The home improvement industry garnered the second-most consumer complaints in 2018, second only to complaints about automobiles, according to the 2018 Consumer Complaint Survey Report from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). It is the second consecutive year the home improvement industry ranked second in consumer complaints.

The CFA asked state and local agencies about the worst complaints they received in 2018 based on the "number of complaints about a particular topic or company, the dollar amount involved, the impact on vulnerable consumers, or the sheer outrageousness of the situation." Home improvement and construction complaints most frequently were described as the worst in 2018, according to the CFA.

The CFA said common complaints were shoddy work and the failure to start of complete jobs on time. The agency said when work is shoddy, incomplete, or never performed, many homeowners have their safety jeopardized and their homes become unlivable, situations compounded by the steep financial loss of most home improvement projects gone awry.

In the CFA's news release, it shares the story of a Maryland homeowner who hired a contractor to add a second story to the house. After the homeowner paid the agreed-on price of $180,000, the contractor asked for more money, walked off the job, and fled the country.

Energy-efficient work financed under the Properly Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program and roofing contractors masquerading as insurance adjusters are two new consumer problems highlighted by the CFA.

The Consumer Federation of American is an association of more than 250 nonprofit consumer organizations established to advance consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. The 2018 Consumer Complaint Survey Report polled responses from 35 agencies across 21 states and included a total of 1,148,848 consumer complaints from 2018.