Survey finds fears of being conned resulted in £6bn of construction work lost

A recent research report, which was published by the Federation of Master Builders, has uncovered that the economy in the United Kingdom misses out on £6 billion due to consumers’ worries of being conned by cowboy tradespeople.

The Federation of Master Builders’ survey revealed that one fifth of people who need a tradesperson to carry out a repair or building work on their property puts of seeking a tradesman as a result of their fear of conmen.

2,000 adults (1,282 of which owned their own home) were surveyed during the research. The market researchers based the approximate figure for the loss of earnings on the basis that the average cost of work required is £4,000.

Of the respondents around a quarter (25 per cent) revealed that they are concerned that the final invoice for the job will be higher than they were initially quoted, however, one seventh worry that the final work will not be to a good standard. The research also discovered that one third have had had at least one bad experience with a tradesperson, reporting issues such as bad quality work and tradespeople leaving before the job had been done.

Despite many people being afraid of having a bad experience with a cowboy tradesperson, a quarter of the respondents said that they do not ask about industry credentials whilst booking a tradesman. As well as this, a further on tenth (10 per cent) revealed that they do not know where they would start with finding a reliable and trustworthy builder.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive at the Federation of Master Builders, 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.

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