* Prices may differ from that shown
Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs on Channel 4, is angry about the state of housing in Britain today. In protest to the shoddy estates cropping up around the country, he plans to build his own, quality, suburban housing estate, to prove it can be done properly. But first he needs your opinion and advice... he wants to talk to the people who live in, rent or own modern homes and find out your experiences, whether good or bad. If you would like the opportunity to vent your frustration or stick up for your modern home then please call 01494 733528 or e-mail email@example.com. Please remember to leave your phone number when you contact us.
Still problems after 18 years ! - Advantages: None. - Disadvantages: Just discovered partition wall between ensuite & mainbathroom is only 3 layers of plasterboard thick. During a refit a hole was knocked straight through - my bathroom fitter & building friend have never seen anything like it.
We have recently purchased a Westbury home on the Hazel Mead develoment at Hazel Farm. We are absolutely over the moon with our house. We are also very pleased with the service Westbury have given us. Everybody at the Westbury office has been very helpful and supportive. The site manager visited us on the first day we moved in to check we were happy. After a couple of days we found our central heating panel was wired up wrong so they sent a Westbury rep in straight away to assess the situation, he has now organised an electrician to come in and fix the problem on the same day they are putting right some other things to cause minimum upheaval for us. Also some of the jobs they said they wouldn't put right originally (as it was the view home and subject to wear and tear) they have surprised us and done the remedial work before we moved in. They even take their shoes off when they come in the house.
After 6 months of kicking and screaming, threatening legal action, putting posters in our windows and getting completely stressed with the whole Westbury "Customer Experience" we called in Inspector Home. They found another 89 defects in our home, fronted down Westbury and we now have their grudging acceptance that the "Best In Class" showhome they sold us (more to get cash into a failing site - Bramley Green, as it turns out!) was not constructed/finished properly. For the full rundown of our experience and how we recommend others avoid it please see www.dontbuywestburyhomes.co.uk. Everyone is welcome, Westbury customer or not.... leave a message for the world to see (we do reserve the right to add comments to obviously Westbury initiated messages - come on guys you must know we're not thick by now! - and we will delete obscene or just plain ignorant comments......) Theres also a User Group on MSN that you can join to keep up to date on progress and also to get hints and tips on how to deal with Westbury Homes and the other "Award Winning" housebuilders (sorry, glorified project management companies) this country seems to be blighted with...... you can find the link at www.dontbuynewbuild.co.uk One final thought... if you are thinking of buying newbuild remember one thing - you will have no legal rights once you complete. You are at the mercy of your housebuilder and the Courts won't help...... fantastic value proposition for new families starting out or pensioners hoping to find a "no hassle" smaller home......... We have also launched the UK New Build Owners Association (www.uknboa.com) for everyone to join FREE and exchnage views. At the moment no-one cares about new build owners - together we could become a force to be reckoned with.... Good luck !
