Domestic builder selection in the UK housing repair and maintenance sector: A critique

Gary D. Holt, David J. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Domestic housing stock within the UK is increasingly owner-occupied and these owners are responsible for maintenance and upkeep of their property investments. However, this "domestic sector" of the construction industry is characterized by many problems including: a thriving illegal supply-market (the "black market"); numerous rogue firms ("cowboy builders"); problems in selecting a reputable builder; and resulting from these problems (et al.), an existing housing stock that falls short of optimal levels of maintenance standards. Some initiatives have been implemented to try and reverse these problems, such as the introduction of the "Quality Mark" scheme by the UK government in 2001/2002. Nonetheless, the rogue trader continues to thrive within the UK construction sector. To address the habitual problems caused by cowboy traders, the authors proffer a more holistic approach that will address the demand-side of the sector (e.g. client education), in addition to the supply-side (e.g. builder regulation). The paper provides qualitative analysis that identifies criteria to be considered when selecting a domestic builder. This information is then used to help design an holistic model for procurement and further research within the domestic sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-137
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Construction Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Client satisfaction
  • Clients
  • Contractors
  • Cowboy builder
  • Domestic builders
  • Domestic sector
  • Quality Mark
  • Selecting a builder
  • Small-works

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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