Episode 3 Cowboys and Angels


Episode 3

Series following tradesmen and looking at cowboy contractors. Tommy Walsh meets a family who can't even get out of their own kitchen door thanks to a cowboy builder.


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Transcript


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When a crisis strikes your home...

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-How can I help?

-I've got a bit of an emergency.

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..or you want major work done...

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It seemed to my mind, nothing had been done.

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The roof itself was on the verge of collapsing.

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..you need one of the good guys.

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But you don't always get them.

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You need to get a plumber in straightaway to fix that.

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He has destroyed our dreams.

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We will hear the stories of devastation and despair

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left behind when building work doesn't go to plan.

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He has damaged my house.

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It is just basically shoddy workmanship.

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And we'll tell you how to avoid becoming a victim yourself.

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You still need building regs, whatever you do.

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But most tradesmen are there to help.

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And we'll follow the response teams who are there for you

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24 hours a day...

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Yes!

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..seven days a week.

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We had a lot of carbon monoxide issues.

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From plumbers to roofers, electricians to locksmiths,

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we meet the men and women who help you out in your hour of need.

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Coming up...

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Flat owner Philippa's flooded out.

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It is rushing water and you just do not know how to stop it.

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And now, so is her neighbour.

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There was no way anyone could have seen it coming.

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The bird in the hand is one thing,

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but a family of them in the chimney

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spells trouble for sweep Christine...

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There's a massive nest up there.

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..and householder Darcy.

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I reckon we have probably had 25 years of jackdaws putting

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sort of rubbish and bits down the chimney.

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And a dodgy builder leaves chaos in his wake.

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But takes the money with him,

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leaving this family rocked to their foundations.

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He actually dissolved his company and disappeared.

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Not with all the money, I hope.

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Absolutely, yeah, every single penny.

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What is the saying? Your home is your castle, right?

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But it feels more like an invasion

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when you get loads of tradespeople round.

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But what you don't want to do is meet one who makes you wish

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you pulled the drawbridge up before they had arrived.

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So when you are planning a build, big or small,

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you must do your research.

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And if you're a beginner at this sort of thing, you can

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never do too much.

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If you don't, it could cost you,

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as the Tugwell family from Kent found out.

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You don't ever think it's going to happen to you.

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But unfortunately, in our case, it did.

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The whole situation is an absolute nightmare.

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It has put a strain on my relationship with my wife

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and my children. And it has been very difficult.

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The couple wanted a raised conservatory at the back

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of their house, with a storage area underneath.

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With four children and Julie's job as a child minder filling

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the house even more, it seemed a good idea to have more space.

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My wife does child minding for a business,

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thought she could use the extra space of a conservatory on the back.

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And it was a great idea at the time.

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And even the planners, when we went to our planning meeting,

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actually said, "That is a novel way

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"of using the space that you've got underneath there."

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Chris works as a supervisor for London Transport

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and cash is pretty tight,

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but the couple decided to use money his father had left them

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for the build.

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Using his inheritance to me...

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He worked for 40 years, all his life,

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he didn't have an awful lot of money.

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But when he died, he wanted all his children to benefit.

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And obviously, as a memorial to him,

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I wanted to use that money in the right way.

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In fact, they handed over £20,000.

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But as you have probably guessed, it all went wrong for Chris

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and his family, thanks to a father

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and son act who turned out to be a right pair of rogues.

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The architect who did the drawings, his son was a builder.

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He said he could do the work.

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Here we are, 2 1/2 years later, it is a total mass.

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I'm at Chris and Julie's to see the chaos they left behind.

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-Hello, Tommy.

-How are you?

-Nice to meet you.

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I've come to have a look at your problems.

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I need Chris to fill in some of the details for me.

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You wanted to have a conservatory built rather than an extension.

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We had a raised patio,

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which took up the whole back end of the house. So we thought,

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rather than just put a conservatory on top of that, we will utilise

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the space underneath, dig it all out and have a basement storage area.

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Chris felt he was going the right way about things.

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It was the architect's son who was apparently a builder.

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And he said, "Well, I can do it for you."

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He said he had built some houses, which we went and looked at.

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They seemed OK. And we thought it was fine.

