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More than half of Brits have paid additional renovation costs due to cowboy builders

More than half of Brits have had to pay additional house renovation costs due to faulty work by cowboy builders.

A survey has revealed that over one in 10 of UK homeowners have spent an additional £500-749 in costs to rectify substandard work from cowboy builders.

Bristol residents have the highest chance of hiring a cowboy builder compared to any other UK city, with almost one in six renovators left feeling unsatisfied with the resulting work.

To fix sub-standard work, Bristol renovators have to fork out between a shocking £1,250 and £1,499.

Builder with various tools.
Over half of British homeowners have had to pay additional costs for renovations.               Photo by Callum Hill on Unsplash

Birmingham and Belfast closely follow with almost one in 10 people claiming they received unsatisfactory service. 

Leeds and Newcastle also make the list with 7% and 6.7% of unsatisfied customers. 

The survey also revealed that one in 12 Brits admitted they wouldn’t recommend the contractors that they’ve hired to family and friends.

Norwich takes the top spot as the city where you’re least likely to receive substandard work, with those who have had work done revealing they have an overall satisfaction of 97.6%. 

And 78.6% were 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.

Commenting on the research, Chris King, head of home insurance at, said: “Finding a contractor or sole trader that you can trust to take care of your home whilst carrying out works is not always easy and it’s important to take precautions where you can.

“Before the work begins, you should make sure that you have buildings and contents insurance sorted, which, depending on your chosen policy, could cover the cost of any items in your home that may get damaged during the process.”

Just last year a “cowboy builder” scammed a family out of £46,000 on a renovation of their family home which he later spent on his four mortgages.

After demanding upfront monthly payments for the renovation, the builder abandoned his tools and left the house unfinished and destroyed in areas. 

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