Which certificates and memberships should my builder have?
Before you commit to working with your builder, do your homework and check out their trade associations and insurance certificates. This will give you piece of mind before starting the build.
What trade associations should my builder be a member of?
Membership of a trade body is not a guarantee of a trouble-free experience but is another background check on your builder. Similarly, your builder may only be registered with some of these associations and may use third party contractors who are registered to carry out work such as electrics and gas.
There are various trade associations that your builder or contractor are likely to be a member of, here is a list of the main ones to look out for. Do chat to your builder or contractor about other memberships.
General builder memberships
Your builder should be a member of either the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the most popular, or National Federation of Builders. Ask your builder what association they are a member of and call to check. Both of these associations are across the UK.
TrustMark is the government endorsed quality scheme which covers work that a consumer has carried out in their home, which includes all types of building work. To be TrustMark vetted, the business must meet a required standard in terms of customer service, trading practices and technical competence.
The main trade membership for electricians is the NICEIC. Those registered to the NICEIC Building Regulations Schemes are authorised to self certify their work too. The NICEIC operates across the UK.
Plumbing and heating
The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is the main plumbing body across England & Wales. Members approved under the competent persons scheme can also self certify work as compliant with the Building Regulations.
Look out for the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
All gas engineers must legally be on the Gas Safe Register. Those registered can work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances. The Gas Safe Register operates across the UK.
Look out for National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC) and Competent Roofers.
The NRFC is the largest roofing trade association across the UK where members are vetted every three years.
Competent Roofer was set up by NRFC where a Competent Roofer contractor has the ability to self certify the work they complete complies with the relevant Building Regulations in England & Wales.
Windows and doors
FENSA is the leading association where members on the FENSA register are authorised under the Competent Person Scheme for the replacement of windows, doors, roof windows and roof lights in England and Wales against the relevant Building Regulations.
Also look out for CERTASS which is a UK wide association where members are qualified to carry out the replacement of windows and doors in accordance with the relevant Building Regulations.
What kind of insurance should my builder have?
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong with the build, you need to make sure you will be fully covered and protected. A credible builder will have employers’ liability insurance, contract work insurance and public and product liability insurance.
Ask to see the actual certificate from the insurance company and don’t just take their word for it.
Lastly, if your builder is outsourcing contractors then you need to confirm whether they are either covered under your builder’s insurance or have their own insurance. Once again, you should ask to see the actual certificate.
Published: March 18, 2020