Welsh home owners would invest £33,000 in home improvements 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) Cymru.
Key results from the FMB’s research into consumer confidence in builders include:
- More than one third (37%) of Welsh home owners are put off doing major home improvement works requiring a builder because they fear hiring a dodgy builder;
- If all Welsh home owners had full confidence in the building industry, they would typically spend an average of £33,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years. This compares to an average of £67,000 per home owner over the next five years in London;
- The UK economy as a whole is missing out on £10 billion of activity per year because of anxiety over cowboy builders.
Ifan Glyn, Director of FMB Cymru, said: “Almost two in five home owners in Wales are so anxious about the possibility of having to deal with a dodgy builder, they have put off carrying out any building work whatsoever. This means that the UK-wide economy could be missing out on more than £10 billion of activity every year. Indeed, the FMB’s latest research shows that on average, your typical Welsh home owner would spend £33,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years if they knew they would be dealing with a quality builder. In order to address this, we’re asking the UK Government to consider the idea of introducing a mandatory licensing system for builders so that home owners can rest assured that all building firms have the right skills. This would help to unlock the supressed demand from anxious consumers and benefit the Welsh economy.”
Glyn concluded: “At present, a small minority of dodgy, rogue firms are unfairly tarnishing the reputation of the many thousands of professional building firms in Wales. However, there are ways consumers can mitigate against a bad experience. The first port of call for a home owner who is looking for a building firm is to ask for a recommendation from family or friends. If no recommendations are forthcoming, consumers should approach a professional trade association like the Federation of Master Builders which can put them in touch with a vetted and independently inspected building firm through the ‘Find a Builder’ service. For additional peace of mind, always source at least three quotes from different building firms and use a written contract. Finally, be sure to check the builders’ references and never pay for the full cost of the project up front.”