The UK has long been plagued by cowboy builders, why? Because anyone who wants to be a builder, can be. No qualifications. No licensing. If you call yourself a builder, you’re a builder.
Naturally, this puts a lot of homeowners at risk. Not only from unsafe building practises, but also financially. That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help you when it comes to picking a contractor for your project.
Has your builder got accreditation?
While a contractor isn’t legally required to have any qualifications, there are certain schemes they can join that help prove their credentials.
The best of these is TrustMark because it’s the only non-profit, government-endorsed quality scheme. They achieve this by holding their contractors to what’s known as a ‘Framework Operating Requirements for Scheme Providers’, which is supported by the Code of Conduct and Customer Charter. This means anyone using a TrustMark contractor benefits from the most robust protection in the housing sector. This is why Resi’s Connect service, since partnering with Trustmark in 2019, only brings their registered contractors into our recommendation program.
Another notable accreditation scheme is The FMB, also known as The Federation of Master Builders. By having this, the builder has to, in theory, follow a set of conduct guidelines that help protect UK homeowners from poor practices. At Resi, we support the FMB and would encourage you to consider a professional who boasts this qualification. However, the FMB isn’t perfect. Contractors have to pay a fee in order to say they’re part of the federation. On the one hand, it’s an encouraging sign that a builder is willing to front this cost, but on the other, it does make the FMB a business - something to consider if basing your choice solely on their FMB membership.