How our Taylor Wimpey home hurt our daughter

Your home is your secure place, somewhere you can relax and enjoy as a family, knowing your children are safe. Right?

That wasn’t the experience we got when we bought a Taylor Wimpey home.

We moved into our brand new Taylor Wimpey home on 18th December 2015. There were some pretty big issues after completion, resulting in 12 weeks worth of garden work, as well as all the downstairs flooring being having to be replaced, but over the last few weeks we really started to feel like we were settling in, and that the house was just as we wanted it – clean, warm and safe.

Then on 28th July 2016, after eating our evening meal, Gemma walked across the kitchen to put her plate in the dishwasher. As she did so, the huge, heavy double radiator on the kitchen wall fell. Onto her leg. 

Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey

The whole thing simply came straight off the wall, pulling all the fixings and brackets off with it. Unfortunately, my 10 year old daughters ankle took the weight of it. Within seconds, blood was seeping through her socks, and on closer inspection, we discovered a large, deep cut which I knew would require some glue or sutures.

Ruptured Achilles

I rushed her straight off to the local emergency department, and we were seen very quickly. The wound was cleaned, glued and secured with steri strips and a bandage. It was obviously painful, and Gemma couldn’t hold back the tears.

Once she was cleaned up, the nurse wanted to check her Achilles reflex, due to the positioning of the wound. It soon became clear that there was no reflex at all in the injured leg, and after a call to orthopaedics, we were told that they suspected a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Gemma was taken to the plaster room to be put into a cast.

Ruptured Achilles

Ruptured Achilles

We left the hospital a while later with painkillers and crutches, and a referral to the paediatrics team in the larger hospital next week. The full extent of the injuries are not known yet – she may need an operation, she may need physio, and she is likely to need several weeks in a cast. The long term effects are yet to be seen.

My poor girl has had her summer holidays ruined by something that should never, ever have happened. 

After the incident, an on call plumber was called to assess and repair the radiator. He immediately found the problem – the large radiator was attached to an exterior, brick wall with small, inadequate plasterboard fixings.

Taylor Wimpey

We have reported the incident to Taylor Wimpey, who sent a customer care manager to see us yesterday. On arrival, they checked the radiator again, as well as agreeing to check all other radiators in the property at our request. 

They left, with no further mention of my daughter or how they intended to help her, or make her summer holidays a bit more bearable.

It’s not about money, it’s not about shaming a company. It’s about my daughter, who has suffered as a result of incompetence. It’s about the fact she can no longer attend the fun sports courses I have booked her in for this summer while I work. It’s about not being able to swim with friends this summer, or visit the local park paddling pool. It’s about a 10 year old girl not being able to play out in the summer holidays, not being able to kick a ball, play tag, climb a tree It’s about family holiday plans ruined. It’s about a child’s summer holiday ruined, it’s about weeks of pain, plaster casts, hospital appointments and uncertainty. 

It’s ultimately about safety isn’t it? What if that heavy radiator had landed on our newly walking 1 year old? Imagine the damage that could have caused. 

All Taylor Wimpey had to do was apologise, to offer my daughter something to help. They could have though outside the box, offered her some Toys R Us vouchers to buy herself some craft sets, some book tokens so she had new books to read this summer, or researched a family day out that would have been suitable for a little girl with limited mobility. 

But they chose to brush her under the carpet, and show little interest in the damage they have caused.

And that’s not OK. Someone has to speak up for her, and that’s my job. She deserves more, she deserves to be safe in her own home. Doesn’t everyone deserve that? 

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69 Comments

  1. July 30, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    This is really alarming as we are in talks about buying a TW property at the moment, think will definitely be re-considering! I hope your poor daughter still manages to enjoy some of the summer!

    • kate
      July 30, 2016 / 6:07 pm

      If you go ahead, make sure you get all wall fixings double checked!

  2. July 30, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Woah, that’s awful! I can’t believe TW have been so blasé about it! Poor Gemma, I hope she makes a speedy recovery x

    • kate
      July 30, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Thank you so much lovely x

  3. Taylor Wimpey Support
    July 30, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    We are very sorry that this has happened to your daughter and your family. The safety of our customers is of the highest importance to us and we want to reassure you we are treating this accident with the utmost seriousness. Pete and Nigel, our CEO and Divisional Chairman Central & South West, both replied to your email yesterday and Nigel called you on your mobile today and has left a voice message. Please do get back in touch asap with the best number for you so we can help.

    • kate
      July 30, 2016 / 7:33 pm

      I have received the emails and answer phone message. Thank you, I will be in touch.

  4. Mike Fenlon
    July 30, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Those “redidriva” fixings are designed for LIGHTWEIGHT fixtures in plasterboard. They cost pennies each, as opposed to the toggle type fixing that should have been used as a minimum, which cost 10x more. To be honest though, as it looks like it’s on an external wall, I would have used either battens beneath the plasterboard in first fix, or a proper fixing through to the block. A double rad isn’t light when empty, never mind when filled with hot water under around 2 bar of pressure!

    That’s the contractors cutting corners and the management failing to properly inspect.

    Hope your daughter is as well as she can be.

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 8:47 am

      Yep, the on call plumber said the same about those fixings!

  5. July 30, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Kate this is awful, your poor girl! I know a few friends who have bought new build homes and had so many problems with poor quality and it seems that things just aren’t done properly. Your poor girl, hope she is on the mend soon xx hubs said you should go to the daily mail or somewhere with the story or something, get some publicity to the problem as they clearly aren’t caring about it right now!
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…Me and Mine July 2016My Profile

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 8:46 am

      It is such a shame that these new build ‘dream homes’ are not what they should be – people work SO hard to buy them!

