We purchased a 2 bed flat from DWH in May 2003.

We only went to look at the Development with no intention to buy and came away determined to purchase one of the flats. The deposit was down within a week. The flat was near complete and had only the kitchen, sanitary ware, skirting etc to fit. We were delighted with the location, look and size of the flat. A pity we did not look close enough at the standard of internal work.

Prior to moving in DWH solicitors in Glasgow informed our solicitor they could not exchange on the previously agreed date as it fell on a local (Glasgow) holiday. They finally agreed to have someone in to receive the funds transfer. Did they really expect us to re-arrange removal vans, mortgage funds, cancellation of utilities, put off the purchasers for the two properties we had sold etc. This was a warning of things to come.

On the day we moved in:

Sales staff and cabin had moved of site never to return. At this time only 4 or 5 of the 12 flats were occupied.

Site Manager was off abroad that afternoon and could not hang around.

Boiler was broken. No hot water or heating. “Sorry, you will have to phone a plumber”

Telephone sockets did not work and nothing to do with BT.

No evidence the flat had been cleaned prior to entry. The amount of debris painted onto the walls etc suggested the floor had been swept at some time. I.e. onto the skirting etc then painted over.

Flat stank of chips-probably the painter’s lunch.

Our parking space sold with the flat was not completed for months.

No fireplace was installed. In 2004 we got a refund of £500. DWH had been unable to send us a brochure to pick one. We used this money to re-tile our bathroom. Nothing wrong with the tiles we just prefer them evenly spaced out and grout in between. On some rows the pattern on the tile was repeated 3, 4 and even 5 times in a row. The tiler had not bothered to mix them up. The sealant which finished either side of the taps did not impress us either.

We expected to find the usual snagging but not this amount or having to wait years to get things done.

Christmas
It was near enough Christmas before our letters regards snagging were answered by DWH Glasgow office. Apparently they had all been placed in our file rather than read.

General.

We can hear our ground floor neighbour peeing in their en-suite bathroom. We are on the 2nd floor.

DWH had overvalued the re-build cost of the block. In the 1st year, all 12 flats paid £500+ each for buildings insurance.

The inside stairwell lighting is permanently on and has never worked properly. We often come home to find the stair in darkness and also to find the electrics in our flat has tripped. We have just found out that 3 of the external street lights are wired into the stair supply. Our last factor bill for communal electricity was £70 each. The residents paid for an inspection and found the majority of fittings were upside down, not enough breakers etc, to deal with the load. David Wilson Homes are in the process of fixing the faults albeit only after contacting their Head Office. The debris from the repair, bits of wire, screws etc have been left lying around the stairwell as off 16 April.

Our previous Barratt property had switches on each floor to turn on/off the stair lighting.

One of DWH Directors in front of the Maintenance Manager, myself and girlfriend said we were lucky not to have a family from Pakistan living beneath us (polite version) while inspecting the non-existent insulation around our soil pipes. Something about the inspection hatches being used to dispose of nappies.

One neighbour has been flooded three times due to nails in pipes and boiler problems.

We have still to receive our completion certificate due to the stair lighting and problems with sound insulation

Standard of internal finish

We have recently written to NHBC/DWH Head Office to have remaining items completed. There are too many faults to list however here’s what to look out for unless DWH contractors have improved.

Insulation. The council surveyor told us the block had been built to the council’s minimum standard so not a lot he could do other than insist DWH inspect the soil pipes. Something they had earlier refused to do.

Standard of Painting- CRAP.

Internal division walls/boxed in pipework-warped. Made form bent bits of wood. The kind you see in DIY shops which have not been sold.
Doors don’t fit frames. For a few ££ more they come fixed to a frame from the manufacturer. DWH would rather make their own-pity.
Paint all over ironmongery.

Installation of WC/general plumbing-CRAP.

Toilets secured to wall only by pipework. There were screws fitted in one cistern but do not grip the wall. Radiators tails vary in length from room to room and even radiator to radiator.
Plasterboard/filling/taping-splits, cracks and pops over and above what you would expect. Never bothered to rub down excess plaster prior to painting.

Electrical fittings-holes cut to size of faceplate instead of box. Surround then filled with either plaster/caulk or as we found silicone bath sealant.

Windows-the factory spray finish was chipped, scratched etc. Rusted fittings and damaged external frames. They had obviously been lying around the site in the rain prior to fitting.

Boiler-looks second-hand and was always on ‘lockout’ i.e. broken prior to moving in.

Kitchen and fittings-GREAT.

This is one room we don’t have a problem with. No doubt fitted by the kitchen supplier and not DWH.

For the price we paid (over £200K) we should have had decent doors and ironmongery. I bought some replacement door hinges for 80p a pair, an exact match to the ones fitted. The doors are cheap and lightweight. The cheapest available from Rembrand Timber. We should know we had four replaced.

