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.

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