to give me my £2,000 back,
which he's no reason to keep because he hasn't even supplied the goods.
-He just took the money and run.
-Here we go.
'Usually, builders who take money without supplying the goods,
'avoid answering their phone, but this one is about to surprise me.
'Time for some answers.'
Well, can you tell me, why did you leave me in such a mess with these canopies?
And my £2,000 that you've had and for the goods I've never received?
'The builder says he did lots of extra work on the property.
'The Camerons say this was to fix his mistakes.
'I think they deserve their two grand back, at the very least.'
It's Clive from BBC's Cowboy Trap here. I think as a goodwill gesture,
you should be giving them the two grand back.
'So he says he'll agree to this request on one condition.
'Beverley and Gordon must agree the refund puts an end to the matter.'
I'm getting the thumbs up and the nod.
They're telling me that that will be the end of the matter
if we can come up with an agreement to get the two grand back.
'With everyone in agreement to the negotiation, the builder says he'll
'post a cheque first thing in the morning.'
I think that's fantastic news.
Thanks for talking to us. Bye.
Do you think he will?
Well, that's the £2,000 question.
Will he or won't he post the cheque?
Frankly, I've heard it all before, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
Coming up, I can't wait to see the Cameron's reaction
when I show them what the good guys are capable of.
I don't believe it.
Back in Newcastle, Carole and George Young wanted a kitchen extension
with extra shower room and toilet to help them cope
with the demands of being busy foster parents.
But their builder left them with barely a shell.
No windows, no interior walls, no wet room.
Just that dirty feeling you get when you've been had.
The emotional cost has been almost as high as the 7,500 grand they paid out.
I'm an easy-going person.
I mean, Carole's got a lovely nature, but you bite, you snap,
and it's as if, how do I put it, any little thing triggers you off
and it's all down to what's happened here, you know?
Daughter Rebeka hates to see her parents' trusting nature abused.
They were just expecting the job to be done, trusted him,
and it was totally...
They'd didn't know what to do. They were totally shocked.
She was all tears, you know?
And it was getting to the stage where my son's,
"My mum's upset again," but it was.
Being a foster carer, you can't let children
in your care see that you're upset.
You've got to draw the line. It's all right.
-I know. It gets to me. It gets to you.
Every time she talks about it, it gets to her because
it was money I'd saved for me daughter getting married.
We'll get there, but at the end of the day, don't worry.
I know it's easy to say don't worry,
-but she just gets like this when you talk about it, don't you?
The Youngs do so much, giving kids a stable home and some family care,
that I think the least we can do
is show them what the good guys are capable of.
But before we get started, I want independent building surveyor,
Peter Fall, to give me his verdict on their cowboy's job.
-Tell us what you have seen.
You start outside. You've got the roof tiling there.
Roof tiling looks OK except when you look closely at the edges.
And at the eaves at the bottom of the roof.
The tiles should be lifted slightly and it isn't,
otherwise the water can get up behind it.
-He's missed that.
So, he's put the tiles on OK, but he's not done the edges,
-the eaves OK. So that's wrong.
The brickwork, now I understood this builder was a bricklayer,
-the bricks have been butchered.
The mortar pointing bleeds into the bricks.
Instead of cutting into the edge of the bricks
and being a sharp edge joint, it bleeds onto the face of the brickwork.
-There's areas where it's as if he's applied it with a spoon.
Really poor quality pointing.
-The joints between the bricks are varying widths.
Now, a bricklayer should be able to hit the same joint width all the way along.
We've got a very bright yellow-y mortar mix.
There's no attempt to colour the mortar to match the house, the main house itself.
It stands out like a bright, shiny load of white lines
that have been bled all over the bricks.
The wet room is important to them.
-One of the things that I am concerned about is this floor down here.
And we've got a wet room floor which does not appear
to have a waterproof tray underneath it.
OK. In general, what would you give the builder out of ten
for the work that you've actually seen?
-For the work that he did?
-Which is the roof, the walls and the floor structure.
Because that's relatively simple stuff,
-let's mark it down to about four.
-Four out of ten.
Now that's a fail in my book.
It's back to construction college for this builder and must do better.
I can't wait to get the good guys on this job.
There's plenty of graft ahead to transform this shell
into the fully functioning shower room and toilet
they need to help them raise kids
who might not have otherwise have a place to call home.
While they get stuck in, I want to track back with Carole and George
and find out what they did when they were left high and dry by their builder.
We rang on the mobile.
He didn't reply. We rang the house phone.
Didn't reply. Went down to the house.
He didn't reply. So we went down to Newcastle Crown Court
cos we'd never been in this situation and they said there's a litigation department
where you can both meet up and come to some sort of agreement.
So we attended. In actual fact, I took a holiday from work.
-I bet he didn't.
-He didn't go. No.
-No surprise, is that?
And then he didn't turn up for meetings.
He had sent a letter in to say
that he couldn't attend because he was working.
Because he knew he was going to lose. Simple as.
So the judge awarded the money that we had said, only we didn't ask for any more, just what we're due.
So here's my tip to try and reclaim your cash.
