United Kingdom

Builder is sacked for sharing pictures of 'laughable' wonky walls and shoddy brickwork

A builder has been sacked after he shared evidence of 'laughable' wonky walls and shoddy brickwork on a newbuild housing site where homes sell for more than £190,000. 

Self-employed machine operator Keith Barker posted videos of workmen struggling to contain their laughter over a wall that appears to be uneven, as they try to hold a spirit level up against it.

The video shows the device repeatedly rocking off the wall , leaving one worker bewildered and muttering 'that is bad'.

Another photo appears to show the staggeringly uneven brickwork on properties at Persimmon Homes' Lodmoor Sands development in Weymouth. 

One of the two worst examples of the brickwork on the site in Dorset, according to Keith Barker

At the time Keith was working for a company contracted for the groundworks on the Persimmon site when he posted the images and video on social media. 

While slabbing nearby with a number of colleagues, the uneven level of the brickwork caught his eye.

But within days of posting images of the work on social media, he was contacted by the site manager, who told him he was no longer welcome on site.

He said: 'I've never seen brickwork that bad before. The bloke in charge of the bricklayers told me they're just under a lot of pressure to hurry up and get the job done, which I think is a major cause of it.'

He believes the property has since been purchased - and Keith also claims that an inspection will have been conducted and passed the house, despite the jutting brickwork.

Persimmon's own website lists around 110 plots for houses and apartments for Lodmoor Sands.

He's also pictured windows on different properties, which he says show uneven window ledges.

The garage wall of the property he filmed and pictured, along with the wall of another house he snapped on the same day, are the worst examples he says he's seen so far.

He said: 'In all seriousness, I think it's disgraceful they can sell the houses looking like that for what people pay, some I think start at £190,000.

'You'd expect decent work, some of the lead flashing is disgraceful as well and ridge tiles aren't even straight. You can see so many things that just aren't right.

'It's down to rushed workmanship, that's the idea I'm getting from the guys on the ground.'

He added: 'This needs to be put out there for the customers. People who are out there buying their first house, then having problems later down the line, it just isn't fair on them.'

One of the walls on a property at Persimmon ?homes' Lodmoor Sands site appears to be wonky

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South Coast said: 'The photos - taken last year - depict work in progress on unoccupied houses on an active building site. Before completion our houses go through multiple checking stages, including with customers personally, to address issues of concern.'

Keith says he was approached by the Persimmon site manager on Friday, January 22, and told he was being dismissed from the site for posting the images and video on a Facebook group.

While the conversation remained civil Keith claims that after again raising the quality of the brickwork the site manager acknowledged the issues, adding 'what's it got to do with you?'

Keith said: 'I'm a bit upset about it, but it goes to show how they're prepared to bury it under the carpet - They don't want me there because I was making a scene by mentioning this to people, who were agreeing with me that the brickwork was shocking. I just had to take a step further by putting it onto the Persimmons site, which they didn't like.'

A Persimmon Homes spokesperson said: 'The individual concerned was a sub-contractor and not a Persimmon employee. As such they are subject to the contractor's disciplinary procedures and rules.'

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