New Construction Minister Brian Wilson launched the government's quality mark scheme in Birmingham this week in a bid to rid the industry of cowboy builders.
Wilson said that bringing the scheme to Birmingham sent a clear signal to second-rate firms that shoddy workmanship would not be tolerated.

He said: "The scheme provides a simple, cheap and reliable way for housebuilders to find reputable builders. It will empower householders and reward good tradesmen."

Under the scheme, the names of builders and tradesmen are placed on a register once they pass the standards set by the quality mark on items such as as technical competence, staffing, management and safety practices.

The quality mark scheme has had a troubled history, however, and the launch comes after contractors in the two pilot regions in Birmingham and Somerset initially snubbed the scheme earlier this year.

Small firms complained that the scheme's six-part application form was too long and complicated.

Originally planned for May, the quality mark was launched this week after being postponed because of the general election.