Have you ever had a home improvement project go wrong? A builder who starts work then goes off on another job or a plumber who never seems to have seen a tap before?
I’m about to start on some much-needed home improvements and was feeling quite excited – until I told others about my plans – and then the horror stories began.
Everyone it seems has one – a story about a builder that never turned up on time, or an electrician that wouldn’t leave.
So our latest survey about home improvements rang horribly true. We asked 2,000 people about work they’d had done to their home in the past two years and found there had been problems with half the projects.
The biggest problems with home improvements
Mess not cleared up and problems developing after work was completed also featured highly.
And what type of jobs caused the most complaints? Well, loft conversions, although small in number, were most problematic with seven in 10 people having problems.
Should I be nervous?
So, should I be nervous? To help those like me who’re planning work about the house and are worried about whether you can trust what a tradesperson tells you, or what to do if something goes wrong, we’ve written a guide on what to do before work starts, what to do about a problem and what action to take if it persists.
Why don’t we complain more?
Because the odd thing is that, despite all the problems, three in 10 people wouldn’t feel comfortable complaining to a tradesperson if they felt work hadn’t been completed to a satisfactory standard. In fact, four in 10 would pay to get another person to redo the work.
Working in the Consumer Rights team at Which?, I’m pretty well versed in effective complaining. And I wouldn’t start any work without a contract in place.
But I don’t want to embark on home improvements fearing I’m going to have a battle on my hands to get things finished on time, to a good standard and with minimal mess. Is this too much to ask?
Are you about to embark on some home improvements or have you recently had some work done? What have your experiences been? Do you have any tips or advice?