A mother has made a desperate plea for help after being left living in a building site with a “water damaged shell” for an extension just weeks before Christmas.
Mum-of-four Anne Alwill called in builders to put up an extension on her small Woodloes home to cater for a growing family and give her 89-year-old mother a comfortable place to stay this winter.
But she said after handing over £10,000 in two instalments and waiting eight months, she has been left with nothing but an empty shell and little hope of seeing her money or completion of the work.
The grandmother, who is now waiting for test results which may show breast cancer has returned, is worried what stress is doing to her health and appealing for help to try and patch the job up in time for the festive season.
Speaking about the ordeal, Mrs Alwill, 50 said: “I handed over £5,000 for materials, but once work began to slow down it became clear things were wrong.
“I have all the receipts for materials that add up to £2,517. Even if you include the minimal labour it adds up to maybe £4,000 at most.”
Mrs Alwill said the home she shares with her youngest son, aged 15, is no longer safe for her five grandchildren, and she cannot afford to have the work put right - or for a roof to be put on the extension and protect it from the elements.
Left feeling distraught, she said: “The walls are all up but there is no roof despite me being repeatedly told in August that it was on the way.
“I asked three times and each time was told a different company was making it, but when I checked none of them had heard of the building company or my home.
“It is just heartbreaking and I have been lied to time and time again.
“This builder left my home open and open to the elements which is causing long-term damage and there is nowhere for me to turn.
“I just don’t know what to do. I am desperate for help, the police cannot do anything. It’s been a nightmare for us all”
After contacting building control officers at Warwick District Council to find out if the structure is safe, she said her only option is to try to start again.
The family has already paid another specialist to replace tiles on the roof of the house following damage.
Anne, who works in Leamington, said she has this week finally been contacted by the building firm, which has not been named as the Courier was unable to make contact.
She said she has been told all the money not spent on materials and labour since April will be returned to her account - a promise she is reluctant to believe.
But said even if the remainder of the money comes back, she is still left with a potentially unsafe structure which may cost all of the cash to be safely pulled down - leaving her back to square one.
The family is appealing for help from anyone who may be able to offer advice, or help on how best to move forward with the project- or any building firms willing to come in and help repair the damaged shell already put up.
Anyone who can help get the family back on track in time for Christmas can contact Mrs Alwill via the Courier at 01926 457725, or email firstname.lastname@example.org