Woman left with ‘ripped-out’ kitchen after spending £50k on renovation

Lisa Morris at her home in Llanharan

Lisa Morris at her home in Llanharan (Image: John Myers)

A woman has shared her fury over the “horrendous” state of her house, after spending more than £50,000 on building work.

Lisa Morris hired a company called Eva-Lution to renovate her Llanharan home but the work abruptly stopped last November and she claims she is facing a large repair bill. Ms Morris inherited the house from her father and stepmother in 2021 after they were fatally hit by a motorbike while walking.

Speaking to WalesOnline, Ms Morris said she paid Eva-Lution £52,900 for work including a kitchen extension — but she claims her kitchen has been left with exposed wires, bare brick walls and no ceiling.

“They have left me with no kitchen, having ripped the previous kitchen out,” she alleged.

The 50-year-old IT worker said the stress has hit her hard while dealing with the loss of her father and stepmother. “What makes it worse is that it’s their house. I was renovating it with money my dad had gifted me shortly before he passed away. The house was all I had left of them. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted — this has consumed my life for months. I took time off work but I’ve had to go back because I can’t afford not to work, with the situation I’m in.”

Eva-Lution, whose director is 27-year-old Chloe Eva, had eight employees in 2022, according to Companies House. Ms Eva denied the work on Ms Morris’ home was of a poor standard and claimed it was halted due to a “cash flow issue”. She said Ms Morris rejected the offer of a £24,544 refund for parts of the job left unfinished.

Ms Morris, who previously lived in rented accommodation, had hoped the renovation would be completed by the time she moved into the house. She heard about Eva-Lution in June last year through a recommendation and paid a £3,500 deposit the following month.

Inside Lisa Morris' home in Llanharan

Inside Lisa Morris’ home in Llanharan (Image: John Myers)

As work progressed over the following weeks, Ms Morris transferred more money for materials. In early September she went to Howdens with a member of Eva-Lution’s team and chose a kitchen. She transferred £11,000 to Eva-Lution but claims she only later learned that Howdens had never received payment for the kitchen. According to Ms Eva, her company had ordered the kitchen but had not paid Howdens.

An Eva-Lution worker told Ms Morris by text that all the upstairs, living room and front-of-house work would be done by October 16, adding: “Hopefully we will have the extension built with just the inside left to do.” Because of this she arranged the end of her tenancy for October 16 but she claims it eventually became “apparent that the house wouldn’t be livable” by that date, so she extended her lease by a month.

Ms Morris claims she moved in on November 5 with no kitchen, no cloakroom, an unfinished hallway and a garden “like a building site”. She added: “I went on holiday on November 12 and was told that the frame of the extension would be up by the time I got home. Again this did not materialise.”

On November 28 the company told Ms Morris there was a cash flow issue but a £250,000 investment would be in its accounts by December 2. “I was also told at this point that they didn’t even have enough money to pay for the cement , so I gave them £400 to get the necessary materials so the footings could be completed,” she added.

Eva-Lution workers have not attended Ms Morris’ home since the end of November when concrete was laid for footings. She alleges that the extension’s timber frame never arrived and that another builder has since told her the footings were laid incorrectly and will have to be removed. Ms Eva disputes this and claims the footings were laid after consultation with a structural engineer. She added: “I do not believe the work carried out was to a poor standard, and during the works no issue or complaint was raised about the quality or standard of work.”

Lisa Morris' property in Llanharan

Lisa Morris’ property in Llanharan (Image: John Myers)

Ms Morris said the job was meant to cover a fully fitted kitchen with appliances. “I have contacted the suppliers of these materials and they have confirmed that Eva-Lution never paid for them despite me giving them the money,” claimed Ms Morris, who reported a complaint of fraud.

Responding to the claim of fraud, Ms Eva said staff stopped working on Ms Morris’ property due to a cash flow issue after her own company was a “victim of fraudulent activity and non-payment of invoices” by another business. Asked about the investment, she claimed this was set to be completed at the beginning of January but “when the funds were due to be transferred, there was an issue due to the fraud case that Ms Morris has put on the business bank account”.

“By this time, other accounts and clients then had further frustrations with needing to wait for works to re-commence, and the investor pulled out due to there being so many issues,” said Ms Eva. “If the fraud case was not on the account, the funds would have gone through and we could be in a position to resolve any company conflicts.”

She added that the kitchen was ordered through Howdens but Eva-Lution was waiting for the investment to come through before the kitchen could be obtained. Eva-Lution offered to pay Ms Morris £24,544, which Ms Eva described as a “fair refund” due to work already completed. “This included the purchase price of the kitchen which, due to the issue and us not being able to obtain the investment funds, was not settled,” said Ms Eva.

Ms Eva claimed funds had never been taken from clients to cover business overheads but she said Eva-Lution was hit by the alleged fraud of another company. “Due to the situation we found ourselves in… direct debits and standing orders of Eva-Lution were still being taken from our account which ate into funds we had received from clients. This is not how we have run the company through the duration . However, due to the circumstance/situation this is what happened. Again, this is why Ms Morris was offered the settlement figure, to cover this cost.”

Ms Morris, who claims her home needs around £40,000 worth of repairs, has declined the offer of £24,544 and sent a letter before action to Eva-Lution, which has begun the process of liquidation. “It was never our intention for the company to go into liquidation,” said Ms Eva, but she confirmed there have been other threats of legal action and described liquidation as “our safest option as a company”.

Ms Morris has been relying on a microwave and air fryer to cook since moving in. “When I moved in, I was only expecting to live like this for a week,” she said, adding that upcoming repair costs will leave her struggling financially.

Aside from the kitchen, Ms Morris claims a downstairs toilet and vanity unit are among the items paid for but never installed. Ms Eva defended her company’s work which she says included new internal doors, plastering, painting, electrical works in the living room, a new upstairs bathroom, new radiators, rubbish removal, new light fittings, fitting of blinds supplied by Ms Morris, wardrobe work , re-routing of drainage and plumbing, and the “beginning of the extension”.

Ms Eva added: “If there was an issue with the quality it should have been brought to our attention before now. Ms Morris was offered for the staff to return to the property before Christmas, which she denied and advised she was taking legal action and we were not to return.”

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