DWH Contractors

They would often turn up late or not arrive at all and unprepared to do the work specified in their job sheets. I had to direct the painter who turned up to spray the windows to the nearest B&Q. He had no sandpaper or masking tape. He had been told that morning he was to do ‘some spraying’.

He sprayed around the handles as DWH joiner had not removed them. Joiner arrives then nicks the surrounding woodwork taking off the handles. He then later replaces them and leaves his fingerprints on the still wet frame. Day 2 lets all start again and include all the bits missed the previous day. Day 3, Day 4…

DWH Maintenance Joiner.

Happy to help and eager to please but didn’t have the tools or the skill to do much good-sorry.

DWH Maintenance Manager & Customer Liaison Manager

I suspect they were busy and trying to find their feet in a new job. The poor admin did not help. In 2003, however there were and still are few sites built by DWH. If the quality has not improved they are sailing into a storm.

Both Managers and joiner we dealt with have since left DWH.

I don’t know if they have a new Maintenance Manager but I hope the new joiner knows how to sharpen a chisel. The new Customer Liaison Manager whom I have met, gives the impression he can’t be bothered listening to anything you have to say.

DWS sales staff

They should have remained on site, otherwise no complaints.

DWH Glasgow Office

Probably a lot of hard working people undermined by some poor admin and follow up.

Our wish list

DWH to complete our remaining snagging to an acceptable standard and learn from their mistakes. Only then our property might start to resemble the description in one of their glossy sales brochures.

They should thoroughly inspect their properties and rectify faults.

Inspect remedial work and not leave it to the homeowner to do.

Monitor the trades daily during the build and rectify poor work before they move onto the next room/property.

ALDI are selling laser levels for £9.99-buy some.

We could not recommend buying a DWH home. Check with the Council’s surveyor dealing with your development. If it’s built to minimum standard, walk away. You don’t want to hear your guests using the WC as you and everyone else are having a meal. It’s disturbing.

ST, A fed up owner in Scotland. 14 April 2006.

If I get a result from the builder or NHBC I will update this message.

Question: DWH, why do I have 2 cables leading to the boiler coming out from the wall beneath the fused connection unit in my utility room. Surely the cables should be behind the wall or even coming out through the faceplate via a cable entry point.

Why? DWH Why?

The day we intended posting the above (14/04/06) we received a reply to our letter from DWH head office. Our letter has been copied to the Glasgow office and the Customer Liaison/Quality Assurance Director form head office will be discussing the content in person with the Glasgow Managing Director on 20 April.

Perhaps in the future some of these Directors/Managers will have a good look at one of their properties prior to handing over the keys to the purchaser. If you all fancy a day out you can come see the mess in our house.

3 May 2006
No word from DWH so far.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra Wallace March 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

I will never buy a DWH ever again……we are still finding faults three years on and have NEVER had a satisfactory response to our issues.

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Julie McCaffrey May 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I am extremetly unhappy with some of the contractors. I bought a new DWH house in May 2009, particularly due to having solar panels and suiting my “green” outlook. Within months there were faults, by December it was deemed unsafe to use and was switched off. I was PROMISED that a solar system engineer would be sent ASAP – it is now MAY and I still have not heard a thing, depsite chasing numerous times through their plumbing contractors. I am going to compare this year’s bills with last year’s and bill the difference to DWH!!!

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Simon Ayriss September 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

We purchased our home from David Wilson Homes in 2007 and chose Dvid Wilson Homes as they had been in the past seen as a quality builder. Unfortunately this has proven to be far from the case and we have endured and still do nearly 4 years of wrangling with DWH.
When we moved into the property we paid for extensive wall tiling but decided to have floor tiling laid after we moved in.
When it came to tiling the bathrooms it was decided that to do the work correctly that the wc’s and wash basins would be best removed and refitted. To our horror we found that all fittings had not been attached to the wall in the appropriate way using screw fixings but indeed had been stuck to the wall with a bit of mastic!
It took months to get this put right.
The house is supposedly built under what is know as “Robust Detail” What a joke. The party wall which transmits every sound from our neighbours had a 2 inch or more gap on every floor. After nearly 18 months of complaints David Wilson Homes remedy was to stuff this with rock wool and their favourite mastic. This has had NO effect what so ever.
All of the kitchen doors were damaged and it took 6 months of correspondence for them to agree to replace.
Electrical wiring within the property was down right dangerous with sockets in position but cable not screwed in but just placed.
The property has painted external walls as per the planning requirements. This was applied in December 2007 and clearly due to the temperature and weather conditions was not correctly applied. Added to this coping stones were of the wrong size and it was myself who pointed this out to David Wilson Homes. 12 months later they fitted the coping stones and then said they would repaint during the following spring. Spring became summer then autumn and as they had left so late said they would paint in the following April or May 2011. Nothing happened then they said they would paint in June. Nothing happened then they said they would paint on the week of the 6th August. As this was our daughters weeding day we asked if they could delay a few weeks so they said not a problem at a all and that the scaffolding would definitely go up on the 6th September. Guess what no show, what a surprise. The customer service manager emailed yesterday and wrote ” As the window of opportunity for applying the paint in appropriate weather conditions has passed the works will now be delayed until April 2012 at the earliest.” I am not sure how big a window this so called customer service manager requires but I would have tout 3 years was enough!
DWH contracted to supply locked gates to all walkways and still to date have not fitted even though they have admitted these should have been supplied.
Seriously unless you want to purchase a home and then spend all of your time trying to communicate with the builder DO NOT BUY A DAVID WILSON HOME.
They are now a part of the Barrett Group and so the influence of this builder has now trashed the good name f the original David Wilson Homes.
All evidence of the above is available to anyone who wishes to see and I am more than happy to share our experiences.
We have now had to appoint a solicitor to peruse this so called “Quality” builder

