Thursday, July 25, 2024

How Channel Five’s Half Built House Ruined 120 Year Old Cottage

Half Built House Left Unfinished

After calling for much needed help from channel five home improvement program Half Built House, Colin Gibson and Judi Campbell, a Scottish couple from Pitlochry in Perthshire were left with their 120 year old cottage back to square one with problems that weren’t even there before.

After struggling to keep on top of the renovation work in their beautiful Victorian home, Judi and Colin were left with what they have described to be the builders “botched jobs” and were made to look like “fools” after channel five home improvement program left their home with uneven flooring, a window that had been painted over, an extractor hood that is far too low and much more. The TV show Half built House that is presented by Sian Astley who is a DIY and home design enthusiast and expert, were called in to work on Colin and Judi’s home in May and it was last night, 10th July 2012, the Perthshire episode was shown on TV which had the middle aged Scottish couple full of anger. The antique hand rail which took pride of place on their landing was replaced with what Mr Gibson said “looked like it had been fitted by a 12-year-old”.  He said one of the builders used an industrial sander on their wooden flooring and had left it looking like the “Sahara Desert”.

DIY TV Show House

Mr Gibson continued by saying “The expectation was that they would be in for two weeks, and then they would come in and ‘transform’ the house. They put in a beautiful looking kitchen and stuck in a TV that also looks great, on camera. But after they left we noticed how badly their builders had done things.” “When we questioned them after about why it was so bad, they said they didn’t have much time. But this wasn’t 60 Minute Makeover we’d signed up for. They were here for 12 days”. “They made us look like clowns. In the advert they showed Judi cooking in the kitchen in the advert, while I’m doing DIY. It focuses on me breaking a screw”. “They were trying to make me look the fool, and their team like the ‘heroes’ coming in to save us”. “We felt like we’d won the lottery when we got on the show but we’ve been misled. We’ve saw Nick Knowles and his team do great things on their show but we didn’t get anything like that”. “We still have a freezing kitchen that’s going to go damp. We still have bare plaster and uneven floors, but even worse than before. We’re beyond angry. We feel like fools.”

diy home repairs and maintenance


Dulux Trade Durable Flat Matt paint

Delux have launched new Dulux trade durable flat matt paint range allowing decorating professionals to offer their customers a highly durable flat matt finish with over 14,000 shades to choose from.

Designed to provide greater resilience and opacity, Dulux’s new durable flat matt paint is replacing the company’s current flat matt product and is guaranteed to cover up to 17m2 per litre and meets class 1 of the durability in performance test.

The water based formula is to be used on interior walls and ceilings and will be rolled across stores throughout 2012.

Trade paint is the natural choice of professional decorators, not just because of the lower cost, but because it is widely considered to be better quality paint, requiring less coats to achieve a high quality finish. Many commercial decorators believe that retail paint is not the same quality. As is often the way, customers sometimes want to provide their own paint having chosen the colour, and just want a professional to use it for them.

This can present problems for the decorator who prefers to use a specific make of paint because they know the quality of the product as well as the results it will give them. A weaker, thinner paint will need more coats, and therefore take longer to apply, costing the decorator time and money.

We asked a local Bedford painter and decorator, Stewart Masters of for his advice and he said “When we are given paint to use by a client, it normally takes us up yo 50% longer to finish the job because household paints are inferior to the commercial paint products available to the trade.”

It seems the moral of the story is to listen to your contractor and let them source the materials for you. Their experience will save you money and give you a better end result.

Construction award given for a restored lead mine

A lead mine in County Durum has been given an award for construction excellence.

Funded under an environmental stewardship agreement between Natural England and the land owners, Malcolm and James Nattrass, the Low Slit Mine situated near Westgate, Weardale was presented a North East’s Heritage award after the Mine was placed on the Heritage at risk list and has now finally been restored by a skilled team.

All of the original features in the Lead Mine have been preserved like the Ore washing floor, this is where the women and children would pick out the heavy lead ore to separate it from the lighter waste minerals. The base for an Armstrong hydraulic engine which was used for the mine shaft, and a row of bouseteams, this is where the lead that was brought out by the minors was stored.

Natural England’s North of England regional manager, Robert Burnett said “An important example of the industrial heritage of the North Pennines and the rare plants that have subsequently colonised the site have been saved from further deterioration as a result of this work.”

Time Capsule found by builders

Two builders working on an 18th century cottage in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire found a time capsule in the wall cavity that dates back to 1953.

11 copies of the Daily Mirror reporting the Queen’s coronation, a coronation souvenir guide, a copy of the radio times and a coach ticked to London were found between two pieces of cardboard in the wall cavity by 27 year old Tom Butler and 50 Year old David Handscombe local demolition builders.

It is believed that the capsule was left there when the former pub was being restored by 59 years ago builder, Lawrence Gilson. Inside the package was also a leaflet detailing how the cottage was originally built as pub n 1750 and then later restored into a cottage in 1953.

Toms father Colin aged 51 who also works for Butler Brothers Demolition Contractors said “We only came across it by luck because of the way we’ve taken the cottage apart bit by bit so we can reclaim the bricks and other items”. “It was amazing to read all the old news in the newspapers. One was even dates May 23, the day that we discovered it”.

So for all builders who may be reading this, when restoring old properties be sure to look out for similar historical facts that tell a story everybody will be pleased to hear.

Trading Standards catch cowboy tradesmen

After a six month sting which was set up by Trading Standards officers in order to catch rogue cowboy builders and tradesmen from electricians, plumbers, washing machine service men to Ariel technicians, the outcome was brilliant with 10 out of 44 tradesmen involved facing criminal prosecution and another 5 advised to receive advice or retraining.

This six month trap was set up a run by a Trading Standard officer who took on the role of playing the homeowner and interacted with the tradesmen while his colleagues sat back and observed the goings on in the property from a hi-tech control room.

The normal every day mid terraced property was fitted up with hidden cameras observing the traders every move and recording all their dodgy handy work. And it worked. The footage that was recorded captured one man testing for a gas leaks using a cigarette lighter, another man falsely claimed to be CORGI registered while another was caught urinating in a water tank.

1 in 4 tradesmen strung out the job as long as possible to get paid more and it was these men who seemed to perform the most dangerous standard of work. Perfect example of this was a boiler engineer that took him 5 hours to complete a small easy job and then charged 4 times the amount on top.

Peter Denard, Trading Standards Officer, said that “If you didn’t have the film evidence, you wouldn’t actually believe what you were seeing,” I am sure many people would love to see the footage just to see what kinds of things you should look out for when getting in the so called ‘professionals’.