Homeowners warned over cutting costsTrustMark warns of botched jobs and wasted cash

26 October 2006

The TrustMark logo

Homeowners who rely on friends and relatives to carry out specialist home improvements risk botched jobs, injury and wasted cash.

That’s the warning from TrustMark, the government-backed body set up to protect consumers against rogue traders.

It found nearly 60 per cent of those who'd recently bought a property in the UK had called on non-professionals to do electrical, roofing or plumbing jobs around the house.

The survey also revealed people were more keen on saving money than getting the job done properly.

Saving money

First-time buyers were the worst culprits - more than 50 per cent admitted choosing a friend or relative because the work would be done cheaply or even for free.

The research showed that more experienced homeowners were less likely to cut corners, with 56 per cent insisting on getting a professional to carry out work.

Trustmark Chairman Ian Livsey said: ‘It is all very well asking family members to help you out with home improvement projects, but...it is unlikely you will be lucky enough to have a father who is a qualified electrician, whatever he may tell you.

‘Homeowners need to remember that selecting a reputable tradesperson is the best way to get a quality job at a fair price.’

Safety risk

David Pope, of Electrix UK, a TrustMark member, added: ‘Homeowners may feel that by asking friends or family to work on their home they are getting good value for money.

‘In the long run, they need to understand that by not using a qualified and accredited tradesperson, they could be risking the quality of work and even the safety of their homes.’