A WILTSHIRE couple are 100K out of pocket after they were left with 'wonky' walls and a 'banana' ceiling by builders - who ''didn't use a spirit level''.

Louisa Benton, 34, and her husband Edward, 33, employed JAC Building Developments Ltd to build their 'dream' extension.

But the couple from Laverstock, Wiltshire, say they have lost their entire life's savings on the ''nightmare'' project.

The pair hired Jamie Smith's company in the summer 2022 to build a vertical extension to their garage and rear extension with a new kitchen to their house after getting ten quotes for the job. 

But they say they were left with a bendy ceiling - and when they challenged one builder they claim he told them ''he did not usually use a spirit level when he was working''.

They said mould started growing inside the new upstairs bedroom a few months in as the walls had been plastered before the roof was fitted and sealed.

The ceiling eventually had to be knocked down and replaced to prevent mould from spreading further.

The couple say the company told them they could not provide a refund as doing so would force them to liquidate their business.

They have since won £10K in small claims court - but say they have not received a penny from the company, which is now undergoing voluntary liquidation.

Louisa said: "It has been a horrific ordeal. The work done by JAC Building Developments was substandard, to put it lightly.

Swindon Advertiser: The current state of a Wiltshire couple's home after the paid £100,000 of their life savings for an extension to start a family.The current state of a Wiltshire couple's home after the paid £100,000 of their life savings for an extension to start a family. (Image: SWNS)

"Despite having a catalogue of evidence, reports from building control and the structural engineers, we have been cheated out of our entire life's savings.

"The builder has admitted full liability to us but is now in the process of liquidating his company.

"As a result, we're probably never going to see any of our money back."

"We have now got a rubbish extension not built to specification. We're also paying off a loan for rubbish work.

''We have no life savings left, and we've had to spend from our incomes to remedy the issues.

Louisa says that the project has taken a massive toll on her mental health - and forced the couple to abandon their plans to have children.

"It's had a horrific impact on our personal lives. We only got married in October 2021 and wanted to make our home family-friendly.

"A year on, our extension still isn't finished, and the thought of starting a family has been shattered."

Mrs Benton contacted Citizens Advice and Trading Standards after Mr Smith offered a £5k refund in response to her threat of taking legal action.

They advised her to take the case to small claims court.

She went on to win a county court claim of £10,498.84 plus £455 for costs on May 21 - the maximum small claim amount possible.

The couple hired KP Structural Consultants on February 11 to inspect the work after building control raised alarm bells.

Their report confirmed the ridge timber had not been installed as specified. A prop had been installed to support the roof and remedial works were required.

JAC Building Developments have been contacted for comment.

In a letter to Louisa dated February 28, Mr Smith wrote: "Last week, I accepted responsibility for the poor workmanship and can only offer further apologies.

"I would also say that I am very disappointed with the failings of some of the contractors I employed who normally work to much higher standards although I take total responsibility for that.

"I therefore totally understand request for a full refund of £100,000."