The Home Quality Mark is a national standard that offers a quality marking for new houses. It takes into account impartial information from independent experts about the expected running costs, health and well-being effects, and the environmental impact of new homes.
Housebuilders will be able to register developments under the Home Quality Mark from June 2015, and the aim is to give homebuyers a better understanding of the house they’re purchasing by increasing their knowledge of the quality and performance levels of the building.
But what does this mean for merchants and is it a good idea?
For housebuilders, the benefits are clear to see, as the mark offers third party recognition that homes have been built beyond basic requirements with sustainability front of mind. It also helps housebuilders showcase to their customers the additional benefits of the homes they are offering, for example, the fact that it’s cheaper to run, or will require less future maintenance. Our recent research into the ‘must have’ list when searching for a property shows that these are some of the elements homeowners desire most – overtaking a convenient location of a home.
To achieve this though, merchants need to give informed advice to housebuilders about products. With this in mind, there is a real opportunity for merchants to use the Home Quality Mark as part of upselling products. This could be solutions that excel in areas such as extra durability, or systems that offer greater thermal performance and can be used by housebuilders to take a step closer to meeting the Home Quality Mark requirements.
Also, by having the expertise of a new standard, merchants can increase the offer to homebuilders by recommending the most suitable, specialist solutions and product upgrades.
Any independent standards that go beyond the current required regulations are a great addition to the industry. The Home Quality Mark is about encouraging a more customer focussed approach, and providing clarity to homebuyers about what property is most suited to them, based on its benefits.
The new voluntary standard also gives merchants that extra opportunity to drive forward sales by supplying innovative solutions that go above and beyond industry standards for its housebuilder customers.
Sarah White is market manager (residential) at British Gypsum.