Before you buy make sure you do some research. The following site may help http://groups.msn.com/WestburyResidentsAssociation This association has been set up to provide information on problems experienced with Westbury homes. The site has a few horror stories and shows the difficulties people have experienced with the Westbury Dream and Customer Service (What!). Shame we do not have many rights when faced with problems of this nature. However, we have found that constant phone calls and correspondence eventually works, to some degree, but the standards we have to accept are a far cry from any show house we have seen
We purchased a Prowtings Home prior to the company being bought out by Westburys. Many of the comments I've already read seem to be in the same vein as we have experienced. We first saw the properties in Feb01 and we agreed to part exchange May. We finally exchanged July01. The valuation they gave us was on the low side and as we hadn't reserved (something they wouldn't do until an exchange was agreed) the asking price for the new house was increased by £4500. The move in date was put back and back and we finally moved in late Aug. Before we moved in we noticed that the plumbing for the ensuite ran through the living room. A mistake that hadn't been noticed by any of the workmen or site managers. The error was removed, more about that later. The water system hadn't been commisioned and the first time we used the hot water the tank emptied into the bedroom. The next time I went to have a bath it hadn't been installed and had no support, several attempts later to rectify the situation failed miserably and it took 426 days to have the plumbing made safe and I had my first bath. The plumbing for the ensuite I mentioned earlier wasn't remedied at all and to our horror we found out that the water from the shower was running into a void between the cavities in the lounge. After countless telephone calls about dampness we finally had someone call four moths after first reporting the problem. It took another two months for the defect to be worked on. Our furniture went into storage and the repairs went on and on. While trying to discover other causes of dampness we found the showertray supported by cardboard boxes and the plumbing to the radiator in the lounge had been forced causing the pipe to have hairling fractures. The floor had to be removed and although the work was almost complete no-one came too finish it. The dampness returned and destroyed the new flooring. This was due to the water not being given enoughtime to be released from the concrete flooring. Westburys insist that it was due to us Rushing the work. It took them in all over six months to attempt to rectify the problem, where was the rush? The flooring is at this moment removed from the lounge, dining room and kitchen and we are at the moment living in the bedrooms. Any pleas for help from Westburys falls onto deaf ears. We experienced severe hardship last October when we had no furniture, no flooring, no heating, no sanitation. We were washing in the local lesuire centre and living off take-aways. Westburys comments were that we we had ADEQUATE facilities. We've sent countless letters and make umpteen phone calls all to no avail. On top of everything elase they also moved our boundary (without permission whilst I was away) and have informed our neighbour that the wall belongs to him. The main problems we have are ( these comments are with the MD) the same defects have to be logged and logged again, although the staff who answer the phones are polite and helpful the feeling that nothing is going to dealt with prevails the timescale between logging the defect and the work, if at all, being carried out is unacceptable the repairs are never up to a reasonable standard the repairs have to be regularly repaired the sub-contracting of repair work has resulted in too many people trying to co-ordinate reapirs We have had over 150 defects and we are still waiting for 20 of them to be finished. 3 are from our original snagging list PS to appease us the MD arranged for asurveyor to look at our property. Westburys refuse to show us his report!!
We have been living a nightmare after purchasing a brand new four bedroom property in Pembrey, South Wales, from Westbury Homes four years ago, which was meant to be our dream home. We moved in on the 18th December 1998, the house was due for completion in the September but there had been delays, the general finish on everything was shoddy and several items remained outstanding. We were asked by customer service if it would be alright for them to finish these particular items after the Christmas break. We agreed but of course, no one came back. After spending the first 6 months chasing Westbury eventually someone was sent out to make definitive lists of works to get remedials done. However, the follow up works were also shoddy and had to be re-done once again by another contractor Over a period of time between early 1999 and July 2001 we have had over thirty five different workmen though our home! A range of different works had to be organised including :- Replaciment of all the windows on the front of the house, Replacment of the garage door, Replacment of the front door and it's surrounding frame Four internal walls have had to be moved, the landing wall, the hallway, and two in the kitchen. The toilet and relevant pipework had to be moved because it was 2 inches off the wall and the tolet would rock like a rocking chair if you sat on it! Half the kitchen had to be re-fitted, cornices, cupboard doors, plinths were chipped and/or ill fitting, units were damaged etc The newel post at the bottom of the stairs and the four bottom steps to the staircase had to be pulled out and re set as they were out of line and the post leaned to the left. Our front porch and low-level roof which runs along the whole width of the face of the house had to be demolished and re-built due to a defect in the structure surrounding the bay window. It was also only three tiles deep instead of four and rough sawn timber had been used to construct the supports, there were holes large enough for birds to enter and part of the ceiling was falling down. There was no dropped ceiling above the bay window, so there was no where to put a curtain pole to hang curtains, the structure was