First, approach Consumer Direct,
who can give free advice on the right course of action.
They can help you write letters and file papers at court.
But remember, even if you win,
there is no guarantee you'll get any of your money back.
The judge ordered the builder to repay the Youngs £3,520,
but they only received 370 quid,
a fraction of their money before payment stopped.
So what would they like to say to their builder now?
Why he's stopped the payment.
You know, we've never had anything since November last year.
I want to know why.
OK. Well, here's your opportunity.
Can you tell us why you left us in the lurch?
We've never had payments from you since November last year
and you're meant to be paying me monthly.
Thank you. Bye.
'This cowboy won't pick up the phone and he won't cough up the cash either.'
You know who you are, and now we know who you are.
And by revealing the tricks you cowboys use,
we'll help prevent others from falling into your trap.
Coming up, I can't wait to see Carole and George's reaction
when we show them what a great job the good guys can do.
-I like that.
-What do you think?
Thank you very much.
Back in Aberdeenshire, our good guys
are close to completing the installation
of the Cameron's longed for outdoor canopies.
Beverley and Gordon's retirement savings took a big hit
when their builder bodged the job
and the canopies collapsed just months later.
The subsequent repairs left the Camerons exasperated.
It's a terrible thing to happen.
I suppose you never think
it's going to happen to you and you don't realise
how much it affects you until you actually do experience it.
And it was a lot of stress and a lot and lot of work.
Here's a tip.
If you're landed in a dispute with your builder, try and remain calm.
Losing sight of your dream and your cash can be very stressful.
But seek support and advice from friends and family
who you can trust to help.
It's a big thing to have it finished. While it's sitting there
it's a reminder of it not being finished
and how badly it's done, how badly it's affected both of them.
But to have it finished now, I think they can draw a line
under it now and say that's it complete.
Our good guys have almost finished installing the canopies correctly.
And I can't wait to show Beverley and Gordon what the professionals can do.
What are you hoping for with your car canopy, first of all?
It's back in the right place and the spouting is fitted correctly
and there shouldn't be any leaks on it.
-And the rear canopy,
the canopy at the rear, is reinstated again to where it was originally.
And you'll be able to get your car under it.
-Which you couldn't before.
And work without any legs getting in the way.
Exactly. Cos that just didn't look right, did it?
-No. No. No.
-OK. Well, this is always my favourite bit.
I love showing people exactly what the good guys can do, so are you ready?
-All right. Come on, then.
Let's go take a look.
-Here we go.
I don't believe it.
I don't believe it, either.
And look at that. That's perfect fitting up there, isn't it?
It's a great finish, that is.
Our good guys have done a great job.
At the rear, we've positioned the canopy just as Beverley wanted.
It's been safely secured using all the correct bolts
and fittings, with close attention to detail.
Now Beverley can enjoy the fresh air,
sheltered from the harsh excesses of the British weather.
Proper brackets, as it was supposed to have been.
Proper gallows brackets, as well.
-Just an all-round cracking job. I hope you'll agree.
But it just looks really, really beautiful, doesn't it?
I think so. Yes.
It is great and they've done the spouting as well
and the other piece down, round.
-It blends in really well, doesn't it?
Now, we've got more to show you round the side of the house.
Let's go see.
Wow. Look at that.
-It is, isn't it?
-And this is just perfect.
Out front, Gordon has the cover he wanted to work on his car during all seasons.
Once again, it's been correctly installed.
We've removed the unsightly and now unnecessary support legs,
so Gordon has full access just as he'd hoped.
The guttering has been refitted
and the rainwater will flow away as it should.
I'm sure Beverley and Gordon will agree, the canopies complete
-their property just as they hoped they would.
-I can't get over this.
I just cannot get over this.
Cos it was so ugly before with that pipe just hanging.
-And it's up higher, as well.
-Yes. Now that's better, isn't it?
It's much better and again, the strength is in those brackets.
That's how it should have been.
-The posts have disappeared so you haven't got the posts any more.
But the whole thing looks brilliant and I tell you what,
you canopy better than that.
It really is looking the business and I just think
-it fits in with the property fantastic, don't you?
Has that made you happier people?
Well, it has. We feel as though we've got some benefit now
-from the money that we've spent.
We've got now what we thought we were getting two-and-a-half-years ago.
Beverley and Gordon can now finally enjoy their retirement.
These new canopies won't just shelter them,
it'll help put all those bad memories in the shade.
It turns out the Camerons have even more to smile about.
Remember that cheque for two grand the builder said he'd put in the post?
Well, blow me down with a feather.
It arrived. Now that doesn't often happen on Cowboy Trap.
So now let's return to Newcastle where our good guys are putting
the finishing touches to the new shower and wet room.
Foster parents Carole and George Young desperately needed a larger
kitchen and bathroom extension
to help make their home run like clockwork in the mornings.
Our good guys are hard at it transforming
this concrete shell into the shower,
wet room and toilet, the Youngs hoped their builder would complete.
Eric is doing a remarkable job on the tiling.
You must be Eric, the tiler.
-You must be Clive.
-I am, mate.
