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New research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has suggested that customers are far more likely to be happy with a new home if it was built by a small or medium sized (SME) house builder.

Surveying people who have bought a home in the past five years, the FMB found that 36% of those who had purchased from an SME house builder were ‘very satisfied’. This is more than double (17%) the number of those who were happy after buying from one of the UK’s 20 largest house building companies.

The government has plans to build hundreds of thousands of new homes in the coming years in response to the growing UK housing crisis. Unfortunately, many new-build homes have caused controversy due to low quality or even incomplete work.

According to FMB chief executive Brian Berry, the data shows a “clear distinction” between the quality that different-sized firms are delivering.

"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.”

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He 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.

"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."