BUYERS are much happier with the quality of their home if it was built by a small builder, research suggests.

Among people who have bought a home in the past five years, some 36 per cent say they are very satisfied with the quality of their new-build home if purchased from an SME house builder, according to a study by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Just 17 per cent said this about homes from one of the UK’s top-20 large builders.

According to the FMB, there is a common misconception that new-build homes are poor quality, compared to period properties that were built to last.

“Our research shows that you are twice as likely to be very satisfied with the quality of your new home if it was built by an SME house builder as opposed to one of the large top 20 firms,” said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

He said that smaller building firms need to protect their reputation more than large ones.

“For a small, local builder, reputation is everything. They will typically reside in the same community that they’re building in and are therefore doubly motivated to deliver a high-quality product that the home buyer will love.”

He added that SME building firms tend to work with a small team of broadly-skilled and highly-experienced tradespeople.

Mr Berry believes that to improve the image of the house-building sector, all house builders, large and small, need to put quality at the heart of every project.