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We didn't realise there was any problem

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until he started laying bricks.

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The couple looked at the houses the builder claimed were his work,

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but didn't talk to the homeowners - a classic mistake.

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But they did get other quotes before unfortunately opting to

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go for his quote of £26,000.

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It was slightly cheaper, but there wasn't an awful lot in it,

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and as we thought the architect had done the drawings,

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it was his son doing the building work, we thought, if there are any

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problems, it will be easier to smooth them out that way.

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Chris did do some of the right checks.

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But it wasn't long before lots of things started going wrong.

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He seemed pretty punctual. He didn't have many men.

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And we thought it was a bit strange he used to turn up in a hired van.

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But after he had been to the local DIY store,

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he had nothing delivered but a bulk load of sand.

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And he started works, everything went OK.

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Well, the first week or so was OK. They dug it all out.

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One of the contractors they employed to dig it out said

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he wasn't happy with what was being done.

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He thought there was a problem with the foundations where

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he was digging it out. Because the basement was going to

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effectively go below, we had to underpin...

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You would have to. If you are going below the foundations,

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-you have to underpin it, yeah.

-And the contractor was digging it out.

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He left the job. And then it really all snowballed from there.

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Crikey! There were plenty of warning signs.

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When you are building, there should always be official backup.

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You have always got the safety net of the building inspector.

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They issued what they call the yellow peril, but unfortunately,

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they were just advisory notes, this is what the builder told us,

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and he didn't have to do it.

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So there is a stack of yellow perils which should have been done,

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we understand now, but he never did them.

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You know, the building inspector is keen.

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-What happens, they inspect every stage of the construction...

-Yeah.

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..to make sure it complies with building regs and it's safe.

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So normally, it is a good thing to have them

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on board to make sure everything gets done correctly.

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If a building inspector advises you he isn't satisfied with

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the work, you have to put it right.

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Without their sign-off,

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work will not be passed as safe or fit for purpose.

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By ignoring the notices he called yellow perils, the builder

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left Chris with huge problems.

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As the householder, he is responsible for the work.

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So when did Chris catch onto how bad things were?

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He had a bricklayer's mate...

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-I thought I had seen advertised on the TV.

-Really?

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Yeah. And we thought that was a bit strange.

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If you are bricklayer, you should be doing it properly.

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So my wife actually said to him,

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"You know what you're doing?"

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And we were looking at some of his lines that he was putting up,

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and it wasn't straight it all.

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Cor! There were some real red flags waving with this builder.

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And later, Chris has to face some pretty hard facts.

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Looking at this, I think this is going to have to go

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and this is going to have to come out.

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It's Monday morning in Central London

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and at the HQ of a busy plumbing firm, the phone lines are buzzing.

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The call is from businesswoman Philippa,

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who lives in upmarket Kensington.

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Plumber Nick is dispatched.

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It's his first call-out of the day, and it is urgent.

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He is off to the rescue of two homeowners

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having a very bad start to the week.

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Just going to go in and see what the problem is,

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see if we can resolve it for the lady.

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The problem is in Philippa's ground-floor flat,

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but it is also affecting her neighbour in the basement below.

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-Hello.

-Hi.

-Oh, I can hear water.

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Yeah, well, it has slightened a bit now.

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-Really? Well, it still sounds like that.

-Yeah.

-OK.

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The water is pouring through the bathroom ceiling.

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He can hear it, but it is impossible to see where it is coming from.

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Nick is determined to find out and put a stop to it before it brings

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down the ceiling in both period properties,

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costing thousands to repair.

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I don't know where that is coming from, so I'll quickly run back,

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get a letter, get in there and see if we can isolate...

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The problem is, I haven't got keys for upstairs.

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It may be coming from your property.

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But obviously, you know, I need to jump up there first and foremost.

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So, yeah, give me a couple of minutes and I will actually run back,

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I won't walk.

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He means it. Nick sprints to his van.

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Damaged ceilings aren't his only worry.

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Because there is water coming through a ceiling,

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it has gone in the electrics,

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so it is a bit more of an emergency than what you would usually expect,

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so we just have to wait and see.

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Nick needs to act quickly.

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Water and electrics don't mix.

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And it could already be threatening the basement flat's supply too.