defective and they had put the wrong window in place which did not match those on the rest of the house. We were unable to hang any lounge curtains for a year! because of the above. The structure although partially rebuilt is still defective. The guttering on the house had to be re-fitted as it had been wrongly assembled, there was a downpipe buried into the ground with no drain outlet, and on the other side of the house there was a spare drain with no pipe..this caused many problems, the water would pour out from the guttering like a waterfall and our garden became a constant sea of mud. We moved out of the property for 16 days when it all got too much to bear, they refused to provide us with accomodation ,so we were forced to move in with my parents, causing much disruption both to us and them. We have hours of video footage and many photographs as evidence, and we still have some issues outstanding.We have been persuing a case for compensation through our solicitor and our case has been allocated to Swansea County Court on 28th of this month ,March. However, we are told that the courts don't look favourably on cases like ours, they are regarded as time consuming and costly. If we lose it will be because the legal system fails us not because we have not proved our case. If we don't succeed at trial we could end up having to pay costs in excess of £20,000 we would have to sell the house in order to do this, which would leave us homeless. my e-mail address is KarronTh0mas@aol.com
can't say too much rather large law suit coming westbury's way very soon,all i can say is if you do fall prey to the cowboys get your own corgi registered plumber and niceic registered electrician to check out the place , it might save your life!!! to all those of you already suffering ,a new news group has been set up at http://groups.msn.com/WestburyResidentsAssociation which hopes to provide help,support,advice and humor [well you've got to laugh or you'll go mad] with plans for a website in the pipeline.As for the question reccomend to a friend ? not even to my worst enemy
It is unfortunate that I had not come across this site prior to entering into a deal with Westbury Homes. In October 2002 I looked at the delightfully designed properties being marketed by Westbury, and decided to reserve a property at their development in Southampton. I was on the market myself and decided that the quickest and easiest way ahead was to negotiate a part exchange deal with them - for that smooth passage from house to new home! I was quickly led into paying my £500 reservation fee, and a further £290 survey fees for the survey on my property (which would be refunded on completion) I was also persuaded that the best option was to use their recommended solicitor as they were able to move quickly to meet the strict 28 day exchange deadline. From here on my experience went downhill. I personally found the sales staff to be starved of useful information, a reluctance to give out any specification info over and above the very basic brochure - couldn't even give me the plot size for two weeks. Indeed I had to approach head office in order to obtain a plan of the wiring etc. Again I had to request from head office a copy of the property fixtures list, and had to travel about 70 miles each way to see a show home! The part exchange offer made was low, despite claiming it to be a 100% valuation (later confirmed as low by one of the valueing agents). The sales staff and exchange manager were in my opinion unhelpful and even obstructive. Due to the westbury survey of my property suggesting drains surveys etc they decided they would not exchange contracts with me until they had a buyer to exchange my property to - thus placing me in the very chain they claim to save you from. (Subsequently all drain, damp, subfloor surveys suggested were carried out off my own back, and all were clear of concern!) We were given a few dates for exchange of contracts only for each and every one to fal l through - with no communication from Westbury, or indeed their recommended solicitor - until we checked what was happening. We were totally messed around. The building society providing the mortgage to buy from me decided they wanted some work done, replacing some tiles on my roof. Survey for this was arranged through westbury, and due to happen on Tuesday. On Monday evening I had a call from the estate agent selling my PX home for westbury, who informed me that Westbury had apparrently decided to pullout from the deal altogether - they never told me, even though they had cancelled the sale on and all. - No explaination has been given, They were refusing to talk to me, until i finally got to the Chief executives office at head office - then suddenly although he was unavailable I did have a director talk to me. He agreed to pay back the money they owed me - ie reservation fee and survey fee. I still need to argue about survey fee for their property, plus mortgage application fees, land searches etc that were performed. - While up to contract they are not legally required to complete the deal (They refer to the clause an awful lot) they have withdrawn from the deal with no reasonable explaination, and I believe should be morally responsible to meet our costs. While I respect (though not understand) their decision not to take our property in part exchange this should not have stopped them selling to us. As for the recommended solicitor - well I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND using the solicitor they suggest - we felt that they were reluctant to challenge westbury over anything, they were not expeditious in seeking information from westbury for us, and ... well. I am still waiting for my money to be returned to me, and this has in turn led to the loss of another property, due to not having sufficient fluid capital available to reserve a property with another developer, until they pay my money back. ALL IN ALL I WOULD NEVER DEAL WITH WESTB URY AGAIN. BE CAREFUL IF YOU DO AND GET EVERYTHING IN BLACK AND WHITE. USE AN INDEPENDANT CONVEYANCER to reduce the potential worry about whether there might be a conflict in interests. I can say no more at this stage as i am seeking further advice on the way forward, but westbury have got to learn that they have to treat the customer with at least common courtesy.
