Series 6 - Episode 2: Pontefract

To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 10.1.0 or greater is installed.

With their first grandchild on the way, David and Edith decided to extend their home of 25 years to give them space for big family get-togethers. In their small village in West Yorkshire, everyone knows everyone, so it was natural that they would choose a local builder to do the work. He agreed a price of £17,000 for the job, and since he lived practically on their doorstep, they felt sure they could trust him.

Everything seemed to be going fine, until the local building officer arrived and the couple realised
they had a problem. By this time, they had handed their builder over £14,000. In just three short months, he had turned their dream project into a structurally unsafe nightmare.

Melinda and her team really have their work cut out, trying to sort out the mess left behind. From foundations built on plastic pipework to wonky walls, an unstable roof and wall cavities stuffed with toilet paper instead of insulation, they uncover a horror story of shocking workmanship. It looks like they may have to pull it all down and begin again from scratch, spelling disaster for the whole project…

Meanwhile, Dom doesn’t have far to look to find this cowboy. And it doesn’t take him long to discover that our victims are not the only local family to suffer his workmanship – and interesting things stuffed in their cavity walls.

Next

Previous

All episodes 

Comments (50)

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Vera swinscoe

    over 1 year ago

    Vera swinscoe

    Shame for the good builders out ther But you builders who feel it's ok to rob people you should be taken to court and charged with theft you are nothing but dirty con men.And all you good builders may the work keep rolling in Good builders win all the way GOD BLESS YOU xxxx

  • gary falconer

    over 1 year ago

    gary falconer

    you keep going on about builders ripping of clients what about all the builders out there being ripped off every day by dodgy clients and companys if you spent as much time looking in to this you would find out the honest builder is being ripped off just as much it is not always one sided as you make out it is and it is getting worse

  • gary falconer

    over 1 year ago

    gary falconer

    you keep going on about builders ripping of clients what about all the builders out there being ripped off every day by dodgy clients and companys if you spent as much time looking in to this you would find out the honest builder is being ripped off just as much it is not always one sided as you make out it is and it is getting worse

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • D

    over 2 years ago

    D

    Are you all crazy, this program would make an Angel look bad, they cut and mess around with wording to make the builder look bad. Was he allowed to go back and fix the problems, did he do the work? No is the answer to that! They cut and change what people have said to make the program work, it is not a true representation. These people live nearby and should have given their local builder a chance, I just hope they can live with their decision!!

  • PAL

    over 2 years ago

    PAL

    I would like to know if it is possible to insure a job against this type of thing. I know the builder is 'supposed' to be insured but if I wanted an extension, I would be very wary of builders as got ripped off in the past by a member of Federation of Master Builders, which I thought made them good but there is no come back. It would be good to have something akin to ABTA who would underwrite building work.

  • Brian

    over 2 years ago

    Brian

    well matt having got some more detail whose the IDIOT now? looks as though its you mate. hope you or your parents are never ripped off by a con man like this, although judging by your lack of sense and sensibility would not bet against it at some point in the future

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Callum Helmer AKA The Cat

    over 2 years ago

    Callum Helmer AKA The Cat

    Well Done Dom, Mel And John brilliant job as usual. Those pillars were Amatuerish I mean Expandable Foam that is terrible and is far removed from building work.

  • sophie

    over 2 years ago

    sophie

    i love the show and i think its great how many people get the home they dreamed of at the end of the show,

  • DnE

    over 2 years ago

    DnE

    In the interest of fairness and balance we trust the moderator will allow these comments. Firstly regarding paying cheap the build cost was over 22k as 17k was the amount of money being paid directly to the builder as some costs we paid direct. it was not the cheapest quote but as the guy lived 200metres away he got the job. Secondly we contributed a significant 5 figure sum to cowboy builders as there budget would not cover the refurb costs. Many of the items featured including some craft items were our belongings. Before the show was broadcast we shared some of our "spoils" with the other couple featured. We had to pack up to allow CB access and had insufficcient room to store all our possessions so we donated items of furniture and belongings to three local charities who have already raised several hundred pounds [ their figures not ours ] as a result. In addition we still have to find a five figure sum to put right aspects of the build not featured on the show. No one can put a price we paid with the misery we suffered at the hands of this guy for 15 months. we never entered the show for financial gain but to put a stop to him. sadly there are 10 other victims in our village alone we now know of. Because we live in a large house [ which has taken us 42 years to put together does not mean we are wealthy. we are both on low fixed incomes and rely on our savings to supplement this. money we have lost. We will be eternally grateful to cowboy builders and all those who assisted them for ending our torture by facilitating a way through the problems and to all those who gave us encouragement and support

  • Sara

    over 2 years ago

    Sara

    For goodness sake, not bitter much, i wonder if some of these critics would feel the same if they had been ripped off or maybe they reckon they wouldn't be as gullible? Stop being so petty and serious, it's only a programme! That was a Ben Sherman jacket Ryan, my husband's just bought the same one (it looks bad on him as well!)

  • Ryan Mcknight

    over 2 years ago

    Ryan Mcknight

    What kind of jacket is Dom wearing in this episode? Which designer?

