A BUILDER who was fined for shoddy work on a house in South Tyneside admitted he’s been “a fool” but insists he’s no cowboy.
Paul Newbrook was fined £5,000 after admitting five building regulation breaches at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after John and Caroline Collins were told their £7,500 kitchen extension has to be demolished.
Mr Newbrook, 48, of Robert Street, South Shields, says while he admits the work he did was “not his best” he says he has a 25-year unblemished record, and is now planning to appeal against his fine.
He said: “I have admitted to the breaches. I’ve been foolish and I regret that I didn’t go about things the best way. I was trying to do someone a favour and build the extension cheaply. I won’t be doing it again.
“I have plenty of happy customers out there who know the quality of work I normally provide. I am now looking into appealing the fine.”
Mr Newbrook says he is aware of the problems at the Collins’s home, in Harton House Road, South Shields, but claims this was because he bought reduced quality materials to remain within budget.
The faults at the house included PVC windows without handles, windows which have dropped in their frames, a leaking roof and exposed cables.
The court also heard the extension was built over a drain, while council building inspectors had not been informed of the work.
The father-of-three said: “Basically, I wasn’t able to buy the materials I’d normally use. I would normal charge around £15,000 for an extension of that size.”
Mr Newbrook said he had previously demolished a 20-year-old extension at the house prior to starting his work and had assumed that Mr and Mrs Collins had notified building control.
He said: “I basically took it back to its lower level then built it up again. This was already built over the drain.”
Regulations state that informing inspectors that work has started is the responsibility of either a person carrying out the work or the person who employs them.
Mr Collins, who is now planning to take civil action to recuperate the money he’s lost, said: “We’re none the wiser about the applications. At the end of the day we’re not builders, and we never asked for the extension, which was considerably bigger than our original, to be built on the cheap.
“All of this could have been avoided. We gave Mr Newbrook the chance to come back and fix the work before it came to court.”