September 27, 2021

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Home Gets Me Excited

Mum’s warning after flooding wrecks new build Taylor Wimpey home’s garden

3 min read

A mum has warned other homebuyers after the garden in her dream newbuild Taylor Wimpey home was left flooded and unusable.

Emily Bigg hoped her two young children would enjoy playing outside in their new build home after moving in two years ago.

However despite choosing a plot of land specifically for this, she said drainage problems have left the back of the garden constantly underwater

She claims that when she complained, she was told she needed to look after the garden better – and was dismayed to learn that she was not covered by warranties, Lancs Live reports.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said they sorry Emily is unhappy with her garden – adding “all of our customers receive guidance on how to look after their gardens”.

Emily said: “It’s better in summer. There’s just no drainage so it just gets waterlogged and then there’s no grass.

“It’s probably a similar story for a lot of people, not just in the garden but in the houses.

“We got told when we bought the house it was a two-year warranty for any problems. My house is shared ownership so apparently the two years starts when the housing association buys it so mine expired a lot sooner than I thought.

“Regardless of that, I complained before then and the response was just ‘you need to look after the garden better’.”

Emily, who works as a costs drafter for a legal firm, moved into the house at the Highgrove Park development in Ormskirk in April 2019 following a divorce.

She hoped it would be a bright start for her and her children, who are now aged six and four, after previously renting in Formby.

She said they enjoyed their first summer there but problems soon began to materialise during the colder months, with the garden turning into a muddy swamp.

She said she was quoted four figure sums by gardeners and landscapers who conceded that any work might not even rectify the problem long term as the surrounding gardens slope towards the same point.

In the end, she had decking fitted on the back third of the garden, thanks in part to a local trader who gave her a good deal after hearing about her problems on Facebook.

Emily said: “I specifically picked this house because of the garden. It’s a good size and it’s south-facing so you get more sun.

“I know it’s a first world problem and there’s worse things going on but I shouldn’t be having to deal with this.

“I don’t have thousands of pounds to fix the garden.”

Emily said she was given a leaflet when she moved in explaining that she must regularly mow and aerate the lawn and that the advice was repeated to her when she tried to complain, despite her explaining she had done so.

A representative for developer Taylor Wimpey did visit the property but said it was not responsible for the problem.

That stance is backed up by National House Building Council standards which states it is not the responsibility of the developer to rectify any areas of the garden that are holding water that are further than three metres from the house.

Emily said: “There’s basically no drainage, it doesn’t matter what you do.

“It just never dries. If we were to have a week of sun, it would probably dry out but then when it’s dry because it’s clay it just cracks.

“It’s better in the summer and we do use it a bit then. But it’s embarrassing, you want to have people around and it’s just a big mess.

“One of the things with buying a new build is you think you’re covered by all these warranties but you’re not and it’s disheartening.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “Customer satisfaction is a priority for Taylor Wimpey and we are sorry that one of our customers at Highgrove Park is unhappy with her garden.

“We are in close contact with the customer and have visited her to discuss the issues reported to us.

“All of our customers receive guidance on how to look after their gardens when they move into their new homes and we have offered some advice to the customer to help with ongoing maintenance.”

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