A SINGLE mum has told how she paid £10,000 to renovate her dream home – but cowboy builders left her with no bath bathroom and holes in the floor.
Steph Kelly, 36, claims AP Construction NE Limited left her home unlivable after work ground to a halt leaving three bedrooms unusable.
She says she paid the company in advance – and she has only been refunded £2,000 out of the £10,000.
Mum-of-three Steph told Chronicle Live: "I asked for recommendations of Facebook and his name came up time and time again.
"He was so well recommended I felt reassured he would do a good job."
She had inherited her family home after the death of her mother and had hired the company to transform it into a home for herself and her kids.
Steph explained: "It was going to be our safe space, our sanctuary.”
"The kids would have their own rooms and it would be a real family home and a chance to put the past behind us.
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"I took out a mortgage to pay for the work and I honestly expected we would be in our safe space within a few weeks."
Work began on August 8, but Steph claims by September 21 work stopped on her Newcastle home.
Steph explained: "He couldn’t complete the work, only to leave the job at demolition stage and saying it couldn't be completed unless I paid him more.
"He even called me during the night demanding money, and I later found that the goods I had paid for had not even been ordered.
"After weeks of excuses, I finally met Alex at the property, when he agreed to pay me back or deliver the bathroom suite and patio doors which I had already paid in advance for.
"He did pay me £2,000 back, but still owes me £8,000 and I am left with a house in such a state and no money to put it back together.
"After paying rent for months as well as the mortgage, we have managed to get enough done for us to move in, although it is still like a building site."
With the home left in such a dangerous state Steph's friend, Allanah Mason, has set up a GoFundMe page asking for people to help her friend resolve the situation.
It reads: "We are working tirelessly to fix the mess he caused, trying to keep costs minimal.
"This means Steph has to sacrifice carpets, electrical rewiring, making the home safe and redoing the garden to level out the 4ft drop for the children.
"If anyone is local to Gateshead and may not be in a position to donate but could maybe help us in the house, we would equally be so grateful for anything.
"Hopefully we can balance out such an awful experience with kindness."
The Sun Online made repeated attempts to contact the company and its director for comment.
However, the business' phones appear to be disconnected with the company listing itself online as permanently closed.
Steph said: "I feel such a fool. Looking back, I should never have paid money in advance, but Alex put a lot of pressure on me to pay, and I was afraid the work would not be carried out if I didn't.
"This house was supposed to be a new start for my family and it has turned into a complete nightmare."
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