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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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I was having a giggle with a friend over some of the issues I've had with so called experts from the building trade (well, what else can one do?), so as you may imagine, the press release I've received from the Federation of Master Builders really hit home. Well actually, it appeared to have been written with people like me in mind...

Headed up: 'Consumer fears over cowboy builders costs UK economy £10bn', it highlighted new FMB research, which has revealed that the UK economy is missing out on potentially £10billion each year because homeowners are so fearful of hiring a cowboy builder, they simply don't commission building work.

"A third of homeowners are so anxious about the possibility of choosing a bad builder, they don't commission any building work whatsoever," it said. "This means that the UK economy could be missing out on £10billion of activity every year."

Indeed, the FMB's latest research shows that on average, your typical homeowner 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%. With Brexit just around the corner, it's vital that the Government pulls as many school leavers as possible to turbo-charge the economy and protect it from any potential economic wobbles."

I agree wholeheartedly that we need to end the cowboy builders' reign of terror so we can all have the confidence we need to invest our cash in building work. And I'd love the Government to consider introducing some form of mandatory licensing system for domestic builders so we consumers know that all building firms have a base level of skill, competence and professionalism.

Something like the Gas Safe Register would be great! Unlike in Australia and Canada, this country allows anyone to play at being a builder and that's why there's a significant minority of rogue traders out there giving the whole construction industry a bad name and too few consumers are aware of the professional bodies the KBB industry boasts. We need to do something about the cowboys and as an industry, do our best to promote the people who know what they're doing!



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Jan Hobbs



23rd February 2018

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