British homeowners are not doing maintenance and repair work because they cannot find builders and other tradesmen they can trust, according to a survey.
Finding trusted tradesmen has become such a problem that housing stock could be in a state of disrepair across regions of the UK, the Homeowner Survey from the HomeOwners Alliance and TrustMark found.
More than half of homeowners (58%) said they had difficulty finding a trusted builder to help with repairs or improvements, with 12% of these people not doing the work and 26% delaying the project.
Some 40% carried out the repairs or DIY themselves, 27% did only the essential work and 28% used tradesmen they were uncertain about.
HomeOwners Alliance chief executive Paula Higgins said: "Doing repairs, maintenance or improvements to your home are some of the biggest challenges homeowners face, and they find it far more difficult than it should be to find a reliable builder or tradesman to help them.
"For many it is quite rightly a major cause of concern - we have all watched those TV shows about cowboy builders and how your dream can turn into a nightmare.
Liz Male, chairwoman of the government-endorsed TrustMark "find a tradesman" scheme, said: "A nation of homeowners is at the mercy of leaflets through the door or findanyoldbuilder.com websites because
they don't have a network of local tradespeople they can turn to.
"The price we pay are homes lacking TLC, an ever-deteriorating housing stock and the financial burden of £1.9 billion a year paying to fix botched jobs by tradesmen who were just not qualified to do the work.
"This is a ridiculous situation when we know there are so many excellent tradespeople out there who are totally committed to doing quality work and excellent customer service."