A couple have been left fuming after spending £200,000 (N48m) on a brand new home – only to find their cars won’t fit into the garage.
Claire Walker, 37, was stunned to discover the garage at the detached three-bedroom property in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was too narrow to accommodate her Volvo S40.
Her partner Andy Birkhead, 33, managed to squeeze his Fiesta ST all the way in, but was left stuck in his car because there wasn’t enough space to open his door.
The couple, who have a two-year-old son, Billy, only discovered the problem when they cleared out belongings they had been storing in the garage since moving into their new £209,950 home in March.
When they complained to developer Persimmon, they were told they should have measured the garage before buying their new house, said Ms Walker.
The furious health and safety manager has been told that the bungle could knock up to £8,000 off the value of their home.
She said: ‘It’s not fit for purpose. The garage doesn’t do what a garage should do. I’m absolutely fuming about it.’
She explained: ‘We didn’t realise for a few months because the garage was stored with our belongings that we hadn’t sorted after the move. I tried to get my car in recently but the wing mirrors make it too wide.
‘It’s a company car so I didn’t want to scratch it, so Andy tried to get his car in.
‘He could get it inside, but he couldn’t open the doors. So unless you have a sunroof it doesn’t look like there’s any way you can get a car into the garage and step out of it.’
Ms Walker said the neighbours she has spoken to hadn’t realised the problem, because none of them had been using their garages to store their cars.
She explained that the specification for the house in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, gave dimensions for all rooms in the house – except the garage.
She said: ‘I’ve asked a number of estate agents about the problem, and at least two have told me that I can’t advertise my house as having a garage if I know it doesn’t function as a garage.
‘They said they add 8,000 pounds on to the value of a house if it has a garage – so we’ve lost that off the 209,950 pounds we paid for the house.
‘A house is meant to be an investment – and this one feels like a poor investment.
‘I wrote to the chief operating officer of Persimmon but he replied saying he had referred the matter to the technical director in the regional team.
‘And that technical director suggested that I should have measured the garage before we put down a deposit. It’s abysmal.
‘When you buy a three-bedroom detached family home with a garage you expect the
garage to be big enough to get a car into.’
Ms Walker has since got out her measuring tape and researched the size of popular family cars on the internet. She found that the garage door width of 2m 3cm was too small for eight of the 14 cars she compared.
‘Persimmon deemed the size to be appropriate but it’s clearly not,’ she said.
Including wing mirror width the cars that wouldn’t fit included some of the most popular models, from a Ford Focus to a Honda Civic.
The garage is big enough to accommodate the Fiesta, the Vauxhall Astra, the Audi A3, the BMW 1 Series, the Mercedes C Class and the VW Jetta.
But while the cars would go in, the 2m 44cm wall-to-wall width means none would have sufficient space to open the driver door.
For now the ‘garage’ is used to store a dryer, two filing cabinets, a lawnmower and a strimmer.
The mother-of-one said: ‘Because the garage is built into the house we realise that they can’t just knock it down and start again.
‘We asked Persimmon if they would plaster the third wall – two are already done – and put some lino on the floor, so we could use it as a storage room with at least more insulation than it has now to keep out the damp, but they refused.’
The couple’s drive only has room for one car so they’ve asked for it to be widened to fit two cars, but they have heard nothing back since.
‘We’re not asking for anything drastic. It’s not like we’re asking them to knock down the house and start again,’ Ms Walker said.
Wayne Gradwell, managing director at Persimmon Homes, said: ‘As one of the UK’s leading housebuilders it can only be a matter of deep regret to us if any customer is dissatisfied with their new home.
‘The garage in question is comparable with new build properties across the UK. We continue to work with Miss Walker and Mr Birkhead to try and resolve the situation.’
A spokesperson for Persimmon added: ‘The dimensions of each garage are governed by both the size of the house and the relevant planning regulations and are clearly laid out in the marketing brochure. We deeply regret that Miss Walker and Mr Birkhead are unhappy with the size of their garage.’ [DailyMail]