The FMB: Connecting With Quality Builders

The Federation of Master Builders campaigns to improve industry standards and to help homeowners find quality local builders. So how did it all start?

When and how was the Federation of Master Builders formed?

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is a not-for-profit trade association – the largest in the UK construction industry. We were established in 1941 by 15 small building companies in London who were determined to work together to help build back better after the London Blitz in 1940, restoring bomb-damaged buildings and homes.

Our founders shared a passion for quality construction, which is an ethos we still share today with our commitment to improving building standards. We do this through our campaigning work and lobbying of Governments, by maintaining a strict vetting and independent inspection process which builders must pass before they can join the FMB, and by connecting homeowners with quality, local builders.

Who does it represent?

We support small and medium-sized building companies and sole traders across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

What services does it provide to its members?

In an unlicensed industry, credibility is everything. We help our members stand out from the crowd by providing a badge of quality that has to be earned. Builders must first pass through a strict vetting process and an independent inspection of their work, which helps to reassure clients of their quality and credibility.

We also offer business support to our members such as access to business helplines, dispute resolution services, document templates, local networks for expertise and support, and more. Our members have access to building contract templates, which means they can offer a written contract for every job – reducing the chance of confusion or disagreement and giving homeowners peace of mind.

Members can also access TrustMark registration – giving them access to the only government-endorsed standards scheme for trades that operate in and around the home.

What campaigns does the FMB promote?

We work with politicians and policy makers across all four nations of the UK and lobby Governments to influence the policies that support small builders. This includes:

  • Campaigning to licence UK construction to stamp out rogue traders, improve the reputation of the industry, and raise standards.
  • Campaigning for a temporary cut to the VAT on repair, maintenance and improvement work with the aim of stimulating the economy, helping homeowners to improve their homes, and creating over 95,000 jobs.
  • Calling for a National Retrofit Strategy to be adopted by the Government to help improve the energy efficiency of millions of existing homes across the UK.
  • Calling for more support to train the next generation of quality tradespeople and reverse the decline of small house builders.

    You can find out more about our campaigns and key achievements.

What does the FMB do to promote greener building?

We’re calling on the Government to deliver a long-term National Retrofit Strategy to upgrade millions of existing homes across the UK to be more energy efficient. This would not only help to make homes warmer but would also drive down energy use helping homeowners to save money on bills at a time when this is desperately needed.

To successfully upgrade millions of homes across the country, there also needs to be investment in proper support and training to ensure local tradespeople have the green skills needed to deliver quality retrofit work. Making our homes and buildings more energy efficient would also contribute to the Government’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

How can the FMB help me to choose a builder?

We connect homeowners with professional, local builders they can trust through our free online Find a Builder search:

Homeowners enter their postcode and the type of building work they want done and the search produces a list of FMB-accredited quality builders in their local area. Homeowners can then check out the member profiles, shortlist builders they like and contact them for a quote.

We also offer more detailed advice on how to choose a builder and how to work with your builder to help you make more informed choices.

Why should I choose an FMB member for my building project?

When you choose a Master Builder company, you can build with confidence as membership to the FMB must be earned. Applicants must pass through a strict vetting process and an independent inspection of their work before they can join, and not all applicants pass the test. The vetting process involves checking their trading history, credit history, and proof of insurance. An independent assessor from the BBA or RISA will then also go on site to check that their work meets the high standards expected of a Master Builder company.

Master Builder companies also agree to abide by a Code of Conduct and they can offer a written contract with every job. Plus, should you have a disagreement during the build process, we offer our members and clients access to our free government-approved dispute resolution service to help you get your project back on track.

How can I check whether a builder is an FMB member?

You can do this easily on our website using the Find a Builder search. Click ‘search for a member by name’ which appears just below the search box and enter their company name. If you can’t find them, they aren’t a current member of the FMB.

Can the FMB advise me on areas such a planning law and project planning?

If you’re just getting started with a new home renovation project or need some inspiration, check out our series of Ultimate Guides where you’ll find useful information about party wall agreements, building regulations, home renovation and extension projects, as well as how to find tradespeople you can trust. We offer tips on what to expect, how to work with your builder, and what steps to take to get started.

We also offer independent reviews and advice on products and services for your home via Home Picks.

If you have a specific planning question about your project, we’d recommend speaking to your Local Authority planning department directly, as planning law can vary depending on your site and the local planning regulations.

Where can I find out more about the FMB?

Visit to use our free Find a Builder search to find a quality builder near you, or to find out more about the FMB.

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