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Later, Nick identifies the problem.

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Never seen a ball valve like this. It is a really cheap constructed jobbie.

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And Philippa's neighbour surveys the damage.

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Back in Kent, I am about to cast my eye over the chaos

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left by a builder employed to create a raised conservatory

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and storage area at the home of Chris and Julie Tugwell.

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The couple didn't know it, but the local council's building inspector

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had been issuing notices to their contractor to rectify major faults.

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He didn't put them right but instead vanished with the couple's cash.

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We asked him to come back and put all the stuff right.

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And it went on and on and on.

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In the end, he actually dissolved his company

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-and disappeared.

-Not with all the money, I hope.

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Absolutely, yeah, every single penny.

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-All 26 grand?

-No.

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He got £20,000 out of us. It was paid on...instalments.

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A payment plan is a must,

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but don't pay a penny until you know the work has been signed off.

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So let's have a look at what Chris got for his 20,000.

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Is that it here?

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It would be nice if you could go out that way, but it's unsafe.

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Unfortunately, there is about a ten-foot drop down into the hole.

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So we've got to go out that way, through the back garden.

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-All right, let's go then.

-OK.

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I can see why Chris didn't want me going out the back door.

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-Cor, Chris, this is blooming huge!

-It certainly is, Tommy, isn't it?

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It's quite surprising.

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And, of course, it was obviously built for the vertically challenged.

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Yeah. If you are short like me, it is not a problem.

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-That's where we were just now, in the kitchen.

-It is, yes.

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That is the back door.

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As I said, if you want to walk out there, it is quite a large drop.

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All jokes aside, as far as I am concerned,

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this build is an absolute disgrace.

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-It's all a bit rough, isn't it?

-Well, now we realise it is.

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We had never done anything like this before, so we didn't know.

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We were relying on what we thought was a good builder.

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It looks to me that whoever built this didn't really know

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what they were doing.

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This work is shocking,

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not to say dangerous. And I've got some very bad news for Chris.

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Looking at this, I think this is going to have to go.

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And this is going to come out.

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Unfortunately, Tommy, I think that is the case.

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And it is going to be an awful lot more money,

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an awful lot more time.

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Chris' garden has been a building site now for two years.

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The kids can't use it

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and the Tugwells are trying to find the money to put everything right.

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It has ripped the heart out of this family.

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-What do you plan? What is next?

-We have got some quotes coming in.

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And then we have got to try and fund it.

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We've got a certain amount of money which we have put aside,

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but if it is going to come out at £40,000 or £50,000, which it

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looks like it is going to, we are not going to be able to afford that.

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Whether we just have a conservatory, something smaller, I don't know.

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But we can't... I don't think we can have it all any more.

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Chris and Julie have been the victims of an unskilled,

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unqualified builder, recommended for the job by his dad.

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The failure to protect the foundations threatens

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the safety of their home.

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Their next door neighbour's land has been affected,

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they've lost the money his dad worked for all his life

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and to put it right, they'll end up heavily in debt.

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They are not alone.

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Dodgy builders like this are a curse of the trade

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and attract more than 100,000 complaints a year.

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On Chris's behalf, we have chased the builder by phone and e-mail.

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He has refused to answer and now changed his numbers.

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We have also checked out his father's credentials to find

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he isn't a qualified architect but an architectural consultant,

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and that is a title anyone can claim.

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All I can do is try and stop Chris making the same mistakes again,

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and there is something that he needs to know.

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Our team has found out that one of the people that

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-you are interested in coming in to do this, a basement specialist.

-Yes.

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Well, apparently, there is

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a website dedicated to people who are dissatisfied with his work.

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So you need to check that out.

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-Either eliminate him from your selection process.

-Absolutely.

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-Which would be my advice.

-Thanks for making us aware of that, Tommy.

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We wasn't aware of that.

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-Good luck.

-Thank you very much.

-I hope you have success with this.

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-I'll give you me hand and me heart.

-Cheers, Tommy.

-All right, mate.

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You know, because of those yellow peril notices the builder ignored,

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Chris is technically responsible for this substandard build.

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It's a real shame that Chris has had to learn the hard way.

