Londoners would invest £67,000 on home improvement work over the next five years if they had full confidence in their ability to identify a professional builder, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) London.
Key results from the FMB’s research into consumer confidence in builders include:
• A third (33%) of London’s home owners are put off doing major home improvement works requiring a builder because they fear hiring a dodgy builder;
• If all of London’s home owners had full confidence in the building industry, they would typically spend an average of £67,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years – this is the highest figure of any region in the UK;
• The UK economy as a whole is missing out on £10 billion of activity per year because of anxiety over cowboy builders.
Barry Mortimer, Director of FMB London, said: “A third of the capital’s home owners are so fearful about the possibility of working with a bad builder, they are putting off commissioning any building work whatsoever. What’s more, your typical home owner in London would spend £67,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years if they knew they could hire a quality builder. This pent up consumer spend is higher than in any other part of the UK. More broadly, the UK-wide economy is missing out on around £10 billion of activity every year because of fears surrounding cowboy builders. The FMB’s latest research shows how severe the problem of cowboy builders is for consumer confidence, the building industry and the economy.”
Mortimer concluded: “In order to give home owners more assurance that their building project will go smoothly, the Government should consider introducing a mandatory licensing system for domestic builders. This would help give consumers the confidence they need to loosen their purse strings and invest in home improvements. In the meantime, for people who are looking for a reliable builder, the best course of action is to ask family or friends for a recommendation. If this isn’t possible, home owners should approach a professional trade association like the Federation of Master Builders. All new Master Builders are independently inspected on joining and vetted. To provide further protection, consumers should always use a written contract and never pay for the full cost of the project up front.”