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Homes falling into disrepair as owners struggle to find time to fix issues

Homeowners are living with cracks in walls and ceilings, flaky paint and wonky kitchen cupboards – because they don’t have time to get them fixed.

A study of 2,000 adults on the property ladder revealed the top 50 issues they’re living with, including doors that don’t shut properly, mouldy grout and hot and cold taps fitted the wrong way round.

Homeowners are finding their properties falling into disrepair

Homeowners have been living with such concerns for typically six months, but the longest issues have existed for five years.

Reasons for putting up with such imperfections included no longer ‘seeing’ them around the home (18%), falling to the bottom of the to-do list (16%) and simply accepting them as a quirk of the property (13%).  

Also among the list were stained floors and carpets, unfinished painting jobs and creaky doors.

The research was commissioned by Checkatrade and found common causes of issues were weather-related incidents such as a flood (14%), failed DIY attempts (12%) and drunk accidents (11%).

The living room is the area of homes with the most imperfections, an average of four.

More than a third (37%) believe every home has its own little issues and imperfections.

Mike Fairman, CEO at Checkatrade said: “With so many UK homeowners living with imperfections and issues in their homes, it’s no surprise some have been around for as long as five years.

“Whether it is doors that won’t shut properly or finally getting round to finishing that paint job, we’re all familiar with adding such things to a never-ending to-do list.”



As a result of home issues 16% have felt embarrassed to invite guests round, 15% have had to spend more money on the project then originally planned and 11% have had arguments with family.

A quarter even point out imperfections to visitors to avoid any accidents.

Almost three in 10 (28%) admitted they have good intentions of sorting out imperfections in their home but never have time.

And a further 28% know they need to call in a professional but haven’t got round to it.

But 14% have had to call in an expert to finish or fix the job, leaving homeowners feeling relieved (32%), but also embarrassed (16%).

An average of £1,139 has been spent by the typical homeowner addressing concerns around the home so far this year, whether doing it themselves or paying an expert.

But when it comes to existing issues, those polled predict it’ll take them another eight months before getting round to fixing them or calling in a professional.

Motivators for addressing issues sooner would include putting their home up for sale (30%) and hosting a big event such as Christmas or birthdays (22%).

A quarter of respondents via OnePoll have noticed more issues in their property since spending more time in it during lockdown or working from home.

Despite their own home imperfections, many admitted they’d be put off a potential future abode due to the likes of cracks in walls and ceilings (22%), doors that don’t shut properly (16%) and wonky kitchen cupboards (15%).

Mike Fairman added: “We know not everyone is able to hire a professional, so we have created a wealth of expert advice, how to and cost guides to assist you in your home improvement projects on the Checkatrade blog.

“Meanwhile, for those imperfections and issues that do require an expert, make sure they are verified to ensure a job well done.”

These are the top 50 current imperfections and issues in homes:

  1. Cracks in walls / ceiling
  2. Old sealant that needs removing e.g., around the bath
  3. Peeling/flaky paint
  4. Unfinished painting jobs
  5. Paint mistakes
  6. Mouldy grout
  7. Loose/creaky floorboard
  8. Stained floor / carpet
  9. Peeling wallpaper
  10. Doors that don’t shut properly
  11. Bathroom needs retiling
  12. Door handles that need replacing
  13. Fingerprints on paint e.g., dirty paintwork
  14. Unpainted fences
  15. Holes in the wall that need filling
  16. Leaky / blocked guttering
  17. Incomplete landscaping
  18. Kitchen needs retiling
  19. Chipped radiators
  20. Add more plug sockets
  21. Mould on walls / ceiling
  22. Cracked tiles e.g., in bathroom or kitchen
  23. Loose toilet seat
  24. Changing taps
  25. Leaky taps
  26. Broken or nonexistent curtains/blinds
  27. Exposed pipework which needs boxing in
  28. Kitchen cupboards fitted wonky
  29. Creaky/squeaky doors
  30. Loose skirting boards
  31. Dodgy electrics (e.g., white goods, TV etc. trips electrics)
  32. Sun stained / marked windowsills
  33. Scratched wooden flooring
  34. Loft hatch ladder broken / dodgy
  35. Squeaky garden gate
  36. Alarms not working e.g., carbon monoxide, fire alarm
  37. Fallen/slipped roof tiles
  38. Lino flooring coming unstuck
  39. Door handles not fitted to doors
  40. Carpet fitted incorrectly
  41. Unpainted / stained shelves
  42. Leaking bath
  43. Door frames hung wonky
  44. Door locks fitted incorrectly
  45. Hot and cold taps around the wrong way
  46. No gripper rods fitted to carpets
  47. Wonky shelves
  48. Chipped architraves
  49. Doorknobs not fitted to kitchen cupboards
  50. Light switches installed behind doors

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