In light of these alarming findings, Sainsbury’s Home Insurance is urging homeowners to only use reputable, skilled, trades people to avoid taking any risks.
Sacrificing quality in favour of saving money, could prove a very costly mistake, as you could find yourself footing a bill much higher than expected as you look to rectify any mistakes or shortcuts. In extreme cases, if a homeowner is proven not to have taken reasonable care of their property, they could also risk invalidating their home insurance.
Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance said: "We’re concerned that so many homeowners have to rectify poor workmanship carried out by people they’ve employed in good faith to work in their homes. It’s completely unacceptable that the remedial costs are exceeding £700million. Of course the burden isn’t just financial; there can be a great deal of personal stress attached to these difficult situations including the clean up and often confrontation.
"In these challenging economic times, it’s understandable that people want to cut back on costs but where work to the home is concerned it’s just not worth the risk. It’s simply false economy, especially if you’ve invalidated your home insurance by not taking due care. It’s imperative you hire a quality tradesman, and make sure that the work is done properly."
Of those that used tradesmen in the past five years, only a third (36%) say they asked for a number of quotes and a mere 31% asked for a formal written quote for the work. Worryingly just 5% checked if they were accredited by TrustMark, the Government endorsed standards agency, despite this being an easy web-based check via TrustMark’s online database. Men are more thorough in their checking with 15% saying they asked for references opposed to just 9% of women.
Those that have employed a "cowboy" trader in the last five years paid an average of £2077 for the work they carried out. On top of this amount they had to pay nearly £600 to either repair the damage or complete the unfinished job. This equates to nearly £3.7billion over the last five years. More than 150,000 people are estimated to have paid over £5000 to rectify a botched job.
Tyte said: "There are some simple steps that you can take to avoid calamity, spend some time researching local tradesmen – perhaps ask friends and family for recommendations or ask companies you’re thinking of hiring for references.
"You should always contact at least three and ask for a written quote, this will give you confidence that you are paying the right amount for the job you need done. Always check for relevant qualifications and accreditations, like TrustMark."
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