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Simon May 22, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I don’t know what other builders are like but the customer service from DWH has been shockingly poor. I’ve had several issues to do with poor workmanship that an independent architect has advised me need addressing raised almost 6 months ago and there has still been no rectification. I’ve pretty much just even ignored by the entire company soon after I transferred funds at completion

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jane smith July 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I have been through all this and you are wasting your time , once barratts have your money that’s it , we have battled them for 4 years we moved into a new build , when we came to want a conservatory we found they had omitted to put on our deeds or even tell us that there was 2 pipes in the back garden which prevented us from building how we wanted to after 3 years of going back and forth with barretts snot nosed solicitor we managed to get a measly payout , we have since erected the conservatory whilst doing so all the hidden problems came to light no insulation where it should be , lintels being too short , bodged work , brickwork being of a very poor standard I honestly don’t know how this passed the checks , im absolutely gutted we bought a barratts home , unfortunately barratts couldn’t care less theyre worth millions and people will still buy their rubbish houses the only thing you can do is try to sell and never go near them again

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DAVE STEPHENSON February 4, 2015 at 10:38 am

I can totally agree with all the above, we’ve had endless issues since moving in June 2011 – nearly four years on, and we’re still having issues!
Everything from fine details/craftsmanship faults/plumbing leaks – Or which we still have to date, upstairs bathroom has a leak somewhere, staining all the ceiling downstairs and still tripping the electrics, half the board goes out when the shower is used, and this has been going n since well before Christmas, October maybe! and they don’t seem bothered – we have not had an electrician round to check anything, and the heating has been coming on on its own. fucking fed up – My old house which was close to 100yrs old never had these issues!!
Mr D Stephenson – Elba Park Development, Sunderland UK PLOT55

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DAVE STEPHENSON February 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON!! but Im sick of complaining!!

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Mike Coker January 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

It seems that DWH have not improved ‘Customer Care’ indeed it seems that it should be ‘Customer Care Less’. Perhaps now is the time to use ‘Facebook’ to spread the word!!

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P Evans April 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Does anyone have more recent experience, or good experience of buying and living in a DWH new home. I’m just about to exchange on one but having read such poor reviews now, I’m thinking of not going ahead. Very hard as I’m moving somewhere I don’t know and also am now out of work as I’ve already resigned from job given move plan. Please can anyone help? Thank you.

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Mick O'Neill October 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

David Wilson Homes are currently laying the foundations and groundwork on a new development opposite my house,
the land was up to recently , a semi wetland meadow.
Although we, the local residents opposed this plan it was allowed to go ahead by the planners, our concerns were were access to the new development and existing properties ,drainage,width of road etc, after a meeting with Barretts planning team they assured us the road would be widened , all wheels cleaned before lorries leave the site, the road has not been widened, as a result huge lorries laden with blocks, concrete,aggregate,etc are mounting the footpath outside my house, something they maintained would never happen, although some attempt to sweep the road has been carried out, this seems to have run out of steam,as the entire road is now covered in mud.
I must admit the houses look really impressive on the artists impressions, If DWH stick to their original plan this development could look real pretty as the local area is arable farmland and woodland.
After reading some of these messages i’m getting worried,
I’l watch with interest as this site progresses

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Sandy Taylor January 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

I am the author of the blog dated May 2006.
We moved out a year later in May 2007. Most of the snagging was botched so I fixed it myself. The worst new build I have ever bought.
ST

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Mark price August 30, 2017 at 11:33 am

DWH ? Full of promises it’s seems they’ve had your money they don’t care I’ve taken a weeks annual leave informed site about it and said let’s get snags wrapped up after 3 days no one turned up I chased and a guy come and painted stair handrail I said what about splash back (all scratched on the rear ) he shrugs what about garage door dented due to storing materials before moving in , loose edging stones the list goes on I’m back at work tomorrow thanks DWH for wasting my time.During the time we’ve had individual people turn up with a wrong kitchen handle 1out of umpteen was different? Say no more ,waking my wife up who’s been on nights and we’d informed DWH of the situation to find out it was the wrong one 3times this happened.Painting and finishing I agree is very poor £335,000 for my house DWH I’m not impressed please get this sorted

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