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Cost of botched home improvements up £6m

The cost of amending botched home maintenance work has surged in the last three months, it has been claimed. According to figures from the government advice agency Consumer Direct, the number of complaints it has dealt with over the last three months has dipped slightly from 19,335 to 19,075. However, the value of these complaints has surged by £6 million, forcing thousands of people to make costly home insurance complaints. The lion's share of the complaints were relating to building work, which accounted for £40 million. Meanwhile, problems with fitted kitchens and central heating totalled around £19.5 million. Michele Shambrook, operations manager for Consumer Direct, said: "There's no foolproof way of avoiding problems, but you need to do your homework before you embark on a project, agree clear terms with the trader, and if things go wrong, check your rights and take prompt action."

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