Builder sends text calling client a ‘crank’ after £7,500 job left home ‘a mess’

A woman says she received a text from her builder describing her as a "crank" after his £7,500 job left her house "in a mess".

Victoria Lee, 44, from Eastham, Wirral, paid to have her conservatory refurbished after she discovered that her roof was rotting.

Victoria paid Neil Cartledge of Safe Smart Solutions, based in Warrington, £7,500 to carry out the work.

She claims it was agreed that work would include removing the roof and doors of the conservatory, the installation of a new conservatory roof, new electrics and lighting, new radiators and new insulation.

But she says the work left a number of issues including a leaking roof, damage to skirting boards and problems with the plumbing on the radiators.

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And she says that in response to one enquiry about the job, she received a message which she believed branded her a "crank" – a claim the builder denies.

He said he had been signed off work ill, and had offered to complete the work or send another builder to do so.

But Victoria claims that the quality of the unfinished job has left her forking out more money to have the work completely redone.

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Victoria told the Liverpool Echo: "I spent four years worth of savings on this. Those savings were for a rainy day. I wanted to have work done on my conservatory because the roof was rotting.

"Everything has had to be ripped out.

"When I sent him a text asking him to get the plumber to fix the work he'd done on the radiator I received a text off the builder which said: 'Yeah mate. She's a crank', which was clearly about me.

"Now I have to pay out again to rectify it with a new builder. When I was meeting the new builder I broke down and told him that I don't have any money to pay for the new work."

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She said that she wanted her new conservatory to be like an extension of her living room. She claims that they agreed on a timeframe of three weeks for the work to be completed.

Mr Cartledge said he was unable to complete the work because he had been signed off sick by his GP at the time for mental health reasons.

Speaking to the ECHO, he said: "I was signed off as sick and I wasn't fit for work. I have offered to go back and complete the work but she does not want me to."

When asked about the text message Victoria received, Mr Cartledge said that he "wouldn't have said that" and that the message was "not aimed at her" and may have been sent accidentally.

He also said he had offered to send another builder to carry out the additional work on his behalf.

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