Home improvers 'let down' by contractors

05-09-2006

Homeowners trying to enhance the value of their property by contracting out tradespeople to make improvements are finding themselves ripped off to the tune of over £8 billion, it has been claimed.

Research from Direct Line Home Insurance shows that ten per cent of households have been dissatisfied with the level of quality of service they have received from tradespeople, despite spending an average of £7,430 over the last two years.

While 23 per cent of disappointed homeowners failed to get a guarantee for the work, ten per cent were forced to hire additional contractors and another ten per cent were forced to try and fix the problem themselves.

"Homeowners need to be aware of their rights when it comes to employing tradespeople and ensure that in the event that problems occur, they will be rectified quickly," commented Direct Line Home Insurance spokesperson Carmel McCarthy.

The best approach is to hire a tradesperson from an approved network and always ensure that you ask for proof of work - either a receipt or a written guarantee."

She pointed out that the majority of her survey's respondents were unaware that they had the same statutory rights to good quality service even if they paid cash in hand, rather than by a personal cheque or credit card.


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