Buying a house from Persimmon is worse than Open Heart Surgery!!!!
Apologies but this is a long post. Hopefully it will help someone avoid the issues I have faced, and will bring attention within Persimmon to the sheer arrogance and incompetence of their team in Durham. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you are considering buying or have reserved a Persimmon Home in the Durham area and you would like to see first hand what they consider to be a ‘reasonable standard’ or ‘within tolerance’
In short, I purchased a newbuild home from Persimmon in the Durham area in early 2022 and since then they have been an utter disgrace. Their Customer Care Team are refusing to action numerous defects and issues, the vast majority of which I identified within the 7 or 30 day windows. I still have over 200 defects with my home, which would likely cost me tens of thousands of pounds to rectify, money I simply do not have.
The issues with my home are too numerous to list here, however I will provide a small sample. There is wonky brickwork to the front of the house which is extremely unsightly and will greatly impact the resale value. The brickwork is also wonky elsewhere around the house and is covered in excess mortar. The pointing is terrible and needs completely redoing. The shower cubicle has not been fitted correctly so it keeps on leaking, despite Persimmon staff trying to use sealant to cover up the bad job. The tiling is wonky, the tiles aren’t glazed properly so there is dark material showing through on the edge of the grouting. The grouting in the shower keeps on cracking as the tiling hasn’t been done correctly. The rear fence has not been placed on the true boundary as the Durham staff couldn’t be bothered asking the existing houses if they could replace the fence, resulting in a strip of wasteland that is full of weeds that are spilling through to my garden and leading to rats getting into my garden and my neighbour’s garden to the rear. The kitchen has not been fitted correctly with numerous damaged and wonky cupboards and doors. The Silestone worktop has marks all over it that apparently I’ve caused, despite it being practically impossible to damage Silestone! The whole house needs redecorating, all electrical sockets and switches have paint on them or are damaged. The driveway isn’t level with the concrete edging with huge gaps where it meets the house and no material between the bricks (all of the grit washed out). The boiler is so loud that when it kicks in on a night it’s impossible to sleep in two of the bedrooms. There is so much more on top of this. The only thing on this list that Persimmon Durham’s Interim Managing Director has agreed to is getting my own contractor in to redecorate, but that can’t be planned until the rest of the issues are sorted.
This is quite literally the worse new build I have ever seen. I have visited numerous sites when deciding where to buy with several different builders in the North East and at no point did I see any of the obvious errors from their team’s sloppy workmanship and negligent quality control.
Persimmon refused to let me have access to the house until a few days prior to completion, so I was unable to perform my own quality control. I was only allowed in a few days before completion, by which point I identified numerous issues right away that I was told would be sorted, however many were not or were completely bodged. Persimmon say they have no record of this; however I have numerous emails that confirm that I constantly flagged issues and concerns and the responses I received. Upon getting the keys in early 2022 and being able to spend some time in the house I found numerous issues, the number of which have continually grown as more mistakes become apparent during my normal life. The vast majority were flagged within the 7 days and 30 days period as per Persimmon’s terms. I have flagged these issues as soon as I can on all occasions. I have made my home available to Persimmon every day for the first month, and two days a week every week afterwards (with the exception of my recovery from surgery). The team have continually been dismissive of major issues, and have focused their attention on small jobs only. Many of these small jobs still remain outstanding due to being rushed or poor workmanship.
To complicate matters, in late 2021 I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called a bicuspid aortic valve, and I was told that I would need to have open heart surgery to replace the defective valve to stop it causing further damage to my heart, so I was placed on the surgery waiting list. I flagged this to two members of the Durham team when they visited my home to discuss the numerous defects soon after moving in, and explained that I needed the issues to be resolved prior to my operation so that I could focus on my recovery and getting back to normal afterwards. I raised this point again and again for several months, with the operation potentially taking place at any time, and yet major issues were ignored with only minor issues worked on. The whole reason I continued with buying a new build after my diagnosis was because I wanted an easy and stress-free move, so that I didn’t have to deal with lots of hassle or issues associated with an older property whilst I awaited surgery and recovered. How wrong was I? All I’ve had is stress for 16 months. I was even lying in my hospital bed awake the night before stressing about the house, and how if things go wrong in my operation and I don’t make it my family will have to deal with the incompetence of your Durham team. That’s a horrible position to be in, believe me, but that’s what I had to go through because of the Persimmon Durham team’s inability to build a house properly or correct their issues.
In addition to this, their Durham office have completely disregarded their official complaints process, taking nearly 11 months to formally address my official complaint, as opposed to the 8 weeks outlined on their website. This has naturally added to my anger and distress. They even had 3 months to finalise and plan the repairs on my home whilst I recovered from my operation, but instead they did nothing. Numerous flagged items have been completely ignored, others are considered my fault, despite me having evidence showing that I reported them within a few weeks of moving in, or been dismissed as within tolerance, or a reasonable standard. When I have asked them to share specifics from the LABC Technical Manual to confirm their findings, or for the measurements to confirm they are correct, they have refused to do so – Why would they not be prepared to share this?
The refusal to address the issues in my home is in many instances in direct contradiction to many of the actions agreed with a different Managing Director from Persimmon North East one month prior to my surgery. Amongst the numerous actions previously agreed before the Persimmon Durham Interim Managing Director became involved, it was confirmed that there would be a joint Persimmon / Howdens inspection of the kitchen, that scaffolding would be placed around the house and the brickwork issues to be looked at, and the issues in the bathroom and en suite were to be to be addressed.
Persimmon made a total of £1.7 billion in pre-tax profits in their two most recent financial accounts. I have no issue with this success. However, I do expect my house to be built properly and to not have to deal with over 200 defects which would likely cost tens of thousands of pounds to rectify.
After the last 16 months, I can genuinely say that dealing with Persimmon is worse than having open heart surgery. In hospital I was very fortunate to deal with people with amazing competency, skill and compassion. Everyone was a credit to themselves and the NHS. It is a shame that the Management of Persimmon Durham do not display these attributes, as this whole situation could have been easily avoided if my home had been built properly, or if the issues had been dealt with.
If you’re considering buying a newbuild house in the Durham area, avoid Persimmon. There are plenty of reputable builders (and older homes) that will have been built properly.