‘I might as well be living in an igloo’

Sue Kowalski in her home
Sue Kowalski in her home
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A builder has agreed to install a new heating pump for a Leyland woman who says she has been ‘freezing’ in half of her new-build home for 10 months.

Sue Kowalski moved into a £250,000 house into the Sycamore Gardens development at the former Prestolite site off Cleveland Road last year.

But she claims only half of her home’s radiators work - meaning in winter her lounge and bedrooms were ‘freezing cold’.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s been 10 months of hell,” she said. “I might as well be living in an igloo. There is moderate heating at one side of the house, but the bedrooms are all cold.

“There has been months of taking radiators down and shaking them about, but nothing has worked.”

The 56-year-old mother-of-two, who lives on her own, approached the National House-Building Council (NHBC) to liaise with builders Rowland Homes on her behalf.

“Rowland was offering to install another radiator in my lounge,” Mrs Kowalski said. “But that isn’t good enough. If the one in there doesn’t work now, why will a new one?

“I need a new pump fitting to heat the whole house.

“I work in a school and I’ve already wasted my Christmas and Easter holidays dealing with this – I don’t want to waste my summer break too.”

A spokesman for NHBC said: “A remedial works programme has now been agreed to ensure the heating system meets our technical requirements.”

Ralph Bacon, construction and commercial director for Rowland Homes, told the Guardian: “All of our properties have the heating designs created for us by a national supplier, however, Mrs Kowalski did discuss this matter with NHBC, as she was not satisfied with heat output in the lounge of her home.

“The NHBC used their own heating engineers to comprehensively check the system and confirmed the only room that was borderline on the design and required further output was in the lounge, not the whole house as suggested.

“The recommendation was to fit an additional pump, which we have agreed to complete on the day that suited Mrs Kowalski, which is
August 4.

“We have offered to put an additional radiator in lounge, instead of the pump, which we thought would be more beneficial to Mrs Kowalski, but this appears to be more of an issue, therefore, we have agreed to the original NHBC request for the pump”.