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The amount of work carried out by tradesmen that is substandard is on the rise, leaving homeowners to foot the bill, research has shown.

More than 4.6 million botched jobs have been reported in the past 12 months, Lloyds Home Insurance has claimed, costing an average of £460 to correct.

Homeowners are constantly looking for the best price for handiwork, the survey revealed, although many are now taking on unqualified workers in cash-in-hand deals in a bid to combat the credit crunch.

One third of the people questioned said they had never made checks on workers’ qualifications and many admitted that they took the initial quote to be the amount they would pay, not accounting for any additional costs.

Lloyds suggested that those between the ages of 45 and 54 are the worst affected, as are those who live in the Midlands and the east of England.

Recent research from the AA found that 38 per cent of Britons would be staying at home doing DIY tasks over the last bank holiday weekend, despite mistakes likely to be costly to rectify.

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