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It just goes to show, even if

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you hire a so-called professional to run the job and do the job

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properly for you, the liability for the work is still yours.

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Building Control have lots of rules

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and regulations in place just for that.

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So let's keep our fingers crossed that the second time Chris

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attempts to complete this project that it will go smoothly for him.

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So what can we take away from Chris and Julie's experience?

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One - if a builder shows you works he claims to have done,

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don't take his word for it, speak to the customer.

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Two - if other contractors on the job express concerns, take heed.

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And three - keep in contact

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with Building Control

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and make sure their recommendations

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are followed to the letter.

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Back in London, plumber Nick is attending an emergency

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in Philippa's flat in upmarket Kensington.

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Water has flooded through her bathroom ceiling

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and is also leaking into the flat below.

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Nick has found a small loft above Philippa's flat.

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He climbs up, squeezes into the tiny space

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and crawls towards the problem.

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There is more than one old-fashioned water storage tank up there.

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Luckily, the first one he examines is the cause of the flooding.

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This tank is overflowing.

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The water level is literally here.

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It is full to the brim.

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I was leaving the house this morning,

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I heard water pouring

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in the bathroom,

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which I thought it was my shower, for some reason.

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And then I just saw water pouring through the lights.

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This is how the ball valve was sitting in the tank.

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A ball valve is supposed to sit like this.

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But on arrival, the ball valve is down like this,

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hence water can still flow.

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I've never seen a ball valve like this.

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It is a really cheap constructed jobbie.

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It is quite a panicky situation when you have water pouring.

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What doesn't help is the overflow on this is so high, at that end,

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the actual tank is slanted,

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hence the reason why the water was pouring over here.

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This end is wet and not that end.

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When it first started,

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it was a huge rush of water.

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And so my whole bathroom basically flooded.

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You do get into a panic because it's rushing water

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and you just do not know how to stop it.

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It is just now a case of draining down and repairing.

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Nick has some good news for Philippa,

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but she is concerned whose cold water storage tank it is.

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-At the moment, I have isolated it...

-OK, good.

0:17:020:17:04

-..to stop the water coming through.

-I've always understood...

0:17:040:17:07

-I've been here 20-odd years.

-Yep.

0:17:070:17:09

-..that that is the header tank for downstairs.

-OK.

0:17:090:17:13

But downstairs say that they don't use that.

0:17:130:17:17

Once we have looked at this water,

0:17:170:17:19

I will then go in and find out what is yours, what is theirs, etc.

0:17:190:17:22

Nick and Philippa head to the basement flat.

0:17:240:17:26

It is owned by Georgia.

0:17:260:17:28

She had to dash off to work, but not before begging boyfriend

0:17:280:17:32

Mike to come over, monitor the damage and mop up.

0:17:320:17:36

She said she was having a nightmare.

0:17:360:17:38

She had a leak through a light in the roof.

0:17:380:17:41

And could I come over and

0:17:410:17:44

operate her saucepan system here.

0:17:440:17:48

She started a new job last week,

0:17:480:17:50

so she really couldn't hang around and deal with it herself,

0:17:500:17:53

so that's what I've been doing, and swapping these saucepans around.

0:17:530:17:57

A quick test and Nick discovers the overflowing tank is Georgia's.

0:17:570:18:02

The water is stopped.

0:18:040:18:05

So if I went back upstairs and turned that 22 mil gate valve

0:18:050:18:09

on that is working, this hot water would start working again.

0:18:090:18:12

So the lady is right, the tank is property of this.

0:18:120:18:16

At one stage, this would have been one house.

0:18:160:18:19

So what happens is, when they convert them, obviously there is

0:18:190:18:22

a nice loft space there, so they put these tanks up there.

0:18:220:18:25

It is just common, especially around these parts.

0:18:250:18:28

But what was good news for Philippa is bad news for her neighbour.

0:18:280:18:33

-OK, it is your tank.

-Is it?

-It is.

-Of course it was.

0:18:330:18:36

Why I say it, gone in there, turned the hot water on, hot water stopped.

0:18:360:18:39

So, what is the next step?

0:18:390:18:41

First and foremost, we have replaced the ball valve.

0:18:410:18:43

-You have got a couple of isolation valves which are faulty.

-Yep.

