A new research survey has revealed that around 80% of housebuilders are supportive of stringent measures being introduced to safeguard against ‘cowboys’ in the construction industry.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has issued a warning that there is a need for regulation and that the UK’s construction industry would welcome the introduction of a new licensing process to prevent untrustworthy tradesmen operating within the sector.

UK’s construction industry lacks regulation

In the UK, anyone can set themselves up as a builder, which is not the case in Germany or America, where construction is more tightly regulated.

The FMB plans to address the government with its findings and lobby them to bring in a licensing scheme to offer a set of industry standards aimed at setting a minimum level of professionalism and competence across the building trade, in an attempt to boost confidence among consumers wanting to use a builder.

£40,000 potential spend over five years per average household

The latest research produced a figure of around £40,000 over a five-year period that the average householder would spend on significant home improvements if they could be assured of a reliable builder’s services. The research indicates that around one third of UK homeowners are so apprehensive about using an unreliable builder that they choose not to actually embark on works.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “It’s time to free this escalating demand for building work through a licensing scheme consumers can trust. This would also increase the economic benefits from increasing quality and professionalism in the industry and also improve safety benefits.”

“As well as calling on the government to introduce a licensing scheme for builders, the FMB is also calling for mandatory warranties for building projects that require building control sign-off to protect consumers further. Our Federation is keen to work with the construction industry to create a general builder qualification which could recognise the highest standards of professionalism in the industry.”