A BUILDER has been ordered to pay more than £1,100 to a customer whose conservatory was flooded after he fitted the doors the wrong way round.
Helen Crowther has spoken of her relief after a judge at Halifax County Court awarded her damages from Gary Ingham.
But the 60-year-old, who suffered a brain accident in 2008, said the stress of the case had taken an enormous toll.
She said: “It has been 16 months of pure hell. I feel vindicated but it has taken a lot out of my health.”
Mrs Crowther, of Sowerby Bridge, bought the conservatory from Dream Conservatories and paid Mr Ingham around £1,900 to build it.
Soon after it was complete she got up after a night of heavy rain to find it flooded.
When she contacted Mr Ingham he said he did not know how it happened, but he replaced the damaged part of the floor and reimbursed her for the laminate.
But after another rainy night, it flooded again.
It was later found the two UPVC doors were the wrong way round so their water vents faced inwards instead of out .
Mr Ingham, of Gary Ingham Joinery and Building, of Bairstow Lane, Sowerby Bridge ,said the doors were delivered ready fitted and blamed the error on manufacturer K2.
He said: “The flaw wasn’t my fault. They were leaking because they were given to me wrong.”
The court heard Mr Ingham was experienced in fitting UPVC doors but had never installed that brand before.
He admitted he had not fully read the manual before starting work.
Frances Lawley, for Mrs Crowther, told the court the instructions set out first how to install the frames and then how to hang the doors later, suggesting they were not delivered fitted together.
K2 and Dream Conservatories both said the doors were separate from the frames when they were sent out.
Miss Lawley said: “It’s clear the doors have been incorrectly installed and a brief glance at the guide would have prevented the flood.”
She told the court a K2 engineer came to inspect the conservatory and he found a window had also been put in the wrong way round – a mistake Mr Ingham admitted.
Deputy District Judge Webster said she was satisfied Mr Ingham had swung the doors incorrectly.
She said: “Even if the door did come as part of the frame, a reasonably competent builder would have checked the vents were in the correct place.”
After the case, Mr Ingham still maintained the doors were sent out wrongly. He said: “I work really hard to keep my customers happy.
“This is just an unfortunate blemish I have to take on board and learn from – and that’s what I’ll do.”