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The couple’s ‘rickety’ £725,000 dream home has to be demolished after just 5 years

Insurers have blamed poorly built foundations and ordered Madeline and Alastair Price’s home to be demolished and rebuilt because the damage was too severe to repair

Madeline and Alastair Price's
Madeline and Alastair Price’s “dream” retirement home

A couple’s £725,000 ‘rickety’ dream home is set to be demolished after just five years.

Madeline and Alastair Price, 70 and 69, can’t even open the front door of their rickety five-bed home they bought in 2018.

The couple’s family home, which overlooks open fields in Cambridgeshire, is riddled with yards of cracks as it is ‘lifted’ by swelling ground.

Insurers have blamed poorly built foundations and ordered the house to be demolished and rebuilt because the damage was too severe to repair.

Madeline, a retired banker-turned-gardener, said: “It’s really a nightmare.

“The cracks are pretty much everywhere. None of the floors or work surfaces are level.







The cracks on the outside of the walls of the property
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A crack on the edge of a window
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“Doors won’t close – I can’t even open the front door because it’s stuck.”

“The insurance company said they can’t save it. It’s not just a building, it’s our home.”

Located in the rural village of Wicken, near the historic cathedral town of Ely, the couple’s home has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Madeline revealed cracks running through her and husband Alastair’s home, which has heated floors, a wine cooler and a wood-burning stove.







The cracks, the couple say, are throughout the house
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The couple’s double garage has a two-meter-long and about half-inch-wide gap inside, including the kitchen and living room.

Madeline said the problem was that the house’s foundations – about 1.5 to 2 meters deep – were being shifted by the underlying clay soil, which is expanding due to ground heave.

Soil heave is associated with the swelling of clay soils, which expand when wet.







Insurers have blamed poorly constructed foundations for the movement in the property
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The couple claim the builders should have taken this into account when building the house, which came with a 10-year guarantee under the local authority’s building inspection.

Madeline said: “The soil is bone dry, indicating tiny tree roots are still present. It raises the house.

“They should have known what the country was like when they built the house.







Another crack on the outside of the couple’s home
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“We first noticed small cracks after a few years, but we put it down to normal new house stuff.

“It started in the hallway, on the stairs and in the back bedroom.

“A civil engineer came to visit and said they were piles of clay where the soil has spread out from under the house.”

Madeline and Alastair, also retired bankers, are forced to move out of the house they share with their golden retriever when the notice of demolition is reported.







Madeline and Alastair Price say they can’t even open the front door of their ‘rickety’ five-bed house
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They’re getting compensation for renting a property for six months – but the devastated coupes say they don’t know whether they’ll return their home or sell it once it’s rebuilt due to the disruption it will cause

Madeline said: “They’re going to tear everything down and rebuild the foundations.

“It could be out of the house for at least two years.







The building is riddled with metre-long cracks and is being “lifted up” by swelling soil.
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“We wanted to live in the country, we figured this would be our home for a few years and then we would move to our permanent home.

“We don’t know at the moment if we’ll be back. Maybe we will bring it to the market right after the conversion.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/couples-wonky-725k-dream-house-27329926 The couple's 'rickety' £725,000 dream home has to be demolished after just 5 years

Fry Electronics Team

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