Which? survey : Half of all home improvement projects have problems

Nearly half of all home improvement projects have problems, but three in ten people feel too uncomfortable to complain to tradespeople, new research by Which? has revealed.

The survey, which questioned 2,000 UK adults last month, found that one of the major issues is work taking longer than agreed to complete for fitting new bathrooms and kitchens. According to Which? a quarter of those surveyed, who had new kitchens and bathrooms fitted, experienced this very common problem.

Some 40% of those questioned in the Which? report said they would pay to get another person to redo the work if they felt it hadn’t been completed to a satisfactory standard, while 55% admitted that they wouldn’t always draw up a contract before employing a tradesperson to complete any work. Continuing this issue problems developing after work is completed (or not?) and tradespeople not clearing up mess when they leave are also significant problems for those undertaking home improvements.

Most problematic home improvements

Loft conversions, although small in number, are most problematic with seven in 10 people experiencing some problems with a quarter of those people complaining of messy work with 17% saying that tradespeople did not clear up their mess and it was reported that almost 60% of people who had a loft conversion paid up to £5000 to get problems remedied with 25% even paying for another tradesperson to redo some or all of the work.

Extensions and adding a conservatory, having a new bathroom fitted, and having a new kitchen fitted are also problematic with more than half of people experiencing problems with these types of home improvements.

It is always good advice for homeowners to agree to a contract before work is started to help prevent any future problems and disagreements and whilst often overlooked, the age old word of mouth recommend can minimize risks from shoddy tradespeople and Phoenix companies who routinely run up debts and leave customers holding the bag only to shut down shop and the next day set up again, under a new name.