One in Two Tradesmen 'Off Duty' for Bank Holiday DIY Disasters

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"The best way to ensure that you are not caught out paying inflated premiums or worse still not being able to find any help, is to take out the appropriate level of Insurance Cover that will protect you should your DIY attempts not go according to plan." said Jon Florsheim, CEO of Homeserve GB.

A recent poll by Homeserve, the national home emergency service, has revealed that Bank Holidays are the worst time to hire an independent plumber, electrician or glazier - tradesmen are likely to charge extra on call-out costs and workmanship for the privilege of being on hand.

According to the survey Homeserve carried out, the May Bank Holidays are amongst the busiest in the year for keen DIYers. However, problems arise when searching for a tradesman to correct DIY disasters. The survey revealed more than half (51%) of all tradesmen will be off duty over the bank holiday weekend. Londoners were identified as most likely to struggle in finding a tradesman as this figure rises to 57%.

For those tradesmen that are on duty, the study revealed they were charging £51 as an initial call-out fee - 13% more than the average call-out fee charged on a weekday (£45). Residents of Midlands and Wales face the highest premiums, as a 29% top-up was added to the normal weekday cost.

"The best way to ensure that you are not caught out paying inflated premiums or worse still not being able to find any help, is to take out the appropriate level of Insurance Cover that will protect you should your DIY attempts not go according to plan." said Jon Florsheim, CEO of Homeserve GB.

The research suggests that finding plumbers would prove slightly easier than electricians - around 51% of plumbers work on bank holiday weekends compared to around 45% of electricians.

Results of the Homeserve poll showed that tradesmen working over Bank Holidays varied from area to area - this illustrates the differences in call-out charges and weekday costs:

Area / Percentage Working / Bank Holiday Call-out Charge / Premium on Weekday Costs

London / 43% / £54 / 4%
South West & South Coast / 53% / £53 / 10%
Midlands and Wales / 45% / £54 / 29%
North and Scotland / 50% / £44 / 5%

Homeserve also revealed that calls to its own home emergency insurance hotline increased by an average of 25% in the number of DIY emergency related calls over the bank holiday period. Coupled with a 73% increase in the number of electrical emergencies such as severed electrical cables and power failure due to overloaded power circuits, Bank Holiday Weekends are starting to rival major public holidays in terms of call out frequency.

The Homeserve Hotline also experienced an increase of 21% in calls relating to plumbing emergencies such as nails through water pipes and garden picks through outside drainage pipes. When it comes to DIY during Bank Holidays, it's becoming clear that things aren't always as simple as they seem. It's a good idea to have contact details for reliable Tradesmen who don't hike their prices to hand, as you never know when you might need them.

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Emma Harvey and Wai Lang Chu
Homeserve
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