The public has given its overwhelming support to the idea of a mandatory registration scheme for builders as a way to rid the market of cowboys.

In an NOP telephone poll of 400 homeowners commissioned by Building, 95% wanted to be able to choose a builder from such a register, and 89% agreed that only firms with agreed qualifications should be allowed to trade.

Two out of three wanted the registration scheme to be mandatory, putting it on a similar footing to the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence for tour operators.

The poll comes midway through the consultation period on the government taskforce’s paper Combating Cowboy Builders.

The government has proposed a voluntary registration scheme, with quality mark status for registered firms that would require them to abide by a code of practice, use fair contracts and offer customers insurance-backed financial protection.