A Daily Voice reader has offered to finish build Paxton Fielies’ house after her family was allegedly scammed by a contractor.
The 41-year-old builder from Strand reached out to Paxton and her mother Chrystal after reading about their woes in the Daily Voice on Friday, offering to complete the work free of charge.
Last week, the IdolsSA 2017 winner explained how she had given her mom R800 000 to extend their home in Bishop Lavis, where they live with her ouma and other family members.
However, Chrystal said the building contractor made off with their money and left them with an incomplete structure that is now leaking.
Chrystal, 46, asked Ricardo Bennett from Satari Constructions to make alterations to their tiny two-bedroom home in June last year.
CONTRACTOR: Ricardo Bennett
She wanted to turn her house into a double-storey, and add two bedrooms, a bathroom, TV room, balcony, staircase and soundproof music studio.
She says Bennett quoted her R800 000 for the entire job, and said he could finish by the end of August 2018.
Bennett claimed he stopped work in December because Chrystal paid him in “dribs and drabs”.
He then undertook to complete the building, but said it would come at extra cost since the contract had “expired”.
UNFINISHED: Idol Paxton Fielies paid builder R800k to renovate mom’s house
The Strand builder, who asked to be identified only as Warren, says he was “shocked” to see what had happened to the family.
“If you take away the Idols title, Paxton is just a girl who wanted to make her mom’s dream of a home come true,” Warren tells the Daily Voice.
“At the end of the day it’s a family that needs help and we just want to help.”
Warren started his own company in August last year and confirmed he is registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).
“I’m a third-generation builder who started in the building industry 19 years ago as a so-called ‘boy’, digging trenches, mixing cement and so on.
“I worked myself up to a painter foreman and a project manager where I won the project manager of the year award in just seven months. Thereafter I worked as a quantity surveyor.”
HOME: Paxton’s huis in Bishop Lavis before the construction
Warren met with a relieved Chrystal on Monday at the incomplete Bishop Lavis home, where he assessed the building and assured her he would be bringing twelve of his workers “in the next two weeks” to finish the job.
Chrystal says he is also advising her on how to get her money back from Bennett.
“I’m going to accept his help and I’m very thankful that he approached us. It’s not anybody who will help and assist you on what to do next,” the grateful mom of two says.
Paxton, 18, thanked Warren and the Daily Voice readers for their support, saying: “Thanks for all the positive messages of support and those who reached out to assist us.”