Having purchased a Westbury home I can concur with the other opinions on the poor service provided by Westbury. Work takes far too long to complete and the customer service is very variable. However I have learnt a lot about my rights as a consumers. If you have any building defects right to Westbury stating the defect and that they must repair in within 10 days otherwise you will get an independent workman in and send them the bill. This is your legal right. If you are unsure whether your defect will be covered by the 10 day rule contact trading standards on 0845 3030666. They are very helpful. Most car and home insurance plans have legal cover which will help you recover your money from Westbury if they failt o pay for work you have had done. In addition claims under £500 can be pursued through the small claims ccourt. Another effective avenue is to look on the Westbury web site. Find the directors for your site, ring the office and ask to speak to them. You will probably get put through to their PA. Explain your complaint and ask the director to ring back. The PA's are far more helpful than customer services and do get things moving. Be persistant, be firm, be polite. Put and get everything in writing. Get your snagging list signed and dated by the site manager. Get each new defect you add to the list signed and dated. Keep a diary. Put your hands free on on the telephone and record customer service conversations if it gets that bad. Good luck.
I can only concur with all the comments on this site regarding Westbury Homes. I spent almost a quarter of a million pounds on one of their "luxury homes" but it came with a snag list as long as your arm - still not repaired after five months. Arrogant staff, an incompetent idiot of a site manger and a smug "you`ll never win attitude" when I threatened legal action after five months of frustration. When I was buying the property the sales agent was never off the phone to myself and my solicitor once the contracts were exchanged they didn`t want to know. The only way to get things done was to stage a "sit-in" in the site office until the site manager came to see me. Even then it took a huge argument to get some things done which were of a dreadful standard because I was assured things were "built to specification". Some of the faults I had included:- an en-suite two different colours numerous bodged plastering and paint jobs missing kitchen appliances missing switches and doorbells missings locks two of the showers did not work front doorstep and floor crumbling away large holes in the brickwork under the eaves (resulting in several nests of housemartins nesting in the roof) a wooden staircase composed of two tone stained and painted panels rather than all wood. .......and many more. I would advis e not signing anything until you see the house in its final build. The staff pressurise you into signing when the house is just a plot number...try not to be that desperate.
We purchased a Westbury home in August 2000. Only moving in after being made homeless by the company for six weeks, even my solicitor was unable to get answers, when he did they were passing the buck. When we moved in we were excited, first home new area new jobs. Then the real work starts. No garden, so I have done it myself. Standards of workmanship is appauling in all areas of this house from damaged goods to poor brick work. now my ground floor looks like a crazy paving, yes it is breaking up and apparently it is just a drying out crack according to the PR girl, and after numerous requests an engineer visited and the repairs are bodged. I now have no lounge carpets because the repair will damage them. I have complained to them but there answer was to stop the repairs and offer me a cheque for £600 to replace all my kitchen floor tiles which have been cracked. This means days off work to replace them myself, sore knees etc. The company attitude appears to be "we have your money now p**s off and stop moaning". If this was a car it would have been returned for a full refund. Now I find out the cracks may be caused by the floor being only 2/3 of the depth it is supposed to be and I have given up and called in the NHBC for advice and help. I advise all friends and family and anyone I see visiting the site not to buy westbury, and will point them in the direction of other builders. I am not the only one in the street who has problems, not a house is without them, some of them major, some not so bad but they are there. Repairs take an age if you can get them done, and invariably need doing several times as they appear to send the apprentice every time. Bodgit and scarper is amore apt name ***DO NOT BUY WESTBURY*** the times newspaper are also sniffing around about the company, I advise all owners to get in touch with them and hopefully they can apply pressure because as they say theres no press like bad press. Our developement is in N ottinghamshire and is almost complete, I dread to think what they will be like to got hold of once they have moved off site. I know of no one who is fully satisfied, and friends who have bought from other companies appear to have remedial work carried out almost immediately. Try and advertise the fact with a banner and your house gets damaged in the dark. I am starting to hate the house, want to move but it is so costly, so I will sit tight ride it out. My advice to any westbury home owner is: keep on at them, don't back down and shout loudly!!!. UPDATED......