77% of Public Trust Builders More Than MPs to Fix Broken Britain

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Report to launch 10th Master Builder of the Year Awards, presented by Phil Spencer, reveals lack of public trust in politics.

With the UK public left unsettled by the recent election chaos, politicians continue trying to win them over with promises of building a better Britain. However, recent research into trust, commissioned to launch the 10th Master Builder of the Year Awards, found that 86% of the public have more faith in their local builder than they do in politicians to get a job done properly. A sign that it should be left to the UK’s trusted builders to fix broken Britain.

With parliament, policies and political parties the hot topic of conversation at the moment, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), organisers of the Awards, commissioned research to measure public attitudes towards trust and uncovered some interesting truths – 65% would like to see more real people, like tradesman, become MPs and 77% trust their builder more than their local MP. The FMB works hard to maintain the reputation of its members and does everything it can to ensure that the public does not lose confidence in the trade. This includes a website offering inspiration, advice, free contracts and tips on choosing the right builder. Perhaps the new coalition could learn a thing or two from this trade body!

To coincide with the research and to celebrate ten years of showcasing the very best in construction, FMB is working with celebrity property guru Phil Spencer to search for Britain’s best builder, in a competition that aims to continue to raise the standard of British building, in innovation, client service, skills and sustainability.

“I've been fortunate enough to have seen some incredible building projects in my time, as well as some fairly ordinary ones. That's why I am delighted to be working with the FMB in a bid to help inspire tradesmen and the public to build a better Britain,” said Phil Spencer, the presenter of C4 Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation.

FMB Director General, Richard Diment said: “Our research reflects public sentiment, as politicians continue to chip away at public trust, and people realise that local people, like tradesman, can be trusted. However, bricks and mortar alone are not going to build a better Britain. We need to ensure that we are working towards a more sustainable Britain with a well-skilled workforce. The FMB is dedicated to raising awareness of these issues and through these Awards, we hope to continue to inspire the public and the building industry to push the boundaries in these areas.”

The 2010 Master Builder of the Year Awards require every builder to be nominated by a satisfied customer – a client who is so pleased with their finished project that they feel their builder deserves national recognition. The awards are designed to reward both builders and their clients, which means the winning builder not only enjoys the title of Master Builder of the Year and the Nissan Light Commercial Vehicle of their choice worth up to £20,000, but their client will enjoy a £3,000 holiday!

Each of the category winning builders and their clients also win luxury weekend breaks for two at the Barceló hotel of their choice in the UK.

The awards are open to all builders and specialist tradespeople. If clients feel that their builder has excelled in the quality of their work and their professionalism, then they can enter them for the 2010 Master Builder of the Year Awards by registering online at http://www.fmb.org.uk/awards or by calling 020 7092 3870 and an application pack will be sent by return.

The competition has a wide range of categories to make sure it is open to as many builders as possible. Categories include New Homes, Small/Medium/Large Renovation Projects, Energy Efficient buildings, Commercial Projects (up to £3m), a special Heavenly Builder award for builders who display outstanding levels of customer service, no matter how small the job they undertake and an award for the Apprentice of the Year.

More details about the 10th Master Builder of the Year Awards can be found at http://www.fmb.org.uk/awards or by calling 020 7092 3870. The closing date for entries is 31st August and Phil Spencer will present the national winners with their awards at a gala lunch attended by 600 guests at the fantastic new Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in London, on Friday March 11th 2011.
For more information on the awards and past projects, please contact either Jayne Stala or Caryn Lobley at Komodo PR on 0207 680 5520 or email jayne(dot)stala(at)komodopr(dot)com or caryn(dot)lobley(at)komodopr(dot)com

Notes to editors
The last winning builder of the Master Builder of the Year Awards, not only produced an amazing transformation, turning a run of the mill 1960s house into a stunning, light-filled contemporary family home, but has built a bond of trust with his client, which has continued to secure referrals and new business.

Leicester builder Kevin Ellis and his team from Ellis & Hughes worked in complete partnership with clients Elaine and Patrick Mulvihill, sharing their vision for their family home in Newton Linford, Leicestershire.

