One in ten home building projects fail to please home owners, leaving a trail of unhappy customers, according to new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Of the home owners who are unhappy with their building work, the top reasons cited include: shoddy workmanship (49%), cost overruns (27%) and delays (23%).
However, most of these issues can be avoided if home owners stick to the ‘Keep away from the Cowboys’ checklist that the FMB has prepared. Master Builders, of which Rapier is a member of, have to pass an independent inspection, as well as credit and director checks before they can join the FMB. They can also offer warranties on their work and have access to free written contracts that help protect both parties. The FMB also offers a dispute resolution service should any problems arise.
The ‘Keep away from the Cowboys’ checklist is issued by the FMB and includes the following advice for home owners:
- Get a contract – make sure everything is agreed in writing to avoid problems later;
- Don’t flash the cash – our research shows that when builders demand to be paid in cash, so that they can avoid paying VAT, they are more likely to cut corners elsewhere and leave their customers dissatisfied;
- Check for scam schemes – not all rating schemes are the same. Does membership mean the builder has been checked or have they just paid for the logo?
Helen Patterson was one of those who felt let down by her builder: “I am absolutely distraught. My emotions are all over the place and my house is in a terrible state of disrepair. It was supposed to be the start of building my dream home and suddenly it was in complete ruins – the man responsible, who I had trusted with my hard-earned cash, just disappeared. This has left me in a financially difficult situation wishing I had used a builder that had been vetted by a more reliable third party to avoid this sort of thing happening.”
On the day that the FMB launches its Master Builder Awards to recognise Britain’s best builders, the FMB is issuing a “Keep away from the Cowboys” checklist to help home owners spot the bad’uns.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The UK construction industry is worth £110bn per year and more than 70% of this work is carried out by SMEs. Large projects, such as new runways and high speed rail lines, tend to grab the headlines but they are only a small part of the story. Small, local builders are delivering fantastic new homes, extensions and refurbishments across the UK and these quality builders are the un-sung heroes of the construction industry.
The ‘Keep away from the Cowboys’ checklist can be downloaded from the FMB website.You will also be able to access useful information on planning your project and finding a reliable builder
SOURCE: FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS (FMB)