HomeS are at risk of going to ruin because their owners are delaying routine maintenance jobs or doing botch jobs themselves.
A survey by the AA's Home Emergency Response Service showed 58pc of people had put off home repairs and maintenance for financial reasons over the past three years, while 55pc have taken on jobs themselves instead of calling in the professionals.
Leaky dishwashers and toilets, shoring up cracks and crevices against vermin and trying to mend broken boilers top the list of DIY jobs.
Respondents blamed lack of money as the main reason for not using the professionals.
"I carry out most of the decorating myself. Anything I am unable to do does not get done until I can scrape up enough cash for it," said one.
"We are in negative equity and are stuck where we are but cannot afford renovations," said another.
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