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Opinion : Should builders be licensed and regulated?

| July 7, 2017

Next time you hire a builder you never know it may be my good self that turns up to do the job.

After all anyone can be a builder. No qualifications are needed, no mandatory tests have to be passed and there is not one iota of regulation of the building industry and the workers within.

My good self would have great fun with a cement mixer, supervising deliveries of bricks, laying down foundations and putting up the brick walls of a new building.

Of course some poor unsuspecting fool will come along and purchase the property which yours truly has worked upon but so long as it meets building regulations there’s nowt much they can do.

So is it right that anyone can be a builder? Indeed a house is probably the biggest purchase that anyone can make so surely the builders who worked on the property should be of the highest standard?

I think the question needs to be asked ‘Should builders be licensed and regulated?‘.

Electricians have to pass rigorous tests before they can start work, to drive a car you need to have passed a test, gas engineers have to pass stringent tests and be registered too, food related businesses have to pass food hygiene tests, doctors and nurses are regulated too by professional bodies and even humble taxi drivers have to be licensed before they can take to the streets to pick up passengers.

In my opinion the workers in the building industry should definitely be licensed and regulated.

When a planning permission is submitted the building company and the registration numbers of all those who work on the building should be recorded.

More importantly if builders were licensed then regulation could take place. For example if a builder starts work on a project that hasn’t got planning permission then they could be struck off never to work again.

At the moment it doesn’t matter two hoots if you don’t have planing permission, just start work on a Friday evening and by the time Monday morning comes and the local planing department opens the building is already up and any planning permission will be ‘retrospective’.

Further more builders merchants should have to record the registration number of builders purchasing large volumes of building materials to further ensure they are not providing materials for illegal buildings that don’t have planning consent. Of course small volumes of construction material would still be available for those in the town interested in ‘DIY’.

I wonder how many people are living in houses where untrained ‘builders’ knocked a wall through to make two rooms into one? Or perhaps are sleeping in a dodgy loft conversion that could cave in at any moment?

Next time you are outside your own home take a close look at the walls. Is by any chance that patch of different colour on the brick where my good self came round and mixed a little brick dust with cement to fill in a large subsidence crack to make the house look good just before you bought it? Could be….

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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