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Top five home improvement disasters

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Don't end up with a costly and potentially catastrophic botched job
Top five home improvement disasters

Imagine going weeks without windows at home, having your patio sink into the ground or waste water pouring down your walls.

Sounds awful, but these are just some of the home improvement disasters people are reporting to the Citizens Advice helpline.

The national charity helped people with 40,000 problems related to home maintenance and improvements last year, two thirds of which were about substandard services, such as jobs being completed late or poor workmanship.

Problematic jobs

As the bank holiday approaches and people get ready for some serious DIY, Citizens Advice has revealed the top five most common building jobs which caused problems:

1. Roofing (4,971 cases) – one person contacted Citizens Advice when a builder failed to complete the work to their roof which lead to thousands of pounds worth of water damage.

2. Fitted kitchens (4,766 cases) – another person sought advice after a contractor disappeared without finishing the installation of their kitchen, leaving them with no doors on their cupboards.

3. Fitted windows and doors (3,879 cases) – Citizens Advice helped one person who had their windows boarded up for 11 weeks after hiring a builder to fit an extension.

4. Plumbers (3,210 cases) – problems include someone who had waste water pouring down their walls due to an incorrectly installed pipe.

5. Driveways, patios and decking (3,116) – one person contacted the charity after their patio started to sink after a year, blocking a drain.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice said: “Thousands of people are turning to us for help after bad building work leaves them with a home improvement nightmare.

“People trying to improve their homes are finding them in a worse state than before they started. Dealing with botched jobs and unfinished work means many are left out of pocket and face huge disruptions to their lives.

“When you’re looking to get building work done it’s important to get things in writing- such as quotes and contracts- so you can refer back to them if things go wrong, and keep copies of receipts so you can prove what you paid for a job.

“If you’ve had a problem with building work, and you’re not sure about your rights or what to do next, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.”

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