Says Patrick Mulvihill: “Every family in the country can relate to our example – a typical family living in a pleasant but uninspiring house who had aspirations of creating a dream home. All we needed was a great builder to make it happen. Ellis & Hughes listened to our wish list and worked with us and the local community to produce and execute a stunning design, completing the scheme on time, on budget, and with the greatest respect for both ourselves and our neighbours. Our family love this house, and that’s why we are delighted that Ellis and Hughes won Master Builder of the Year in 2008.”

National Category Winners (Builders and their Clients) all receive a luxury weekend break at a Barceló hotel of their choice (within the UK).

Master Builder of the Year 2011 is organised by the Federation of Master Builders in association with Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, and in partnership with Barceló Hotels & Resorts, NHBC, Hilti, Yell.com, British Gypsum Ltd, Travis Perkins, Velux, Total, Aon Ltd, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, The Energy Saving Trust, Homebuilding and Renovating, HBXL, B & CE, CITB-ConstructionSkills, Trade Point, The Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF), Buildstore, Professional Builder Magazine and Master Builder magazine.

Master Builder of the Year 2010 categories
Overall winner – Master Builder of the Year 2010 (sponsored by Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd)
The title will be awarded to one of the national winners of the following categories.

Category One - New Homes (Sponsored by NHBC)
For small builders demonstrating a strong commitment to building quality new homes

Category Two – Small Renovation Projects (Sponsored by Hilti and Yell)
Professional residential / domestic restoration, refurbishment or extension costing less than £50,000.
Category Three – Medium Renovation Projects (Sponsored by British Gypsum and Travis Perkins)
Professional residential / domestic restoration, refurbishment or extension costing between £50,000 & £250,000.

Category Four – Large Renovation Projects (Sponsored by Velux and Total)
Professional residential / domestic restoration, refurbishment or extension costing more than £250,000.

Category Five – Commercial (Sponsored by Aon and Alliance & Leicester)
New build or refurbishment of a commercial building costing less than £3 million.

Category Six – Energy Efficiency (Sponsored by Energy Saving Trust and Homebuilding & Renovating)
Project that demonstrates the best use of energy efficiency measures designed to reduce energy consumption, save on energy bills and minimise the overall impact on the environment.

Category Seven – Heavenly Builder (Sponsored by B&CE & HBXL)
Nominated by satisfied customers of firms whose annual turnover is under £300,000.

Apprentice of the Year 2010 (Sponsored by ConstructionSkills, TradePoint and CCATF)
Separate award for the apprentice demonstrating high levels of practical skill in their chosen trade. The employer will also be presented with an award by the Cross Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force.

The FMB’s top ten tips to steering clear of the rogue traders - consumers are recommended to adopt these essential, simple guidelines.

Besides choosing a firm that is registered with the Federation of Master Builders, these are our Ten Top Tips for consumers to help protect themselves:

  •     Prepare a detailed brief. Be very clear about what you want done - obtain a written specification and quotation as this can make a huge difference to quotes;
  •     Ask friends, family and neighbours if they can recommend a builder they have recently used, check the FMB Find A Builder website http://www.fmb.org.uk/findabuilder;
  •     Don’t be afraid to ask for references and names of previous clients. Speak to them and if possible look at the work done by the builder;
  •     Obtain at least three quotes. When you are ready to decide, don’t just go with the cheapest, consider communication and quality too;
  •     Ask for work to be covered by an insurance-backed warranty – The FMB 2, 6 or 10 year MasterBond warranties, for example, provide protection against defects due to faulty workmanship or materials;
  •     Make sure a contract is used. The FMB produces user friendly contracts for small building work that are Plain English Crystal Mark approved. You can download these contracts FREE from the FMB website:http://www.fmb.org.uk/find-a-builder/free-contracts
  •     Never pay the full cost of the project up front. Agree a plan for any staged and final payments before the work starts;
  •     Avoid dealing in cash. Using a credit card to pay can offer you additional protection;
  •     Avoid adding to the job or changing your mind halfway through – it will usually cost more and cause delays. Confirm any changes and any associated costs you agree in writing using an FMB Changing the Work form;
  •     If any problems arise whilst work is in progress or you are unhappy about anything then talk to your builder right away.

About The Federation of Master Builders
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK building industry, representing over 11,000 building companies. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized building firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit-making, lobbying continuously 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 through its Find A Builder and Check A Member website service.

For more information please visit: http://www.fmb.org.uk

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Caryn Lobley

0207 680 5520
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