(27/01/2003) THE NHBC HAVE INVESTIGATED AND FOUND THE FLOOR SCREED IN MY HOUSE TO BE TOO THIN. THE BUILDERS ARE NOW IN A POSITION OF HAVING TO REPAIR IT, BUT AS OF TODAY HAVE NOT MADE ANY FORM OF CONTACT WITH ME, AND THE CLOCK IS TICKING. IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY METHODS IN WHICH THE REPAIR MAY BE CARRIED OUT PLEASE E MAIL ME. THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THIS IS THAT THE FLOOR SCREED SHOULD BE 50MM IN DEPTH, MINE IS 37MM AND HOLLOW UNDERNEATH. I BELIEVE THIS IS GOING TO BE A MASSIVE JOB, AS IT IS THE WHOLE GROUND FLOOR. WILL MY HOUSE NEED TO BE FLATTENED???. MY E MAIL IS firstname.lastname@example.org THANKS......
WESTBURY HOMES ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT - PLEASE DONT BUY We reserved a new property from Westbury Homes in February 2002, on the new development "Osborne Chase" in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Before they would accept a full deposit from us, they insisted that we sold our current home and made ourselves homeless. The expected price of our new property was £124,950 to be ready by August 2002. We made ourselfs homeless and moved into temporary accomodation which ran untill September 16th. Once we were homeless and we were in the mercy of Westbury Homes, they put up the price of the house to £132,000! In July 2002 we received a phone call from Westbury Homes saying that someone had read the plans incorrectly and the drainage had been placed in the wrong way around, this would result in the property in its current state of build being demolished, the foundations dug up and the build started again. The expected build date was put back untill the middle of November 2002. I started writing to Westbury Homes about my extra costs involved to me due to the build being delayed by the incompetance of the builders, and eventually wrote to their managing director about the extra £3500 i was now having to pay in rent and a new valuation fee and brokers fees as my mortgage offer runs out on November 17th, all to no avail as they treat customer complaints with an arrogant contempt., They insist their contracts are watertight and they can keep me waiting forever to move into my house! The Newest development ? - THEY PUT THE ROOF ON THE WRONG WAY AROUND and have now delayed the build to JANUARY 2003....to be continued!! Continuation...... We eventually got to move in four months late on 10th January 2003, and once Westbury Homes had our money on the day of completion, they handed over the keys and we walked into an absolute nightmare. After shaming them in the County Press, they employed a number of tradesmen to recti fy the faults on our properties and then spent the next 63 days sorting out ?snagging? lists. These were not the normal little snags you might expect from a new property, but major things like massive gaps in patio doors, wrong windows fitted etc. During this period of 63 days, we had our NHBC guarantee withdrawn (as the window ledges were too high for a means of escape building regulation that had not been met) our house hold insurance invalidated (as we could not lock our patio doors), and have had to live out of boxes while Westbury?s sorted out our problems. Westbury?s then decided to try and get the NHBC guarantee by the cheapest means possible and placed in larger windows in all the three bedrooms upstairs, which involved ripping out the old ones and removing three courses of bricks and then redoing all the inside walls and windows linings etc. Our houses over these 63 days were a complete mess with dust and builders rubble etc over the house. They sent a cleaner in after the 63 days and said they were now finished. Trouble is we are now both left with the following problems. 