A Swindon family were forced to wash in their garden after they claim fitters walked out halfway through installing their new £11,000 bathroom.

Chris Martin, wife Kat and son Ethan from Oakhurst ordered their bathroom from Wickes at the beginning of June.

But they say it was fitted badly, before the fitter walked out whilst it was only half complete.

It has meant the family have had to go to the swimming pool to shower - or even wash with a bucket in their garden, whilst they are using the kitchen sink to clean their teeth.

Despite this occurring in the summer of 2023, the problem remains unfixed and it is taking its toll on the household.

“We were having to go and shower at the swimming pool, at friends’ houses and even sometimes literally just in the garden with a bucket of water,” Chris said.

Swindon Advertiser: The family paid around £11,000 for the bathroom.The family paid around £11,000 for the bathroom. (Image: Dave Cox)

“We had nowhere else to go and Wickes are well aware of this but they never seemed to really care.

“It is very stressful and depressing. It affects our relationship at home with each other, making us sad and angry.

“My son thought he would get picked on for having to wash in the garden if people found out.

“We brush our teeth in the kitchen and we have a toilet downstairs but it’s a headache having to do our daily routine in different rooms.”

The 42-year-old software engineer spent over £11,000 in total for the bathroom - with the materials costing over £10,000 with a further £1,000 for specialist fitting.

Swindon Advertiser: The wooden blocks were placed under the shower last year.The wooden blocks were placed under the shower last year. (Image: Chris Martin)

“We have half the shower so we have to be careful about how we shower and where we stand as it tends to leak,” said Chris.

“It is barely usable and it is not convenient at all with it being prone to leaking due to how it’s been installed.”

“The shower valves were not correctly installed and when I confronted the fitter about this and the other issues, he threatened to walk if we were not happy with the work before doing so.

“I am not going to be held to ransom but it was shocking to be given such an ultimatum.”

The family has tried to take matters into their own hands by contacting their bank but Wickes are still yet to finish the job.

Swindon Advertiser: Chris and his family were forced to wash in their garden.Chris and his family were forced to wash in their garden. (Image: Dave Cox)

“We contacted the ombudsman and Barclays where we took the finance out with so you’re obviously entitled to a refund with any big purchase,” said Chris.

“We raised a section 75 with Barclays who acted as an intermediary which is the process I am going through at the moment.

“I feel a bit lost as we have not received the money back as Wickes keeps delaying by saying that they will send someone out.

“Nothing has been said about how they will compensate us or even just fix the actual bathroom.

“The last time they worked on it was mid-August before they put the blocks of wood under the shower to stop it from ripping away from the wall.

Swindon Advertiser: The bathroom has been left unfinished after the fitter walked out.The bathroom has been left unfinished after the fitter walked out. (Image: Chris Martin)

“We did our kitchen with Wickes at the beginning of 2023 which wasn’t without its issues but we got it done with a lot less stress than this.

“Grout started falling out of the tiles but the tradesman did eventually do the work after six months, but Wickes apologised and said they would give us a discount on the bathroom.”

After being approached by the Adver, a spokesperson for Wickes said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr Martin’s bathroom installation issues as we aim to complete our installations to a high standard.

“Our customer relations team is in contact with the customer to confirm a date to complete the installation as soon as possible and will continue to work with Mr Martin until the matter is resolved, with the best possible care.”