Helen Azar said she and partner Alex Bird did not take holidays so they could raise the money to complete work at their home, which was a ‘wreck’ when they bought it.
The final job was to be gates and railings at the property on Breck Lane in Dinnington, near Sheffield.
In November she paid a £5,000 deposit to Northern Gates & Railings Ltd as part of a £9,500 contract for work to be finished in December.
But she says no work was done at the premises until March when workers dug a hole and laid a concrete base. She struggled to reach the firm after that and eventually contacted The Star, Citizens’ Advice and the Money Claim Service.
Helen, an NHS health inequalities and mental health lead, said in December they were told one of the bosses was having family problems and she agreed to wait until after Christmas. But there were further delays.
She added: “The house was a wreck with no boiler. We saved for a long time and and have not gone on holidays and done a lot of work ourselves, spending weekends and every everning after work.
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“For a period last year I had two jobs but we knew the result would be the home we always wanted.
“I was a single mum at 16 and have worked really hard to get to a place where I can have nice things.”
Helen said the telephone number provided by director David Creswick and worker Dean Williamson for Northern Gates & Railings ‘has been inactive since March’.
But she was told her contract had passed to a new company incorporated in February, Northern Entry Systems Ltd. Mr Creswick and Mr Williamson are its directors.
The Star spoke to Mr Creswick who said they would complete the job or give Helen her £5,000 back.
He said he had been affected by the death of his niece in December and the death of his father. And he had not been at work after severing tendons in a hand.
He had just returned to find a pile of post, including letters threatening legal action from Helen Azar.
There was ‘a lot of stuff in the workshop ready for her’, he added, and they could start next week. Or she could have her money back, although he couldn’t pay it now after not working.
He said: “I feel for Helen, she’s been left waiting. I’m not out to take anyone’s money without doing work, we’ve got a good track record with customers. I’ll ring her and see what she wants us to do.”
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He did not know if Mr Williamson had seen Helen’s letters, he added.
Northern Entry Systems’ Facebook page has a post from June 13 featuring a completed side entrance gate. Mr Creswick said Mr Williamson had been doing small jobs in his absence.