1. An unsightly brown gas box at the front of our houses which looks like a severe weather salt deposit box which was not on any of the plans or pictures of the property we purchased and is only there due to the demolition of the property once they noticed they had placed the drains in the wrong way around. To place this box on the side of the house with the electricity box as it was on the plans will cost over £8000.00 (we are not sure if this is per house or for both, as it was a Westbury employee who told us this figure as well as saying Westbury?s wont put it back where it should go because of the cost) 2. No centre flue in the living room, which was on all the plans we saw, but has been missed out on the build (although the gas fitter still fitted a gas supply to the living room as he presumed there was a centre flue behin d the wall as it was on his plans as well (this is a major build problem which has been estimated at a cost of £12,000 to put a flue in now the houses have been completed) We have been left with a 50mm gas pipe sticking out in the living room wall but cannot attach a gas fire to it or remove the pipe to install an electric fire in the centre of the room. 3. Three bedroom windows of between 850mm and 950mm that have been replaced with 1200mm windows and all the upheaval that has caused, when the windows that were in the property were the correct ones as per the plans in the first place, and should have been lowered and the courses of bricks built above the windows and not below but this would of resulted in the roof being taken off (the windows were to high as the brick layer counted the number of courses wrongly on his build) As well as the above problems, I also have the following problems 1. To level the floors downstairs so that the skirting boards will touch the floors and laminate flooring, has been estimated at a cost of between £2000 and £2800. 2. Between £2450.00 & £2875.00 To decorate the house to a standard which is not unreasonable to expect for a brand new property(the house paintwork currently looks like a very bad DIY job) Westbury Homes will not pay any form of compensation for all the hassle and stress this whole business has caused to us, or rectify the above problems, and are ignoring our letters of complaint. We have both been left with a much repaired property and not the dream brand new house we actually purchased. Again - For your own peace of mind - Please Do Not Buy One Of These Properties on the Isle of Wight - If you have and need help the following people will be able to help you: Westbury Residents Association Isle of Wight Branch After the recent publicity Westbury Homes received from the Isle of Wight County Press, which shamed them into carrying out repairs on this development (some of which had been waiting over a Year to be done) the following people would like to here from you on your experiences with Westbury?s good or bad ?The Times NEWSPAPER? Anne Spackman, Property Editor of ?The Times? Newspaper Email her directly at: email@example.com Which ? Research Staff at Which? Magazine would like to here about your Westbury Home Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Or write to them at: Which ?, Castlemead, Gascoyne way, Hertford X, SG14 1LH The BBCs WATCHDOG programme The BBC are currently obtaining information about this Development and Westbury TELEPHONE 0870 010 7070 Or write to them at: BBC Watchdog, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TS TRADING STANDARDS 0845 3030666 Westbury Homes have a legal obligation to repair all the faults in your new home Some of these faults are able to be hurried along by writing to Westbury Homes and giving them Ten Days from the date of receiving your letter to repair your problems otherwise you can go out and get the repairs fixed yourself and send them the bill Trading Standards will inform you of which items on your snagging list are covered by the ?Ten Day Rule? They will also inform you of how to go through the small claims courts to recover the money you have paid out for the repairs should Westbury PLC fail to pay for them. National Federation of builders 020 7608 5150 National house building council (NHBC) 01494 434477 If you would like more information on what to do next, why not join the: Westbury Residents Association http://groups.msn.com/WestburyResidentsAssociation Or email them at: WestburyResidentsAssociation@groups.msn.com
****The Purchase process**** Buying a house is for most the biggest purchase you will ever make. I had been looking at houses intensly for over 7months and stumbled across a Westbury home. The show home was my idea of heaven (well within my budget anyway!). It was fantastic. With great excitement I put my name down for one of their plots which was due to be released for sale and chased them almost daily. Eventually it came on the market and I was in their office within hours of the call paying my deposit. It then went quiet for 2 weeks whilst I was preparing myself for exchange and then the arrogant calls from their sales staff began. Infact, they were downright rude and obnoxious. Rather than trying to help me along the way it was "What's happening with the mortgage?" "Why hasn't a surveyor been round?" etc.. Then, with one week to go the threats began: "If you can't