Consumers twice as likely to be satisfied with homes built by small house builders, new FMB research reveals

Published:  06 December, 2017

Consumers are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new home if it was built by a small and medium-sized (SME) house builder, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s research into satisfaction rates among people who have bought a home in the past five years show that twice as many people (36%) say they are ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new build home if purchased from an SME house builder, compared with those whose home was built by one of the top 20 large builders (17%).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “There is a popular misconception that new build homes are poor quality compared to period properties that were built to last. Small local house builders, who hang their hat on delivering high-quality new build homes, find this view immensely frustrating. Our research shows that you are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of your new home if it was built by an SME house builder as opposed to one of the large top 20 firms. This research draws a clear distinction between what is being delivered by SMEs and what is being delivered by larger firms.”

Berry continued: “For a small, local builder, reputation is everything. They will typically reside in the same community that they’re building in and are therefore doubly motivated to deliver a high quality product that the home buyer will love. Furthermore, SME building firms are more likely to work with a small team of broadly skilled tradespeople. For example, if an SME house builder only employs three bricklayers, they all need to have a wide range of skills and experience. Large house builders tend to use gangs of semi-skilled bricklayers who can lay row upon row of bricks in a line but only a handful of broadly skilled brickies who can turn corners, build chimneys and arches.”

Berry concluded: “If we are to improve the image of the house building sector, all house builders, large and small, need to put quality at the heart of every project. Not only will this make our industry more attractive to new entrants, including children and young people, it will soften planning committees to the prospect of new developments. We are in the midst of a serious housing crisis and in order to win people over and make them more pro-development, we need to deliver fantastic new homes that local people would be proud to have built in their community.”

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