Builders push for greater regulation post Grenfell

Builders push for greater regulation post Grenfell

AROUND 80% of builders want the government to introduce a licensing scheme that would ‘prevent shoddy construction’ and increase sector regulation.

Common Space reported on the research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which launched a report at the House of Commons to set out a ‘post-Grenfell agenda for quality and professionalism in construction’. As part of this, it has asked the government to ‘introduce a licensing system for all construction firms and mandatory warranties’ for Building Control approved work.

It also seeks to develop and deliver a ‘general builder’ qualification, which would allow builders to ‘differentiate themselves over and above the requirements enforced by a compulsory licensing system’, while it revealed that nearly 80% of builders surveyed wanted the government to introduce such a scheme to ‘weed out’ so called ‘cowboy’ builders.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: ‘The Grenfell Tower tragedy reminded us of the price paid when things go wrong in the construction industry. Grenfell raised serious questions about standards, regulation and compliance within the construction sector and although we await the results of the Hackitt Review, we want to start a wider conversation about how we can drive up quality and professionalism in construction.

‘Until we introduce a licensing scheme in construction, cowboy builders will continue to run rampant in our industry. Licensing would ensure a minimum level of competence and professionalism and give consumers greater assurance when hiring a builder. Unlike in the US and Germany, anyone can be a builder in the UK.’

He added that other than safety implications, this scheme would be ‘economically beneficial’ because its consumer research found one third of UK homeowners are ‘so anxious about hiring a dodgy builder’ that they avoid commissioning building work, while the average homeowner would spend around £40,000 on home improvements in the next five years if ‘guaranteed a positive experience with their builder’.