exchange we will release the property and you will lose out". I exchanged fine, but it caused me a few extra grey hairs meeting their dealine for no real purpose considering the house still wasn't due to be finished being built for another 8months. Over the next few months I visited the site regularly, taking photos of my properties progress. Then one day it was rendered and painted a horrible colour. After some extremely irate questions from myself it turned out that there was a whole load of paperwork (specifications & schematics) that I hadn't seen as the sales staff hadn't shown them to me. Being a first time buyer I was unaware that such things existed. They claimed solidly that they were professional sales people and that they had definitely shown them to me. When I queried why my signature on the dotted line of each document (to show that I had seen and approved the specs) wasn't there they began to be a little bit less officious. It then became clear that the specifications were out of date anyway as the s ite manager had changed the spec of th e house without notifying anyone except the people who were actually putting it all together. I begrudingly left the colour as the first job is a build, and anything after that can only be considered a reapir. Then, 5 weeks before the scheduled date for completion Westbury contacted my solicitors to say that the house was complete and would be ready 3weeks ahead of schedule. Surely this is great news? NO! Upon inspection the house was in no way shape or form ready, and infact was in such a raw state I was able to see the really poor quality of both their materials and fitting methods. So it's back to the solitiors with a massive complaint list. The story goes on but you get the gist. I am now chasing them down to repair the faults. This itself is awkward. You see the people who come to repair faults only work 9am-4pm Mon-Fri. This means taking time off work and when they then fail to show....... So, do you still want to buy a westbury home? The best purchase in my opinion is a second hand westbury home that has had some TLC from it's owner. With a bit of time and effort all the shoddy workmanship can be replaced by well fitted quality materials, leaving a distinctive and well located home. I absolutely will never buy a brand new house from these 'bulk builder' caompanies ever again as you just do not know what you are going to get. ****The House Itself**** The house layout was all predifined. I got (and have had) no say in the layout, style, colour etc. This was not helped by the fact that I wasn't shown the spec list, but I don't think I could've had any influence even if I had. It's more of a case of here it is, do you want it? And you will be pressed for an immediate answer! The options list that comes with the house is huge, as however are the prices. £700 for an Ariston washing machine, £800 for the fridge freezer etc. All these items can be found (I know I've checked!) for about half the price. You have to be carefull what you select. Some things are good. The kitchen cupboard set can be upgraded from a drab effort to a really nice wodden effect set for a mere £100 - a bargain in my eyes as the kitchen is the main selling point of any house. Taps, sinks, tiles can all be paid for as an option but as I say, be prepared to pay for the luxury of having it there waiting for you when you complete. My 3 bedroom house alarm cost over £600, but as I knew the cables would be hidden behind the walls if I got it fitted whilst the roof was off so stumped up the money. What you do have to choose (excluding options) is: - Kitchen cupboard set (some incurr additional cost) - Work texture surface - Floor surface (some incurr additional cost) - Wall tile styles (in bathrooms as well) - Fireplace surround (some incurr additional cost) As I have said though, the options list goes on and on, to name a few: - Gas fire - Kitchen equipment - Sink/taps - Full bathroom tiling My house has come with absolutely NO extras. As the saleswoman said to me at the beginning when asked: "We have people queuing out the door to buy these houses, we don't need to offer anything. It truly is a sellers market". This means no turf, carpet or any sort of garden preperation. They will also set their favorite furnishings company on you. Mine was Ray & Paul Interiors. A home visit was arranged and a no pressure saleswoman demonstrated all the options. She was good, the prices were not. The cost of the carpet alone was going to be £48 per square foot. I have since found the very same carpet for sale at John Lewis for £18 pers sq yard!!! The total cost of R&P's fittings would've only left me with a Big Mac worth of change from SIX THOUSAND POUNDS! (Underlay, carpets, curatins, fittings). John Lew is have shone throughout this event, but that's another opinion ;o)