'Blindsided' woman who hoped to modernise 1930s home left without a kitchen for months and forced to wash dishes in the bath after builders walk out of £20,000 renovation job

Ionie Smallwood, 33, from Winsford, Cheshire, has spent months being unable to cook and has been washing her dishes in the bath after being 'done over' by the firm.

Travel Jun 26, 2024 IDOPRESS

A woman was left 'blindsided' after builders walked out of a £20,000 renovation job on her 1930s home leaving her without a kitchen.

Ionie Smallwood,a senior climate and agriculture sustainability consultant,from Winsford,Cheshire,has spent months being unable to cook and has been washing her dishes in the bath after being 'done over' by the firm.

Ms Smallwood hired a company to build an extension on her three-bedroom home in September last year but now faces £42,000 bill to repair the damage and complete the work.

The 33-year-old,who lives alone,said the builders suddenly stopped turning up three weeks into the project in September,leaving her house unsealed and without a kitchen,and she now cannot afford to complete the construction having already burned through her life savings.

For the past nine months,she says she has been unable to 'cook food properly' and has relied on £1.50 cartons of soup from Morrisons which she warmed up in a microwave in her living room.

She says that even the work that has been done has not been done correctly,such as dodgy insulation (pictured)

'Because that's the room I sleep in and there's nothing holding it up.

'They had not put what they call acrow props in,which are designed to hold the first storey up… they just left it.'

Puddles have also started appearing as the house was left unsealed and the concrete floor is not level.

'That was my savings over several years,' she said. 'It's very frustrating. But I have no choice,I have nowhere else to live.'

Desperate,Ms Smallwood tried contacting her bank,NatWest,to see if she could re-mortgage her home and pay another builder to make it right.

'When I looked to re-mortgage,I was told by the bank that I can't,' she said.

A letter from the bank states the property 'does not appear adequately secure or watertight and there is no fitted kitchen'.

She turned to her home insurance company but was told it did not cover faulty workmanship.

Next she approached private loan companies but found they would not lend her enough money and she feared getting rejected could affect her credit score.

Ms Smallwood said she has reported the company to Trading Standards,contacted her solicitor about taking legal action and written a letter to her MP Edward Timpson.

'I've reported them to all avenues possible and it's infuriating because the justice system has just failed outright,because there is clearly a loophole in the law that is be exploited,' she said.

If she manages to seal the property and install a basic kitchen,she could secure a re-mortgage.

She recently received a quote for £42,000 to repair the structural damage and have the property restored.

'The problem I have is that I need money to fix it so I can re-mortgage it,so I'm between a rock and a hard place,' she said.

'So essentially,I have no other option than to reach out to the public and say 'please can somebody help me with this?''

Ms Smallwood has launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe.


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