February 16, 2022 8.00 pm

Self-proclaimed builder ordered to pay £18k to homeowner for shoddy work

The homeowner had to sell their house to correct the unsafe work

Unsafe building work which left a homeowner in Woodhall with so many issues they had to sell their house to correct the errors, has resulted in an £18,000 fine for a local self-proclaimed builder.

Mick Bucknall attended Lincoln Magistrates Court on February 11, pleading guilty to five charges against work he carried out for a homeowner in Woodhall, a small village near Horncastle, in 2020.

The charges relate to his poor building work on the property, which left an unsupported roof, as well as a gable wall, large roof light and an unsafe chimney.

He was ordered to pay £15,486 of compensation, with additional costs of £2,579.63 and fines of £500, totalling over £18,000 to be paid back at a rate of £400 per calendar month.

This is a fraction of the cost to reverse and correct the unsafe work, which cost the homeowner £45,000; a fee so large they had to sell the property to cover the costs.

The roof was only supported on a single brick wall. | Photo: East Lindsey District Council

The issues were brought to the attention of the victim by a visitor who suspected the works weren’t compliant with Building Regulations.

Upon inspection from a structural engineer, the works were deemed unsafe and props were immediately placed to support the roof, which had been fitted with no end supports.

Further inspections found that the roof had only been supported by a single brick wall at the gable end, on a piece of timber connected to the existing pitched roof.

It was concluded that this was clearly not safe to withstand any length of time, and could have collapsed at any moment, causing serious injury or death.

They were assured by Mr Bucknall that a structural engineer agreed his plans and Building Control were involved. Money was given to Bucknall to pay the engineer, but neither were informed of any of the works that were carried out.

Councillor Tom Ashton, Portfolio Holder for Building Control, said: “Mr Bucknell’s actions are an example of why Building Regulations must always be met. Public safety should always be the builder’s priority and unfortunately in this case, corners were cut, and the homeowner suffered.

“It is reminded that the council will not hesitate to act in circumstances where public safety has been compromised and we sincerely hope this does not happen again at the hands of Mr Bucknall.”