Rogue trader destroys our family home

This has been one of the most stressful, emotional rollercoaster times of our lives. 

To give you a little back story; We have been doing a renovation since January on a property that is small but perfectly formed and is going to be our family home. We have been working along side the builder as his labourers, its been exhausting but exhilarating building our family home, and something I’ll always be proud of, however, couple of weeks ago things started to change. 

We agreed a job lot for a fixed fee - labour and materials and an instalment plan so that he could buy materials when needed, this was all under contract. However the builder starting asking for more money, he said he needed an extra £1,200 to get more materials.  The following day we asked him to break down these costs, and it dramatically rose to £5,000.  Along with a lot of behavioural changes, including rudeness and disappearing, we felt things just weren't right, so we sent him a consumer rights letter, outlining what we felt we needed from him, and how things stand financially. We simply do not have this money, we weren't calling his bluff, and we just don't have any more money as this was all our savings and loans from family and friends. 
We have spoke to consumer rights, trading standards and the gas safe register; he will be investigated through these various channels. Through a very kind offer of a mum at our kids school, I spoke to a lawyer for advise this morning, and although we have an extremely strong case its unlikely that we will see our money, for the unfinished work o the work that has to be re done. We are thoroughly ashamed, embarrassed, shocked and hurt. I stupidly trusted him, someone who I thought was helping us out, as he knew the troubles we had with health over the last couple of years. 
We have just had building control in today, and to add to our woes some of the work he has done will have to be re-done, like the roof, and the configuration of the stairs does not meet fire regulations.
We have been very humbled that a number of tradespeople have been beyond kind enough to offer help, advise and their personal time for free. However, and completely understandable, we would have to provide materials to re do the roof including the lead flashings that dissapeaered from site, plaster, finish the electrics, timber for the stud walls, plasterboard,  loft insulation, wood treatment course, gas safety check, paint, bannisters & spindles a skip to remove all of the rubbish left behind – the list goes on. We have so far had quotes for the plaster and roof materials, and its an eye watering £8000 for just these two areas. The electrician bill as well as the structural engineer bill are outstanding, a contract between the builder and these trades. 
We are happy to work our nails to the bone, and use every ounce of energy we have left to get this complete this, we just need a little help to get us over the line. 
With all the time that the builder has consumed, we are on a very tight deadline as our rent contract deadline is the end of September. 
Like I said we are dumbfounded with the generous offers of help, so anything contributed will be amazing. We know this is a tough and bizarre time, so cant thank you all enough, and thank you for reading

Charlotte, Sam Ruby and Dylan (Rudolph & Peacock) 

PS: Any surplus funds, we would like to donate to people in a similar situation. This is not something we would wish on anyone


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Charlotte Rudolph 
Bath, South West England, United Kingdom

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