A new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reveals that the UK economy is missing out on £10 billion each year because homeowners are scared they might be hiring a cowboy builder.
Other key results show that one third (32%) of homeowners delay major home improvement works that require a builder because they fear the builder might not be trustworthy, which leads to the next point that if all homeowners trusted the building industry 100%, then they would be spending an average of £40,000 on major home improvement project over the next five years.
“A third of homeowners are so anxious about the possibility of choosing a bad builder, they don’t commission any building work whatsoever. This means that the UK economy could be missing out on £10 billion of activity every year. Indeed, the FMB’s latest research shows that on average, your typical homeowner would spend £40,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years if they could be guaranteed a positive experience,” said Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB.
He goes on saying that if consumers could get over this fear, then the potential growth and jobs “would be enormous”. In 2017, UK had the slowest growth since 2012, with a rise in GDP of only 1.8% and the future could look even worse with Brexit just around the corner. Therefore, it is vital that the Government “pulls as many leavers as possible to turbocharge the economy and protect it from any potential economic wobbles”.
To get over this fear of hiring a cowboy builder, the Government “should consider introducing some form of mandatory licensing system for domestic builders so that consumers know that all building firms have a base level of skill, competence and professionalism,” said Berry. Unlike in other countries, in the UK “anyone can be a builder”, so the industry gains a bad reputation because of that.
“We’re exploring mandatory licensing with industry and Government, but in the meantime, our advice to homeowners who are looking for a builder is to ask for a recommendation from family or friends. If they can’t help, consumers should approach a professional trade association like the Federation of Master Builders who can put them in touch with a vetted and inspected building firm,” concluded Berry.