NFRC Supplier Members came to the rescue recently when a widow was conned by a group of unscrupulous builders.
Retired and recovering from double hip replacement surgery, she received an unsolicited visit from a company asking if she needed any roof work done to her property in Cheshire. She agreed to have the flat roofs replaced, rather than just cleaned, aware that her insurance did not cover flat roof replacement after ten years.
They also offered to clear the moss off the main roof, which she agreed to.
So far, so good—they also replaced several downstairs windows and then started on the roof. Instead of a gentle clean, they used a pressure washer, which resulted in major leaks throughout the roof. Water was coming through the bathroom ceiling and the kitchen was so water-damaged that the underfloor heating stopped working.
At this point the builders announced that the whole roof now needed replacing. The woman had been paying them in dribs and drabs, as the boss said he needed money to pay his team and to buy materials. In total she handed over £120,000 before realising that they were a group of con men, stopped the works and reported them to Trading Standards.
However, there was still the problem of the roof and the interior damage to the house. A friend recommended NFRC member C Hynes Roofing Ltd, a Stockport-based company owned by Christian Hynes, who went along to quote on the job and was horrified by what he discovered.
“It was clear that these cowboy builders had caused the leaks and the work was substandard—the flat roofs had only been painted rather than replaced, and the work carried out was only worth around £18,000,” explained Christian.
“Having quoted for the job—at around one-third of the sum already handed over by the property owner—we were so concerned at her plight that we approached the NFRC to see if they could help.
“As a result, a number of NFRC Supplier Members provided materials free of charge, we completed the works and the owner is now able to have the interior re-plastered, repaired and re-decorated where necessary.”
The property owner, who has requested that she remains anonymous as legal action is pending, and feels anxious as she lives alone, said: “Christian and his team have carried out a fantastic job and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone needing roofing work.
“However, he went far above and beyond by sourcing services and goodwill from a number of local companies, which saved me even more expense.
“I feel somewhat foolish at being taken in by these con men; however, they struck when I was extremely vulnerable, having just undergone major surgery. Normally I would get several quotes and recommendations before authorising any work.
“If I can be duped by such people, there will be many more who can fall prey in similar circumstances.”
Fortunately this tale has a happy ending, thanks not only to Christian and his team, Steve Laurence and Simon Dixon from NFRC but also most importantly to the following NFRC Supplier Members for their generosity in donating, offering and providing materials for free:
- SIG Insulation
- Midland Lead
- SR Timber
- Cupa Pizarras
- A Proctor Group