'We came back to house of horrors': Family's shock at building work

Charmaine Claxton and Colin Harvard in the front room of their Bradwell home

Charmaine Claxton and Colin Harvard in the front room of their Bradwell home - Credit: Anthony Carroll

"We just want to spend a normal Christmas in our home."

That is the heartfelt plea from a family who are living in a "horror home" after tradesmen left their property in a terrible state after more than six weeks of renovation work quoted at £7,500.

After the tradesmen left their home in Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, Charmaine Claxton and Colin Havard were shocked to discover flooring coming up, leaky radiators and shower, an unfinished kitchen, plug sockets hanging out, protruding nails and poor tiling and skirting.

Plug sockets were left hanging out

Plug sockets were left hanging out - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

The couple's four children, Heathcliff, eight, Violet, six and twins Azrael and Varian, five, are not allowed downstairs in their home in Swallow Close due to its condition.

Colin Havard and Charmaine Claxton with their children Heathcliff, Violet and twins Azrael and Varian

Colin Havard and Charmaine Claxton with their children Heathcliff, Violet and twins Azrael and Varian - Credit: Anthony Carroll

But as Christmas fast approaches the family have been given a glimmer of hope thanks to kind-hearted local tradesmen.

An example of the workmanship carried out

An example of the workmanship carried out - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

Workmen and businesses have offered services to the family, such as putting in new locks, repairing walls and donating tiles and paint.

Ms Claxton, 40, said: "We are so very grateful to these lovely tradesmen and companies for coming to our rescue and for giving us and our children a glimmer of hope that we might just get our house back to being a home for Christmas. They are all heroes."

An example of the bad work carried out

An example of the bad work carried out - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

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The family had stayed away during the original work but had checked on the tradesmen every day and raised concerns they had with their progress.

The full state of the workmanship was revealed after the tradesmen left, which also included layers of dust not being cleaned away, rubble left under all kitchen units and lounge walls left in an "appalling state".

An example of the work left behind

An example of the work left behind - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

Ms Claxton said: "We came back to a house of horror.

"We had worked hard on saving £7,500 for the work and it has been left in a complete mess.

Colin Havard and Charmaine Claxton in their unfinished kitchen

Colin Havard and Charmaine Claxton in their unfinished kitchen - Credit: Anthony Carroll

"We are sadly still a long way off from getting the house right, we desperately need the help of skilled tradesmen.

An uneven floor surface

An uneven floor surface - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

"I am very limited to what I can do and Colin is struggling due to his fractured arm.

"We are so close to Christmas now and we just want to make it a home again and be able to put decorations up for our children."

Loose plug sockets left in the kitchen

Loose plug sockets left in the kitchen - Credit: Charmaine Claxton

Anyone who can offer help to the family can get in touch via emailing anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

- How traders and businesses have rallied around the family

Ms Claxton said: "Ruth and Andy Joostee of Iceni Home Improvements kindly sent two staff Tommy and David to help repair some of the walls and do some painting.

"Saul’s Flooring came over to try and put some of our LVT flooring right.

"Matthew Woods of Woods Plumbing and Heating has come to fix our damaged radiators and put right the heating system.

"Lopes Home Improvements came over and have plastered a wall that was beyond redemption.

"Dale Cockrill of Cockrill Home Improvements changed our locks.

"Topps Tiles have kindly donated new kitchen tiles to replace the ones that all have to come off.

"The Dulux Decorator Centre have donated paint to us.

"Tiler Jeff Rowland has said he will come and redo our kitchen tiles after Christmas.

"And Drew of Priory Kitchens & Interiors has been a wealth of useful advice and support."