It seems that you can’t turn the television on these days without hearing about cowboy builders who are causing nightmares for their clients. New research though is finding that builders are also having a similar problem, and that is the danger of cowboy clients who don’t pay on time.
In the report done by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) it was found that three quarters of smaller building firms have experienced problems with clients. This includes clients who don’t pay within the regular 30-day standard payment period.
It was also revealed that over a quarter of builders found they had to wait over four months for payment from clients. When these payments are important for them to be able to pay their own suppliers, this is obviously a problem. In fact, it was revealed that 30% of builders found themselves having to pay suppliers late because of the actions of their clients.
The research found that this inconsistency in client payments also leads to builders having a lack of confidence in the ability to grow. 20% say they can’t grow their business because of the danger of late payments, 16% find they have to borrow money to compensate for the lack of payments, and 8% even went out of business because of the problem. It even has an effect on staff with 5% of builders revealing they had to hold back on wages, and 4% even having to let staff go.
While the problem of cowboy builders is obviously a problem, cowboy clients also have to be dealt with too. There has to be confidence not only in the client looking for a builder, but the for the builders too. It is a two-way process of trust that should not be broken by either side.
At a time when the UK needs a building industry that can help push the property market, finding it hard to grow their business is a worry. The country needs the good builders who can get the job done to have confidence that they can be paid on time, and be able to pay their staff and suppliers so the process of building new homes can go smoothly.
How can this be fixed? Some kind of protection for the builders needs to be put in place to make sure that they can manage to run their business. Protection also needs to be given to the customer of course, to protect them from the cowboy builders.
2018 will be an important year for builders, especially with the cloud of Brexit looming over the property markets. If the market is to grow, and new houses are to be built, the building industry needs confidence in trusted clients.