Cleaning up their act

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell responds to news that houses aren’t being built properly.

I was in the pub before Christmas, and a mate of mine who had moved out of our village into a house on a new estate in Exeter was not on top form. Questioned more closely, he said that his new house was a disaster – that celebrations turned sour when they discovered problem after problem with the house.

The snagging list eventually ran to some 200+ items, which included doors not fitting properly, bad plumbing and exposed wiring.

What I found most interesting that this was a high-end estate, with retail prices exceeding £750K.

Therefore, it came as no surprise when it was reported this week that more than half of the buyers of new homes have experienced major problems with their properties. This research followed news that Bovis Homes agreed to pay £7 million compensation to customers for poorly built houses.

A YouGov survey for the housing charity Shelter found that 51% of homeowners of recent new builds in England said they had experienced major problems including issues with construction, unfinished fittings and faults with utilities.

The survey, which polled 4,341 UK adults online, was published alongside a Shelter report that concluded that the housebuilding sector is rigged in favour of big developers and land traders rather than families looking for homes.  

Interestingly, given that the double glazing industry was infamously plagued with bad practice – by a few affecting the reputation of the many – today, we find that fabricators selling into the new-build market are as professional as they come.

And we have schemes like Network Veka, Trustmark , and now Corgi Fenestration bending over backwards to set the bar high in our industry and hold their members to account – not just in new-build, but across the window fitting sector.

As a result, we can celebrate the achievements of companies such as QKS while demonstrating investment in the next generation by training apprentices .

Given that housebuilding is such a hot political potato, its major players should maybe take a leaf out of the glass and glazing industry’s book in a bid to clean up its act.