A builder who posted pictures of “laughable” brickwork on a new build housing site has been sacked.
Keith Barker, who was working for a company contracted for the groundwork on the Persimmon Homes’ Lodmoor Sands development in Weymouth, was slabbing nearby with a number of colleagues, when he claims the uneven level of the brickwork caught his eye.
Struggling to contain his laughter, the self-employed machine operator, snapped a few pictures and a video of the wall that appears to be very wonky.
One of his images shows the builders failing to get a spirit level up against the staggeringly uneven brickwork on houses that are priced at upwards of £190,000.
Whilst the video appears to show a spirit level repeatedly rocking off the wall, leaving one worker bewildered and muttering “that is bad.”
But within days of sharing the pictures online, he was contacted by his site manager, who told him not to return back to work.
Keith said: “I’ve never seen brickwork that bad before. The bloke in charge of the bricklayers told me they’re just under a lot of pressure to hurry up and get the job done, which I think is a major cause of it.”
He believes the property has since been purchased – and Keith also claims that an inspection will have been conducted and passed the house, despite the jutting brickwork.
Persimmon’s own website lists around 110 plots for houses and apartments for Lodmoor Sands.
Keith also shared pictures of windows on different properties, which he says show uneven window ledges.
But, the garage wall of the property he filmed and pictured, along with the wall of another house he snapped on the same day, are the worst examples he says he’s seen so far.
He continued to say: “In all seriousness, I think it’s disgraceful they can sell the houses looking like that for what people pay, some I think start at £190,000.
“You’d expect decent work, some of the lead flashing is disgraceful as well and ridge tiles aren’t even straight. You can see so many things that just aren’t right.
“It’s down to rushed workmanship, that’s the idea I’m getting from the guys on the ground.”
He added: “This needs to be put out there for the customers. People who are out there buying their first house, then having problems later down the line, it just isn’t fair on them.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South Coast said: “The photos – taken last year – depict work in progress on unoccupied houses on an active building site. Before completion our houses go through multiple checking stages, including with customers personally, to address issues of concern.”
Keith says he was approached by the Persimmon site manager on Friday, January 22, and told he was being dismissed from the site for posting the images and video on a Facebook group.
While the conversation remained civil Keith claims that after again raising the quality of the brickwork the site manager acknowledged the issues, adding ‘what’s it got to do with you?’
Keith said: “I’m a bit upset about it, but it goes to show how they’re prepared to bury it under the carpet – They don’t want me there because I was making a scene by mentioning this to people, who were agreeing with me that the brickwork was shocking. I just had to take a step further by putting it onto the Persimmons site, which they didn’t like.”
A Persimmon Homes spokesperson added: “The individual concerned was a sub-contractor and not a Persimmon employee. As such they are subject to the contractor’s disciplinary procedures and rules.”