Cowboy builders. The ones who give the hardworking tradespeople in the industry a bad name. Conning innocent homeowners out of their well earned cash. And leaving them with a mess. With all of this to consider, it’s not surprising that calls are now being made to do something about these rogue traders!
Recently, cowboy builders have taken the spotlight with reports describing their shoddy work. And, consequently, research has been carried out to find out how much these rogue traders are costing the economy. Conducted by the Federation of Master Builders, it was found that every year, cowboy builders cost the economy £10 billion!
The research found that homeowners are actually putting off getting work done on their homes. This is due to the fear of being swindled by a cowboy builder. Specifically, it was found that 32% of homeowners do this because they’re scared they might hire a cowboy builder.
Alongside this, the report also suggested that if homeowners had complete confidence in the industry, they would spend a lot more. Typically, it was suggested that they would spend around £40,00 on big home improvements over the next five years.
Therefore, the Federation has stated that something needs to be done about this. Specifically, they have called for the introduction of mandatory licensing systems. This is with the aim of increasing the trust homeowners have in tradespeople working in their homes.
Additional research has also agreed with the Federations points. In fact, it found that tradespeople were one of the most feared professions! Take a look at the full report here.
And it’s not surprising either with rogue traders out there. One cowboy builder last year conned a homeowner out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. But that’s not all, he also threatened him too! Take a look at what happened to the this cowboy here.
The Chief Executive of the Federation shared his thoughts on the subject. Brian Berry described: “A third of home owners are so anxious about the possibility of choosing a bad builder, they don’t commission any building work whatsoever.”
“This means that the UK economy could be missing out on £10 billion of activity every year.”
“Indeed, the FMB’s latest research shows that on average, your typical home owner would spend £40,000 on major home improvement projects over the next five years if they could be guaranteed a positive experience.”
“If we were able to unlock this pent-up demand from fearful consumers, the benefit to jobs and growth would be enormous.”
“Last year the UK experienced its slowest growth since 2012 with a rise in GDP of just 1.8 per cent.”
“With Brexit just around the corner, it’s therefore vital that the government pulls as many leavers as possible to turbo-charge the economy and protect it from any potential economic wobbles.”
“In the longer term, we need to end the cowboy builders’ reign of terror so we can give all home owners the confidence they need to invest their cash in building work.”
“The government should consider introducing some form of mandatory licensing system for domestic builders so that consumers know that all building firms have a base level of skill, competence and professionalism.”
“Unlike in Australia and Canada, in this country anyone can be a builder and that’s why there is a significant minority of rogue traders out there giving the whole construction industry a bad name.”
“We’re exploring mandatory licensing with industry and Government but in the meantime, our advice to home owners who are looking for a builder is to ask for a recommendation from family or friends.”
So what do you lot think of this? Does more need to be done to stop cowboy builders? How much of an impact do rogue traders have on you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.