Tuesday 20 October 2015 12:00 am

Consumer anxiety around rogue traders and cowboy builders is costing the UK £6bn - FMB

Shoddy tradespeople and cowboy builders are costing the UK economy more than £6bn a year, according to new research out today from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The data shows that consumers are letting their anxiety around hiring poor workmen curb their spending on home improvements.

One in five consumers with building or repair work required in their properties find reasons to delay due to a number of anxieties about using tradespeople, with almost a quarter fearing that the final cost will be much higher than the quote.

Meanwhile, one in seven worry the work will not be up to scratch.

Read more: Skills shortage forcing construction firms to turn down work

FMB boss Brian Berry said: “The anxiety around hiring tradespeople is of grave concern to us, not simply in terms of the reputation of our industry, but also the pressing impact on small construction firms and the UK economy.

“What many people don’t realise is that the building trade has moved with the times – there are some fantastic tradespeople out there, many of whom have high standards of customer service and the best in modern technology, from digital testimonials to full 3D imaging.”

The trade body’s research also shows that, despite concerns around standards of work, a quarter of consumers admit that they do not ask their tradesperson about their building industry credentials when booking a job, and one in ten said they do not know how to find a reputable builder.

Berry added: “We would also urge homeowners to seek tradespeople through reputable industry bodies to help protect themselves from rogue traders.”