0:18:430:18:47

So you will want those replaced. But the tank is not level.

0:18:470:18:52

To lift that up, it's not going to be an easy job.

0:18:520:18:55

You can't just lift one end and put a plank of wood under it,

0:18:550:18:58

because then the bottom will start to sink.

0:18:580:19:00

It's not like a table in a restaurant?

0:19:000:19:03

Yeah, stick a coaster underneath, that's it.

0:19:030:19:05

Fold it in half and prop it under.

0:19:050:19:07

It was a disaster waiting to happen.

0:19:070:19:08

Mike will need to break the news to his busy girlfriend.

0:19:080:19:12

I'll give her a shout and explain to her what's happening,

0:19:130:19:16

see what she wants to do.

0:19:160:19:18

And even after Nick has put everything right,

0:19:180:19:21

they are still not home and dry.

0:19:210:19:23

What happens to, like, the electrics down here?

0:19:240:19:27

Well, I would obviously advise is that an electrician is called to

0:19:270:19:33

dry out any light fittings and stuff like that.

0:19:330:19:35

-SHE SIGHS

-Right. Fine.

0:19:350:19:38

There'll be a lot of expense.

0:19:380:19:41

Now I am going to have to redo the ceiling, lighting...

0:19:410:19:46

In fact, really that whole bathroom, maybe the floor.

0:19:460:19:49

But it could have been worse.

0:19:490:19:51

Had it happened later in the day,

0:19:510:19:55

then there would have been more damage, I think.

0:19:550:19:58

The place could have been totally flooded.

0:19:580:20:00

But thankfully, it was caught first thing this morning.

0:20:000:20:03

Nick is still hard at work, when basement flat owner Georgia

0:20:030:20:06

dashes home during her lunch hour to hear the bad news in person.

0:20:060:20:11

Do you think it is a case for a lick of paint?

0:20:110:20:14

It will be, but it will take quite a while to dry out.

0:20:140:20:16

You can't just go straight over wet...a wet surface

0:20:160:20:18

because the dampness will come back through.

0:20:180:20:20

It is going to be weeks before the damage can be repaired.

0:20:200:20:24

And it is very frustrating for Georgia.

0:20:240:20:27

She has lived in the flat for two years

0:20:270:20:28

and thought the offending water tank was no longer in use.

0:20:280:20:32

Both myself and Philippa were under that impression. So just didn't...

0:20:320:20:37

There was no way anyone could have seen it coming.

0:20:370:20:39

But she is just relieved she had a backup team when the crisis struck.

0:20:390:20:44

Very inconvenient, but between Philippa and my boyfriend,

0:20:440:20:48

it got resolved.

0:20:480:20:50

Nick thinks Philippa and Georgia had a very lucky escape.

0:20:500:20:54

It is all cosmetic. But I think long and short, they got away lightly.

0:20:540:20:57

For the amount of water coming through,

0:20:570:20:59

I think they have got away lightly.

0:20:590:21:01

It you light a fire when a chimney is blocked,

0:21:060:21:09

it could cause toxic fumes to come back into the house

0:21:090:21:12

and the whole chimney could catch alight.

0:21:120:21:14

And that is why Darcy Gilley in Glossop, Derbyshire,

0:21:140:21:16

has had to call in sweep Christine O'Keefe.

0:21:160:21:19

It is a blow for Darcy, who's looking forward to her first

0:21:190:21:22

winter in her new home with a roaring fire.

0:21:220:21:26

We're having the family to stay and we thought it would be a really nice

0:21:260:21:30

sort of thing to have the open fire, make things a little bit more homely.

0:21:300:21:35

But there is a major problem.

0:21:350:21:37

Generations of jackdaws have used her chimney as a home.

0:21:370:21:41

As this special camera shows,

0:21:410:21:43

it is blocked by a nest.

0:21:430:21:46

Lighting a fire could cause toxic fumes

0:21:460:21:49

or even a dangerous chimney fire.

0:21:490:21:52

It is fairly obvious if a chimney is blocked.

0:21:520:21:54

If birds are using your chimney, you will see and hear them.

0:21:540:21:57

And when you light a fire, the smoke will have nowhere to go

0:21:570:22:00

and come back into the room.

