More than half of Brits are falling victim to costly cowboy builders

With almost a quarter (24%) of Brits opting for help by professionals when it comes to renovating their properties, comparethemarket.com has revealed the areas of the UK the most at risk of sub-standard jobs as a result of cowboy builders.

Over half (56%) of those that have had work carried out on their homes share that they’ve had to fork out additional costs to rectify the problems, with over one in 10 (11%) spending between £500 – £749. One in 12 Brits also wouldn’t recommend the contractors that they’ve hired to family and friends, with one resident revealing they had to take their cowboy plumber to a small claims court after they fled with their deposit, resulting in a full refund!

When asked to score their satisfaction from 0 – 5, with 0 being extremely unhappy and the worst service you could imagine, and 5 being extremely happy to the point you can’t ask for anything more, floor fitters and painters and decorators were the highest with an average of 3.5, followed by plumbers (3.4), and builders (3.3).

Breaking the research down by city, the top five areas where you’re most likely to encounter a cowboy builder are as follows:

City% of unsatisfied customersAvg. building satisfaction scoreAvg. plumbing satisfaction scoreAvg. flooring satisfaction scoreAvg. painting and decorating satisfaction score
Bristol13.6%3.43.43.63.8
Birmingham8.6%3.03.33.63.2
Belfast8.3%3.13.43.52.8
Leeds7.0%3.33.53.33.4
Newcastle6.7%3.03.13.23.1

According to the study, Bristol is the city with the highest chance of hiring a cowboy builder compared to any other in the UK. With almost one in six (13.6%) sharing that they are unsatisfied with the work of third-party contractors and having to fork out between £1,250 – £1,499to fix sub-standard work.

Birmingham and Belfast take the second and third spot for potential cowboy builders, with almost one in 10 admitting to receiving an unsatisfactory service.

Turning our attention to the least likely cities, comparethemarket.com reveals the top five:

City

 

% of satisfied customersAvg. building satisfaction scoreAvg. plumbing satisfaction scoreAvg. flooring satisfaction scoreAvg. painting and decorating satisfaction score
Norwich97.6%3.63.43.43.8
Sheffield95.0%3.63.83.93.6
Liverpool92.2%3.33.43.83.6
Glasgow90.3%3.63.63.73.7
Edinburgh87.0%3.63.43.83.8

Norwich takes the top spot as the city least likely to receive sub-standard work, with those who have had work done revealing they have an overall satisfaction of 97.6%, with 78.6% likely to recommend their contractors to friends and family.

Sheffield ranks second, with 85% of residents revealing that they’ve never had to pay to fix the work of a cowboy builder, followed by Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

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