Home owners should book in their builder at least four months before their project begins or risk working with a cowboy, new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has revealed.
The research also shows that an alarming number of consumers don’t ask their builders for essentials such as a contract or references when embarking upon a major piece of building work.
Key statistics from the research show:
- More than 40% of builders need at least four months’ notice from consumers who want to hire their firm;
- 90% of builders say that the majority of home owners do not ask for a written contract;
- 80% of builders report that most consumers do not ask for an agreed payment schedule;
- Fewer than 10% of builders say that clients normally request to see vital insurance policies such as public liability or employer’s liability insurance
Berry concluded: “There are also indications that home owners are leaving themselves vulnerable to problems in terms of how they approach their building work. The vast majority of builders say that most clients fail to ask for references and even fewer ask for a written contract on their work. There is a similar trend when it comes to asking for critical things like an agreed payment schedule and key warranties on work, as well as checking whether the builder has any external accreditation or recognition from professional trade association like the FMB. These protections really are essential to helping clients weed out the cowboys and mitigate against any issues that could crop up during the build. A quality builder will insist on these things and if they don’t, consumers ought to question why.”