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Pat

    over 2 years ago

    Pat

    This was supposed to be Darrington. All the scenic pictures were of Carleton and Carleton village green. Must be more picturesque than Darrington!! God job Dom and his team as usual.

  • Robert Rees

    over 2 years ago

    Robert Rees

    It's funny watching Dom Littlewood, he threatens to sort these coboy builders out when he catches up with them. As usual he sits there telling them off, the little terrier. What good does it actually do? I'd like to see more of the shows showing the results like a builder ending up in court but we rarely do.

  • Robert Rees

    over 2 years ago

    Robert Rees

    I cringed when Melissa was asking local businesses for furniture etc. How can she justify asking hard working local people for goods the house was well furnished before she visited. The craft room must have cost thousands to stock and is a luxury not necessity. DIY SOS on the other side helped a couple with a sick child and all the town helped with the build. I'm sure I'm not on my own.

  • abigail

    over 2 years ago

    abigail

    Couldn't the programme have paid for the other couple to have a new roof on their conservatory rather than "ask for donations" of new furniture and decorating - they would have had to pay for this anyway! regardless of how well their builder did! This is a big house on a very big plot of land - and this couple are not "a poor old couple"! I live near here!

  • lynn

    over 2 years ago

    lynn

    Yes the builders who mucked in are a real credit and deserved more work. love the show . My son is registered trading standards in our area, A leaflet is normally sent out each yearl

  • David Dore

    over 2 years ago

    David Dore

    Terrible builder but come on the customer must have had some idea that things were not right when he said what his price was £17,000. I bet the end job was double that and being a builder with over 34 years in the building trade and 26 as a sole trader I cannot understand why these customers part with their money before a job is completed. Also some of the information is not correct on tonight’s programme Malinda said the foundations should be 900 mm thick. The depth of foundation is determined by soil conditions and building control having seen the excavations he giving direction to the builder before concrete is poured. I also agree with Rachel that I see no need in kitting out the house with all the things in the craft room. Just putting the work right is more than enough.

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Lauren

    over 2 years ago

    Lauren

    Love the show but really concerned because although its good to see Dom track down the "cowboy" i also feel that there should be alot more on the actual build and the workers, because myself and im certain alot of other viewers would like to see the work that gets put into the build. In my opinion the workers do not get enuff credit, this isnt bad critism its constructive critism.

  • Yorkshire Lass

    over 2 years ago

    Yorkshire Lass

    Point 1 5 years ago houses in this village tended to have large gardens and were affordable for the common man; these people are not priviledged, just lived there a long time. - the clue is in "exhausted their savings" Point 2: to quote John Ruskin "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.” The Holmes went with the lowest bidder !

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • cj-tay

    over 2 years ago

    cj-tay

    Well said Wendy!

  • Wendy Butterfield

    over 2 years ago

    Wendy Butterfield

    I agree with Rachel and David on this. Surely decoration/furnishing etc. would have been budgeted for over the initial building cost. OK channel 5, give help with sorting the building problems and expose a rip off merchant, but the further expense is unnecessary. Perhaps it would be nice if the recipients made a donation to a Charity in their local area.

  • jo

    over 2 years ago

    jo

    Jo they very much deserved the build being put right. People who work hard and pay their way should not be ripped off. Too many people who make irresponsible life decisions get help at the expense of the genuine people who the welfare state was intended to help.

  • David

    over 2 years ago

    David

    I agree with Rachel on this one. House must be worth over half a million quid. I'm sorry they got ripped off but I think there are a lot of people with a lot less that deserve a helping hand.

  • Christina

    over 2 years ago

    Christina

    good work channel 5 if it wasn't for you these people would still be suffering .. Why don't you make book where we can find good builders then no one in future would face scam builders

  • Chan

    over 2 years ago

    Chan

    Wow channel 5 i'm impressed with the speed of this upload. niceee!

  • lorna

    over 2 years ago

    lorna

    They may have spent their savings to be ripped off and I think that its good to expose these types of builders to stop them in their tracks. The builder responsible should never be allowed to build again if thats the danger he puts people in. The two people I most admired on this programme were the two builders that had quoted, didnt get the job and then turned up to help - fantastic community spirit. Hope they get loads of work on the back of that.

  • Tom

    over 2 years ago

    Tom

    Think they deserved the renovations. Nice old couple that got ripped off by a horrible man. I'm sure their grandchildren enjoy it aswell...good on channel 5 and the local businesses for sorting it out for them.

  • nick

    over 2 years ago

    nick

    This is What decent tradesmen are up against when quoting for work, then someone comes along with no knowledge quotes cheaper and gets the job, half wits like on tonights show need to be stopped, and i'm hoping hes not trading anymore as my 4 year old son is far more advanced than him.

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Rachel

    over 2 years ago

    Rachel

    When we are in the middle of a recession where people are struggling to make ends meet I am disappointed that you feel it is good TV to donate to a couple with a house and garden of that size so that they can have a craft room with ribbons on the wall - I am sure that they've had a tough time with their builder but come on Channel 5, surely there are more deserving people in need of furniture etc?

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

Blank_avatar