The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the UK’s largest trade association in the building industry, with national offices in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, supported by additional regional offices. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized building firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit-making, lobbying for members’ interests at both national and local levels.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to save them time and money. The FMB also offers advice to consumers via its ‘Find a Builder’ and ‘Check a Member’ services.
Choosing a builder is an act of trust. The Federation of Master Builders exists to provide that trust. As the largest trade body in the UK building industry, they have been bringing clients and Master Builders together successfully since 1941.
In addition to providing proof of quality, all Master Builders can offer a warranty over their work through FMB Insurance Services. Dispute Service and free contracts are also available.
When it comes to building quality, we think you deserve better. The FMB goes beyond simple checks and ratings, by professionally vetting and independently inspecting Master Builders on joining.
Master Builders agree to abide by a Code of Practice, so when you choose a Master Builder you can rest assured you’ve chosen with confidence.
The Master Builder badge is recognised as the sign of building quality. To gain Master Builder status IC Davison has been professionally vetted. We had to demonstrate a minimum of 12 months trading, have public and employers liability insurance, and pass credit and director checks. As a Master Builder:
‣ We have agreed to a abide by FMB’s Code of Practice
‣ We can offer you a contract on the building project so we both know where we stand.
‣ We have agreed to cooperate with the FMB Dispute Service, so should anything go wrong they can provide Alternative Dispute Resolution.
‣ We have Public and Employers liability insurance and passed credit and director checks on joining.
A personal recommendation from someone you trust is still the best reassurance, but make sure the advice is relevant by asking some detailed questions: what did they have done? How much did it cost? How long did it take? And ask to see the project too – people have different ideas of what constitutes a good job.
Before you employ a building firm, check how long it has been trading. It is a common feature of cowboy builders that they trade under a string of different names. If they are reluctant to give you details about their business, such as an address or a landline telephone number, ask yourself why?
Never pay all the money up front. Set up an agreed payment schedule and only pay the final amount when you are satisfied that all of the work that has been completed to a satisfactory standard. Does the trader offer a warranty or guarantee and is it backed up by insurance?
It can’t be stressed enough how much hassle you’ll save yourself if everything is agreed in writing with a contract beforehand. It may feel like an unnecessary chore, but when it comes to the end of the project and you’re debating over whose concern it is to dispose of the big pile of bricks in your garden, you’ll regret not having a clear agreement. Make sure to write down everything agreed such as – costs, scope, responsibilities, timeframe, is the builder part of a scheme that can help with complaints if something goes wrong?
FMB survey results found that people employing a builder who demands to be paid in cash are far more likely to be unhappy with the quality of work. If a trader is evading VAT, the chances are that they won’t be very honest with you either. Beware if they offer to do the job on the cheap or if they can start work straight away.
If the builder is a member of an accreditation scheme or trade association, find out what membership means – have they been properly vetted or have they just paid a fee for a badge? Also be sure to check whether the firm or tradesperson really is a member.