A web site of vetted building firms is to be launched next month in a bid to stamp out cowboy builders.

Hirevolution.com will hold a database of domestic builders, plumbers, carpenters, decorators and electricians. Customers can log on to find the best firm for their job.

To pass the vetting process, firms must prove that they have been in business for three years. They then undergo a financial check by credit rating agency Dun & Bradstreet and must provide six references: three from previous customers and three from professionals, such as architects or surveyors.

Hirevolution.com employs 30 people to verify references. Director Kim Rehfeld warned: “The people at the telephone centre have controlled questions. If someone has supplied a false reference, they can easily slip up on the phone. If it seems bogus, they will not be accepted.”

Firms pay hirevolution.com a 1% commission on each job. The first 5000 to qualify will be registered free of charge but after that, each firm will pay a £50 one-off fee.