resource hub | Builders Call for Schemes to End Cowboy Builders

Builders Call for Schemes to End Cowboy Builders

By Rachael Ouston In Industry News

The film version may have the butch bronco sat astride his trusty steed with his Stetson. But the reality sees him frisking people of their hard-earned cash for sub-standard work. Now hard-working, trustworthy builders want the unreliable rustlers sent packing. This blog outlines how there are calls for more regulation in the construction industry. Read on to find out more.


Dodgy builders, nicknamed cowboys, are nothing new. Most people have unfortunately had a run-in with one of them at some point in their lives. Now, according to a report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), almost 80% of builders are appealing for guidance to be introduced which will put an end to chancy construction characters once and for all. The FMB is urging the Government to introduce a licensing scheme in the building industry as part of ‘Raising the Bar: A Post-Grenfell Agenda for Quality and Professionalism in Construction.’


According to Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, cowboy builders will continue to ‘run rampant’ in the industry. Licensing, he says, would ensure a minimum level of competence and professionalism and give consumers greater assurance when hiring a builder.


Unlike in America and Germany, anyone can be a builder in Britain. This means a significant number of cowboy builders have been able to tarnish the country’s construction industry.


A third of all homeowners are so nervous about the possibility of engaging a dodgy-dealer to carry out work on their most valuable and treasured possession, that they choose not to have it done.


The research by the FMB revealed that home-owners would be willing to spend an average of £40,000 over the next five years on major renovation and improvement work on their properties if they had peace of mind and the guarantee of a positive outcome.


As well as a licensing scheme, the FMB’s new agenda calls for mandatory warranties for projects that require building control sign-off to protect consumers further. The Federation also wants to work with the industry to develop a ‘general builder’ qualification which would seek to recognise the highest standards of professionalism in the industry.


If you’re considering having work carried out on your home and want to avoid a rogue trader, there are several warning signs to watch out for.


Be careful of a builder who:


  • Refuses to give you their details or gives misleading information. Never hire a builder who will not share business contact details.
  • Does not set out or follow plans. If your builder refuses to offer or sign a contract or provide a written estimate.
  • Has questionable financial practices. If an estimate seems too good to be true, it generally is, and cash-up front should be a concern.
  • Seems in a rush to begin the work. If you feel intimidated or harassed, then ask for time. A trustworthy builder will understand.


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