The Federation of Master Builders has recently advised that homeowners should hire a builder at least four months in advance in order to avoid dealing with a cowboy contractor.

According to research conducted by the FMB, more than 40% of builders need at least four months notice from customers who want to hire them. Backed up with jobs, the research found that some customers don’t even ask the right questions when hiring a tradesman.

Specifically, 90% of builders revealed that most homeowners don’t ask for a written contract. And, a further 80% don’t ask for a payment schedule either. Less than 10% ask to see important insurance policies too. Including key insurances such as employer and public liabilities. A number of customers wouldn’t even ask for references!

The Chief Executive of the FMB described: “If a builder is free to start work tomorrow, alarm bells should ring.”

“Demand for building work is incredibly high at the moment and it should be no surprise that almost one in two builders need to be contacted at least four months in advance of when a client is looking to start a home improvement project.”

“The workloads of builders have been rising steadily over the past two years and there’s no shortage of work.”

“That’s why we’re urging homeowners who are keen to crack on with their build or renovation projects to start getting in touch with prospective builders as soon as possible.”

“Otherwise, they risk disappointment delaying their projects or worse still, working with a dodgy builder.”

“So many building horror stories start with a client approaching a builder who’s free to start work sooner than the more professional builder who is really busy.”

In terms of contracts, references or warranties, the FMB has also warned that gathering these things are essential. They stated: “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.”

So what do you think? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.


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