-Nice to meet you.
-I'm loving the marigolds.
We won't tell your mates.
Forgive me for stating the obvious,
it looks fantastic. What have you been up to?
Well, preparation's been 90% of it,
to create the folds for the wet room.
The tiling is actually a piece of cake cos I do it every day.
Yes. So you're the professional.
-This is what we want.
-Best of the best.
But I've got to say, it's looking ti-licious.
Oh, thanks very much.
While the good guys get on with the finishing touches,
I want to find out how Carole and George felt
when their dream fell apart.
What was it actually like, from a emotional point of view,
during that period?
I was really low,
because we had gone through the building part of it, hadn't we?
Did you feel you had anywhere to turn,
anyone to turn to, apart from George, of course?
Well, no, just my family, you know?
They couldn't do anything about it, you know?
It is an awful thing.
-It's all right.
-It is an awful thing. Yeah. Seriously.
It's over with, am I right?
It is a dreadful... It's important, it's really important,
Carole, at this stage, to know that, for people to understand
that this is the sort of disruption and the hurt
that these guys cause and with your help,
OK, and with you telling us your story, you are helping others.
We went through the right channels since then.
That was it. End of it. We learnt.
Might be too late now, but we learnt.
The Youngs have had a terrible time and even after winning at court,
they still don't have all their money.
I want to know from their local trading standards officer
what they should do next.
What is Carole's and George's next move
to sort of push that on? Is there anything they can do?
They need to stay within the law and I understand the frustrations.
The legal process is very time-consuming
and expensive, I would imagine.
They just need to follow that through.
They need to go back to the magistrates.
If they've got a solicitor... I know we're talking about expense,
but again, they need to go through that process to ensure this
chap goes through his obligations and does pay them
for what's been taken off them, basically.
Carolee and George made a mistake
when they hired their builder without references.
But the law has been on their side.
Now they need to put this saga behind them.
I can't wait to show them what the good guys have done.
Just remind us what it was like behind those doors.
Well, the wet room which was originally going to be a wet room,
it was just stone floor, was horrible.
So drab. And it was very cold.
The toilet was a storage room for the wash basin and stuff, you know?
-So what are you hoping for?
To have a lovely shower. So we can just use it instead of just putting rubbish in.
So, you'd like it to have been all tiled out, shower, fully usable.
It's something we've been looking forward to for a very long time.
OK. And what about in that room then, Carole?
What are you hoping for in there?
Well, all tiled.
I'm hoping, but beggars can't be choosers.
You say you're hoping for a tiling job.
Tiling job, wash basin.
And that's it, really.
Now then, are we ready?
Open that door wide, George.
Let's go take a look, son.
It's a different...
God, you wouldn't think it was part of the house, would you?
Oh, it's lovely.
I can't believe it, can you?
-Are you pleased?
-Look at the drain.
That was just concrete.
And the lights really reflect off the tiles, don't they?
Oh, it's beautiful.
-Oh, it's lovely. Good grief, you could party in here.
The good guys have done a wonderful job,
bringing a showroom finish to the wet room shower and toilet.
The concrete shell has been transformed
with these classic tiles, mosaic border and floor.
The stainless steel shower gleams under the bright, white light
from the smart, contemporary downlighters.
Even the drainage stands out as a smart feature
in this top quality installation.
And we have an extra surprise for the Youngs.
Beneath these smart mosaic tiles,
we've installed underfloor heating as an extra treat.
There's a little secret hidden in here.
-Oh, oh, that's just...
-It's a thumbs up for that?
-Oh, yeah, definitely.
-OK. It's time now to go take a look at the water closet.
What do you reckon?
That's lovely, Clive. Beautiful.
-Is it lovely?
-It's gorgeous this.
I couldn't have wished for this. This is beautiful.
Next door, the good guys have worked the same magic,
in the separate toilet.
The matching tiles run from floor to ceiling
and the bright white sanitary ware and heated towel rail
perfectly compliment the classic styling.
The lighting completes the overall effect. Lovely job.
Well, listen. I think it's time for a bit of a group hug.
-You can do manly group hugs, can't you?
-I like that.
-A big squeeze.
-What do you think?
We'll enjoy that. Thanks very much.
All that's left for me to say now is enjoy and good luck for the future.
-Thank you very much, Clive.
-No problem. You take it easy.
You enjoy that room. I'll see you later.
Bye, Clive. Thank you.
-Oh, it's unbelievable.
-I think the taps are on.
Yes. There's water coming out.
You know, Carole and George have got hearts of gold
and they look after so many youngsters and it was time
that they had a bit of good fortune come their way.
I think we've managed to do that.
And they're very happy. Remember, always keep an eye
on all the building work that's going on in your property
and that way you won't go falling into the Cowboy Trap.
If you've had a problem with builders and you would like to tell
your story on Cowboy Trap, then please call us.
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Cowboy Trap visits Newcastle to meet a couple who desperately needed a shower room and toilet for their foster children, a job which builders left unfinished; and we're in Aberdeen to help out a retired couple whose high hopes for garden canopies became a building catastrophe.