Sort out cracks in our new home

Liam and his family outside their home.
Liam and his family outside their home.

A man who moved into a new house in Dalkeith last year has hit out at a building firm, claiming it missed a key component from homes on his street.

Liam Brown (32), a telecoms engineer, says Barratt Homes left him and two of his neighbours with cracks down the front of their detached homes on Sandyriggs Loan.

An unrepaired crack on a neighbours wall.

An unrepaired crack on a neighbours wall.

And a Freedom of Information request revealed experts’ belief that bed joint reinforcement was possibly not installed.

However, Barratt Homes said an independent structural engineer and NHBC said there were no structural issues.

And the company said it had offered to carry out repairs.

Mr Brown moved into his home in March 2016 – and then spotted the problems.

“I noticed a crack down the front of the house between the living room and bedroom windows,” he said.

Two neighbours had the exact same problems in exactly the same place.

He said a quality inspections manager from the company visited, and said he thought there was potentially something missing from the build.

“I mentioned the issue of bed joint reinforcement on several occasions but Barratt refused to accept this,” he said. “Only after requesting the FOI, I saw Barratt had been well aware of this from the beginning.”

Barratt told Liam in a separate email that the reappearance of the crack could be because his home is “still going through a settlement and drying out process”.

Mr Brown says he is worried about the future of his “house for life”, where he lives with his partner and their two children.

He said: “Barratt are not willing to discuss this with me. I’ve been all the way to the top and have now hit a brick wall.

“They are treating someone that gave them nearly a quarter of a million pounds with no respect, they have just taken the money and now they don’t care. This was meant to be our house for life when we bought it, but in ten years time is it going to be alright?”

One of Liam’s neighbours, scaffolder Mario Zannit (53), moved into his £234,000 house in May 2016 and noticed a crack down the front three months later. Barrat filled it in only for it to return a month later.

He said: “I have been in the building game for 37 years and I have never heard of this before. They said they will monitor it, that was nearly a year ago. I want it fixed now but they are adamant they wont touch it. What’s the point of monitoring if you are not going to fix it?

“It’s a pain having to argue all the time. We have paid a lot of money for the house, we just want it fixed. The insurance says it’s covered but Barratt say we are not.”

A spokesperson for Barratt Homes said: “An independent structural engineer and NHBC confirmed there are no structural issues with the property and the crack is a result of settlement. In addition, we have offered to repair the crack but this has been declined by Mr Brown who hasn’t given us permission to carry out works.

“We take all property complaints seriously and our customer care team is available to discuss any issues.”