MPs call for end to dominance of large housebuilders

An investigation by a House of Commons select committee into the housebuilding sector has called for the dominance of the large housebuilders to end to fix the UK’s broken housing market.

large housebuilders

The Communities and Local Government committee said it had found that the eight largest firms were building over half of all new homes in the country making the industry over reliant on an “alarmingly small number of commercial actors”.

The report added that while no evidence of land banking by the housebuilders had been found there was little incentive for them to build any quicker. In addition, the committee said that land was in such high demand in some areas that developers were paying over the odds which in turn meant they were having to increase the density of homes on schemes and reduce levels of affordable housing to recover their investment.

Developers were also building more slowly so as not to saturate the market and lower house prices, the report said, and recommended the case be examined for public intervention.

Read More

What is a building warranty, why do you need one and where do you get it?

The Build-Zone 10 Year Structural Warranty is a re-branded version of the Self-Build Zone Warranty and provides a much better alternative to Architect’s Certification and is like NHBC and other Structural Warranty products.  It is specifically designed for New Build, Conversions, Extensions and Completed Properties and is backed by insurers, including Lloyd’s of London.

building warranty

The Build-Zone Warranty has been specifically designed with you in mind as we know the problems you can face and the speed with which you want to get moving and resolve problems.

For a typical project, there are two options available: 1. ‘With Building Control’ or 2. ‘Without Building Control’.

With Building Control

Many people are unaware that you do not need to use your Local Authority Building Control Body to obtain Building Regulation approval or carry out Building Control inspections.  We can arrange this for you through an independent network of ‘partnered’ Approved Inspectors.

Read More

Competition watchdog to examine warranties for new homes

CMA’s review of NHBC comes amid concerns over lack of protection for homebuyers.

warranties for new homes

The Competition and Markets Authority is examining payments between housebuilders and the providers of warranties for new homes as part of a review of NHBC, the largest warranty provider.

The CMA announced last month it was reviewing undertakings made by NHBC, the standard-setting body for new-build properties in the UK and the main warranty provider. These 22-year-old undertakings were designed to improve competition in the warranty market.

The review was announced amid concerns that NHBC is compromising its independence by paying millions of pounds to developers every year. However, the CMA said it was launching the review following a request from NHBC and that it would not consider the “wider issues” relating to the organisation.

Nonetheless, the CMA has sent a substantial list of questions about warranties to leading figures in the sector as part of its review. The questions, which have been seen by the Guardian, include asking warranty providers whether they have loyalty or low-claim schemes that compensate builders with a low claim rate and how these payments are calculated.

Read More

Basements – What can go wrong?

Whether you’re considering a new build or conversion, make sure your project is a success with Andy Butchers’ expert tips on troubleshooting common problems.

Basement warranty

Basements can be elegant solutions for many projects, whether self builds or renovations. They offer an opportunity to add significant value and living accommodation – including incorporating luxury features such as secret swimming pools, saunas, games rooms, gyms, home cinemas and more.

And with some houses, especially where space is limited and the cost of buying a bigger property on the open market is prohibitive, converting an existing cellar or extending downwards can be a clever, cost-effective option.

Before you start

This kind of project must be carefully planned and executed if you’re to enjoy a successful result. If something does go wrong, there’s not only the stress and disruption of remedial works to deal with – but also the fact that problems below ground can be difficult and expensive to resolve. What should you consider before pressing ahead?

Read More

The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders obtains full CTSi Approval

Following Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Stage One approval of the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders, the Build-Zone New Home Warranty has now received full CTSi approval.


The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders is a mandatory Code which has been established to ensure that consumers are protected from undesirable trading practices during the New Home purchase process, and that best practice is followed by Builders/ Developers (and their respective Agents) who are registered with Build-Zone in respect of the marketing, sale and purchase of New Homes, and also provides expected standards for after sales customer care and service including the rectification of snagging items.

Build-Zone’s Code provides a clear process for consumer complaints which are made in writing to the Developer within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase.

Read More