  6. July 30, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    I am so absolutely shocked and disgusted by this. When you buy a new home you expect it to be perfect. I am just so, so glad that Little E wasn’t under that radiator. I hope Taylor Wimpey step up and do something about this x
    Donna recently posted…A Summer of CyclingMy Profile

  7. July 30, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    I am so so sorry for your poor daughter! I really hope she recovers well with no long time damage. Safety is huge and should be an absolute priority when building homes!!!

  8. July 30, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    It is really alarming, appalling and it should never have happened but I would have given them a chance to respond before going public. They person who visited may need more senior approval for what they’re intending to do to try and make things better. They may also be trying to fully investigate the cause before coming back to you (and presumably trying to work out if other houses and other kids are at risk.)
    Eat Like You Love Yourself recently posted…Paprika Halloumi SkewersMy Profile

    • kate
      July 30, 2016 / 10:29 pm

      It was a senior staff member from the regional office who was sent to see me on Friday. They told me how they intend to check both my radiators and those in other properties on the site, which is great, and I appreciate that.
      However, when I brought up the subject of my daughter, their reply was ‘I am sorry, but there’s nothing we can do’.
      If they had wanted to carry out a full investigation I would have completely accepted that, and happily worked with them, but that wasn’t the case here.

  9. Claire
    July 31, 2016 / 7:41 am

    I’m not at all surprised to be honest. We have had at least three fall off the walls in our two houses over the past five years. We checked them all at the old house after the first fell off and most were only held on with one clip. Didn’t remember to check here until the lounge one fell off with no warning. Luckily no one was near.
    They also didn’t fit our fire alarm correctly. Two years later I checked the batteries and noticed the error. When I reported it the site manager laughed. Laughed that myself and our family could have died in our sleeps. He didn’t live that down.
    I hope there isn’t any long term damage for your daughter. I hope Wimpey step up their checks. Everything is one big huge rush. We’ve seen at least three houses on site having repair works due to massive cracks down the property walls as they throw everything up so quickly and don’t offer the 12 month checks like other building companies.
    Anything to save some pennies

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 8:45 am

      It’s shocking isn’t it? I can’t believe they laughed off a smoke alarm – that could be the difference between life and death!

  10. Amy Williams
    July 31, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us Kate. What a disgrace Taylor Wimpey are! Give our love to Gemma. Love Martyn, Amy and Josh at no. 21

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 1:07 pm

      Make sure you get them to come and check your radiators too!

  11. July 31, 2016 / 12:28 pm

    OMG how scary for you. And your poor daughter. The summer holidays can be hard to fill with exciting things to do without an injury to contend with. I hope she’s ok and TW do exactly as you suggest and think outside the box to make her summer as good as it can be given the situation you are all in x

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 1:06 pm

      Thank you – the summer is going to be difficult I think!

  12. July 31, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    My gosh, they’re the same fixings we use for SHELVES! That’s crazy. Hope you get it all sorted out. All of the horror stories that I’ve read in response to all of this has definitely put me off new builds. Will definitely be sticking with our ex council house haha x
    Nat | UEM recently posted…Bespoke & Oak Wedding Hangers : ReviewMy Profile

    • kate
      July 31, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      I don’t blame you – we loved our ex council house. Wish we hadn’t moved now!
      I know what you mean about the fixings – I know for a fact we have bigger ones holding up pictures and curtain poles!

  13. July 31, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    Appalling on behalf of TW! I sincerely hope they do the right thing and you and your daughter are ok

  14. August 1, 2016 / 10:36 am

    How awful that this has happened to your daughter, and as you say the consequences could have been much worse had it been a smaller child. They are bad enough as it is. I can’t believe that TW haven’t responded sooner in terms of concern for your daughter at least, while the rest of the issue is being sorted. I hope she recovers quickly xx
    Carol Cliffe recently posted…From the Mouths of MumsMy Profile

  15. J
    August 1, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Have you thought about making a claim for compensation? They must have some kind of insurance? Doesn’t an nhbc guarantee provide any cover?

    • kate
      August 1, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      I am sure they do have insurance, and yes we are covered by the NHBC. They offer you a 10 year structural warranty. I have emailed NHBC to see what they say. I really didn’t want to have to make a compensation claim to be honest, and I am sad it’s got to that sort of stage!

  16. August 2, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    I hope your daughter will recover quickly. Those fixings are way too small, even my spice shelf has bigger screws. This is appalling.
    Anca recently posted…365 Project – JulyMy Profile

  17. August 3, 2016 / 11:16 pm

    Perfect timing not! We live in a Bryant home on a new(ish) estate. I hate to say it but from our experience and others around here. Most large building companies are more focused on building volume than quality. Our Neighbours kitchen for example ran down hill about 4 inches.
    Hope you get a reasonable solution from TW and your daughter makes a quick recovery.

  18. Adam
    August 4, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    My family live in a Taylor Wimpey property & our experience is that these properties are all built to a very low standard, with Taylor Wimpey only thinking about the money. If we had the money we would have moved out long ago. Issues include downpipes for 2 properties going into the ground with no drainage resulting in an almost permanent flood in the rear garden, not their issue they say. Fixtures & fittings with visible hole in the plasterboard where they made it to bit for fixture. Waste water pipes that sit proud of the concrete floor, the list goes on. Unfortunately there is no pride in ones work these days & greed makes that ok. Hope your daughter gets better soon & has no lasting damage.

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