0:22:000:22:02

So it is a good idea to get the sweep

0:22:020:22:04

in at least every couple of years.

0:22:040:22:06

It can cause anything from £45 to £90,

0:22:060:22:09

depending on where you live.

0:22:090:22:11

The roosting birds may also have caused hidden damage

0:22:110:22:14

inside the flue,

0:22:140:22:15

but until they are evicted, there is no way of knowing.

0:22:150:22:18

It is Christine's job to find out.

0:22:180:22:21

We did look up the chimney.

0:22:210:22:23

I could reach up and touch the nest, so I reckon we've probably had about

0:22:230:22:27

25 years of jackdaws putting sort of rubbish and bits down the chimney.

0:22:270:22:31

Sweep Christine arrives ready to tackle the job.

0:22:310:22:35

There is a massive nest up there.

0:22:350:22:37

Hopefully, we will get the offending item out today.

0:22:370:22:40

-Hi, Darcy, you all right?

-Yeah. Come on in.

-Thank you.

0:22:420:22:45

It's going to be mucky, but Christine's come prepared.

0:22:480:22:51

Right, what I intend to do is I'll sheet out the entire room,

0:22:510:22:54

like we discussed,

0:22:540:22:56

then I'll use my rods and brushes to try and pull the nest down in bits.

0:22:560:22:59

Christine needs to make sure the mess from the chimney doesn't

0:22:590:23:03

go all over the house.

0:23:030:23:05

Then she needs to employ her tools.

0:23:050:23:08

The easiest way of getting a nest out is to first send

0:23:080:23:12

a very small brush up.

0:23:120:23:14

And then start pulling it down in sections.

0:23:140:23:17

And then this larger brush basically goes up

0:23:170:23:19

and makes sure that everything is then pulled down and through.

0:23:190:23:22

It's all in a day's work for the sweep,

0:23:220:23:24

but for Darcy, it's a nerve-racking experience.

0:23:240:23:28

It's actually my first chimney ever in a house,

0:23:280:23:31

so this is all quite new and exciting.

0:23:310:23:34

But with roosting jackdaws, you can never count your chickens.

0:23:340:23:37

And Darcy is worried about possible complications.

0:23:370:23:40

One of the things we still don't know is even when Christine gets

0:23:400:23:43

the nest out, are we still going to be able to use the fireplace?

0:23:430:23:46

So, she's explained to me that we've actually maybe got a bigger problem.

0:23:460:23:50

Getting the chimney swept is the first stage.

0:23:500:23:53

The camera up the flue shows how badly blocked it is.

0:23:530:23:56

The nest means smoke can't escape,

0:23:560:23:59

which could cause a build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.

0:23:590:24:03

When the nest is gone,

0:24:030:24:04

there could still be loose masonry or damage to the flue.

0:24:040:24:07

Christine is about to find out. But first, she needs to kit up.

0:24:070:24:12

Soot is quite nasty stuff. It is actually carcinogenic.

0:24:120:24:15

And long exposure to it won't do me any good whatsoever.

0:24:150:24:19

And it can actually absorb through the skin,

0:24:190:24:23

so I always wear a jacket to keep covered up.

0:24:230:24:27

The other obviously very absorbent bit is your head,

0:24:270:24:30

so I always put a hat on as well.

0:24:300:24:34

And then the other bit is, obviously,

0:24:340:24:36

I don't want inhale anything.

0:24:360:24:37

Christine is never really sure what she is going to find

0:24:370:24:41

up a client's chimney.

0:24:410:24:42

The jackdaws use everything to make all sorts of nests.

0:24:420:24:45

They're a bit like magpies.

0:24:450:24:47

So you can end up pulling wire down, lighters.

0:24:470:24:50

I've even pulled marbles coming down.

0:24:500:24:52

There's been all sorts of rubbish.

0:24:520:24:54

So... I've not found a crime scene yet, luckily.

0:24:540:24:57

Christine's working blind,

0:24:570:24:59

but the camera shows just how far up the nest is.

0:24:590:25:02

I'm just going to see if the small brush has come out the top.

0:25:030:25:06

See the birds flying round?

