Cowboy BuilderEverything preceding this blog post explains the number of complaints against tradespeople in the UK. Unfortunately the problem of unsatisfied customers is further expanded by the home improver doing little research into the actual project they want doing.

Way back in 1990, in a paper called Building Procurement, A. Turner summed up the problem succinctly when he stated “All things being equal, as any customer knows, you can probably have what you want if you know what it is. If you do not know exactly what you want, you will probably end up with partly, or totally, what you don’t want.”

Home owners rely on builders to sometimes read their minds when, full discussion at the outset, via a medium such as the DIY Doctor Desired Outcome Building Contract will remove any doubt in the home improver’s mind.

The Which report of August 2011 concluded that 2.5 million people have had a dispute with a builder or decorator in the last 3 years and the most common disagreement was the quality of the work.

Other complaints were mostly about bad timekeeping by traders and properties being left very untidy. The report also states that 25% of homeowners went ahead with the work despite not receiving a written quote or contract from the trader.

Finally the report concludes that almost 20% of complaint cases in 2010 ended up in court.

As if all those statistics were not bad enough, Trading Standards reports that in 2011 £170m was stolen by cowboys in 2010 through taking deposits and not finishing work

DIY Doctor’s own survey in October 2011 showed

  • 76% of people who receive more than one quote are confused as to why there is such extensive variation
  • 1 in 3 homeowners who have had work done had problems with the contractor they chose
  • Next year 43% of home improvers plan a garden makeover of some kind and there has been a huge increase in complaints against cowboy gardeners

In the final part of this story we are pleased to announce that we are working very hard to eliminate the risks involved with employing tradespeople of any kind in your home. Our Home Improvement Protection Solution offers peace of mind with many practical measures that can be taken to protect your home. We have much more lined up.

Please post your comments to help us provide the best support we can for home improvers.

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