Homeowners too accommodating of substandard work from tradesmen

Article date: 17 September 2003

In total, 23% of homeowners say they have either been chargedover the odds or received substandard work when having homeimprovements carried out, the survey reveals.

However, despite this, one in five people (19%) still select atradesman without a recommendation, usually from the pages of atelephone directory, a leaflet through the door or a newspaperadvertisement. What’s more a further 29% said they wouldre-employ the same tradesman despite the standard of work they hadreceived.

The Norwich Union survey also revealed:

  • More than one in five (21%) admitted feeling nervous abouthiring a tradesman.
  • Only 4% of homeowners would employ a tradesman following arecommendation by a recognised trade body or local businesslink.

In addition, the survey also found that carrying out homeimprovements remains a popular aspiration. One in five people (19%)said that if they received an unexpected windfall of £10,000, theirfirst choice would be to carry out home improvement projects.

And of those people who would choose to carry out external homeimprovements:

  • 27% would have a conservatory or porch built
  • 17% would have the house repainted
  • 17% would have their garden landscaped
  • 16% would have an extension built

To help homeowners about to embark on home improvement projects,Norwich Union has produced a jargon-free, step-by-step guide.TheHome Improvement Guide, designed to take the stress out ofplanning a project, includes advice on avoiding potential pitfalls,hiring reputable tradesmen and ways to increase the value of yourproperty.

To receive a free copy of the Home Improvement Guide, homeownersshould call free on 0800 122876.

In fact, Norwich Union is finding that more and more homeowners,over the age of 55, are releasing equity from their property tofund home improvement projects.

Paul Stokes, head of marketing for Norwich Union equity release,said: “Our property is the biggest, single investment we arelikely to make during our lifetime. Previously, if we had wanted alarger home we would have moved but, with escalating buying andselling costs, more of us are deciding to stay put and improve orextend our existing properties.

“More than half of Norwich Union customers (55%) who takeout an equity release plan use the cash for home and gardenimprovements.”

- ends -

Press office contacts: Out of hours
Ian Beggs08703 66 68 7107790 487533
James Evans08703 66 68 7807790 487105
Louise Goffee08703 66 68 7007810 057362
Lorna Wiltshire08703 66 68 7807788 471849


The telephone survey was conducted on behalf of Norwich Union byIPSOS research, amongst a representative sample of 591 Britishconsumers, aged 55 plus.

Norwich Union is the leading provider of equity release plans inthe UK with a market share of 45%.

Minimum property values apply. Equity release is a lifetime loansecured against your home. CHECK THAT THIS MORTGAGE MEETS YOURNEEDS IF YOU WANT TO MOVE OR YOU WANT YOUR FAMILY TO INHERIT IT. IFYOU ARE IN DOUBT, SEEK INDEPENDENT ADVICE. A personal illustrationand full terms and conditions are available on request. NorwichUnion equity release limited No. 3286484. Registered at 2 RougierStreet, York YO90 1UU. Not available in Northern Ireland, theChannel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is a leadingprovider of life, pensions and investment products and one of theleading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 70% of thecompany’s long-term savings business.

Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco Personal Financeand The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Download'Making the most of your home' in PDF format.

Back to top