0:25:060:25:08

-Probably just ruined their home.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:25:080:25:11

What I'll do is I'll send up another couple of rods

0:25:110:25:13

because I'm just probably into the stack now.

0:25:130:25:16

And hopefully get out the clot.

0:25:160:25:18

An hour after she first started, the brush appears...

0:25:190:25:23

..to the annoyance of the jackdaws.

0:25:250:25:27

And 30 minutes later, the nest comes down the chimney.

0:25:300:25:34

That's sort of say... It's quite a small-medium nest.

0:25:350:25:38

A really large one, like I've taken out in the past,

0:25:380:25:41

will fill the entire chimney.

0:25:410:25:43

Being a chimney sweep is an unusual job for a woman.

0:25:430:25:46

There are only about a dozen in the UK.

0:25:460:25:49

Christine used to be a landscape gardener,

0:25:490:25:52

but has been operating her brushes now for three years.

0:25:520:25:55

Even in Victorian times, they had women, lady sweeps.

0:25:550:25:59

So it's not a new thing.

0:25:590:26:01

And as long as you're fairly physically fit and you don't

0:26:010:26:06

mind getting a bit dirty, it's a good job to be in.

0:26:060:26:10

It's been a good afternoon's work.

0:26:100:26:12

And Darcy's back to see the results and reward Christine with a cuppa.

0:26:120:26:16

-That was a successful job, I feel.

-Yes.

-Good.

-Thank you.

0:26:160:26:20

-I'm pleased about that. It's always quite satisfying when you...

-Yeah.

0:26:200:26:23

..pull a nest out.

0:26:230:26:24

And from what wasn't a working fire is now working.

0:26:240:26:27

And Christine's got a bit of advice for novice fireplace fan

0:26:270:26:31

Darcy about how to deal with the evicted jackdaws in the future.

0:26:310:26:35

They will come back year after year after year and use the same

0:26:350:26:39

nest site, so what you need then is to put a bird cowl on there.

0:26:390:26:44

The blighters can't get back in again.

0:26:440:26:47

A cowl is a cover which caps the top of the chimney,

0:26:470:26:49

preventing birds from nesting but still allows the smoke to come out.

0:26:490:26:54

Darcy will need to get one fit before the jackdaws attempt

0:26:540:26:57

to take up residency again.

0:26:570:27:00

But the good news is, there's no damage to the chimney.

0:27:000:27:04

-All right, thank you.

-Thanks a lot.

-No, no problem.

-We appreciate it.

0:27:040:27:06

-Yes, and I hope you have lots of fun with your fire.

-Thank you.

0:27:060:27:09

Darcy is delighted with their newly swept chimney.

0:27:090:27:13

I feel much more informed and better able to manage my fireplace now.

0:27:130:27:18

I am quite excited about having a fire, never having had one before.

0:27:180:27:23

So I think it would be quite cool to use it as soon as we can.

0:27:230:27:26

Anyone of us could be in a situation such as we have seen today,

0:27:330:27:36

whether it be an emergency in our own home or falling

0:27:360:27:39

foul of rogue workmanship.

0:27:390:27:40

So take note of my top tips and hopefully it will be

0:27:400:27:43

home sweet home.

0:27:430:27:45

Well, Chris has done just that

0:27:450:27:47

and is doing all his checks before employing a new builder.

0:27:470:27:51

Following their water tank leak in the attic,

0:27:520:27:54

Philippa and Georgia got an electrician to replace the lights,

0:27:540:27:58

but there is still work to be done.

0:27:580:28:00

The redecoration hasn't been done yet,

0:28:000:28:02

but, yes, I plan to get it all re-painted and re-grouted.

0:28:020:28:07

And we need to discuss what is going to happen to the tank.

0:28:070:28:10

And in Derbyshire, Darcy has fitted a cowl to her chimney

0:28:100:28:14

and lit the fire. Her cat loves it. The jackdaws...

0:28:140:28:17

Well, they have moved elsewhere.

0:28:170:28:19

Tommy Walsh travels to Kent to meet a family who can't even get out of their own kitchen door. A builder took their savings but left behind a dangerous half-finished extension.

It's double trouble for plumber Nick when he responds to an emergency call-out at Philippa's home, only to find water pouring through to the flat downstairs.