How can FMB help if things go wrong?

The Federation of Master Builders recognises that on occasions disagreements can occur when building work is being undertaken.

If you have a problem:

Seek advice from the Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit their website to find out your rights as the FMB cannot offer legal advice.

If you have not already done so write a letter or send an email to the business outlining your dispute and how you wish for it to be resolved.

Template letters can be downloaded for guidance.

If the dispute is not resolved within a reasonable time or you do not receive a response, you may be able to use the FMB Disputes service but we can only provide assistance to consumers providing that the business is a Member.

You can use the FMB Check a member service:

If your dispute is not with a business that is a Member of FMB, please visit for a list of ADR providers who may be able to help you.

In October 2015, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive came into force which requires traders who have been unable to resolve a dispute through their own customer service efforts to advise their client of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body. FMB gained approval in August 2015 to be an ADR body.

If the business is a member of the FMB:

We offer a free conciliation service (conciliation focuses on what you and the business want and tries to find a way of solving the problem that you are both happy with). However to use our service a consumer (client) must be a private individual who has entered into a contract with a Member and not made a contract in the course of a business ( this includes properties which are let out).

FMB process cannot be considered if:

  • You have not tried to resolve the dispute directly in writing with the Member;
  • The business has ceased to be a Member of the FMB;
  • The work was carried out by the company before the business became a Member of the FMB.
  • The work carried out by the Member has been rectified and/or completed by another business;
  • You do not wish the Member to return to site;
  • The dispute is being considered by the courts or is being dealt with by another Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Body;
  • If it is over six years (five years in Scotland) since the building work was carried out by the Member. (Unless the member has provided you with a guarantee which is still valid. We will require a copy with your dispute form.)

FMB cannot offer assistance if you are a neighbour of someone who is having building work carried out and you are unhappy with any disruptions. Speak to the individuals concerned and ask them to liaise with the builder or seek advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline.

FMB will consider disputes if the parties have sought legal advice and/or instructed a solicitor or sought assistance from Trading Standards. We will only decline to assist if the use of these third parties would seriously impair the effectiveness of the service offered to its Members and their clients. The use of independent mediation could still be available.

Please note that the FMB is not responsible for paying compensation or making a financial award on behalf of its Members.

Our flow chart (Download, PDF 193 KB) will explain our process as agreed under the legislation; please note that we can only accept completed dispute forms in English.

Our process will allow the client and Member to work through as follows:

Step 1 - Conciliation by supporting both client and Member (“parties”) to engage and discuss the dispute to agree a negotiated outcome. Should this not be achieved then the parties have the option to move to the stage two when we have not been able to reach a satisfactory outcome.

We are unable to offer site inspections as part of our process.

A client can withdraw from the dispute process at anytime; our Members are required to follow Step 1 of the FMB’s Dispute service.

Step 2 – Independent mediation, this can be a low cost service and uses fully approved independent mediators to support the seeking of an agreeable solution. FMB uses Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd who is an approved ADR Body. Both parties must agree to enter into mediation.

Agreed fees:

£50 plus VAT per party for one hour of mediation

£100 plus VAT per party for two hours of mediation

£300 plus VAT per party for three hours of mediation

Mediation is able to be conducted online and/or by telephone.

The process of Mediation is outside of FMB, should no mediated position be agreed then the parties are free to consider court action.

If you would like further information on our process please contact the Disputes Team on 01223 463111 or

Download our Disputes form (PDF 305 KB)

The form cannot be completed online, if you are unable to download the form, please email or telephone 01223 463111 to request a copy.

If you are acting for a family member or friend/neighbour please download our letter of authority and send this with the complaint form. FMB will verify the information.

Download our letter of authority (Word 10 KB)

The FMB is committed to providing quality services for the benefit of all users. However violence, aggression, abuse (be it psychological, physical, sexual or verbal), bullying, harassment or intimidation will not be tolerated against members of staff under any circumstances. The FMB reserves the right to withdraw any services and individuals could be reported to the police.

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