- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 04 Nov 2020
The term ‘housebuilder’ (or ‘home builder’) is commonly used to refer to a building contractor that specialising in building houses. 'Housebuilder' may sometimes be shortened to 'builder', differentiated from a 'contractor' who tends to construct buildings other than houses.
Unlike contractors, housebuilders often directly employ all the construction workers necessary to compete the houses, rather than subcontracting the works to specialist trades. This is because housebuilding is a relatively repetitive process, for which the workforce required is reasonably predictable and so direct employment of the workforce does not become a problem as the builder moves from one project to another.
In 2017, the top 10 housebuilders in the UK were:
- Barratt Developments
- Taylor Wimpey
- Bovis Homes
- Crest Nicholson
- Bloor Homes
Housebuilders are sometimes accused, particularly in times of housing shortages, of not building sufficient houses and sometimes engaging in land banking; regulating the supply of land that is developed in order to artificially inflate prices. This is something that housebuilders themselves strenuously deny. See Landbanking for more information.
A housing start, also known as a new start, is an economic indicator used to assess the number of new residential construction projects that have begun over a certain period (such as a month, a quarter or a year). The figures for new housing starts can provide an indicator for how the economy is performing over a given period of time. The National House Building Council reported that builders registered plans to start 160,606 new homes in 2018. For more information see: What is a housing start?
The picture is complicated by that fact that not all homes are houses, and the broader term 'residential', or 'dwelling' may be a better representation of the number of homes than just housing. See Residential definition for more information.
The National House Building Council (NHBC) independently regulates the new homes industry. It is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee and is now the UK’s leading standard-setting body and provider of insurance and warranties for newly-built homes. It is also the largest single approved inspector for the building regulations.
Housebuilders have been criticised for producing repetitive buildings with little character, and in recent years they have come under fire for a poor quality of workmanship. For more information see: Housing defects.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Builders Merchants Federation.
- Built to suit.
- Code for sustainable homes.
- Consumer Code for Home Builders.
- Hiring a trusted builder for your project.
- Home Builders Federation.
- Housing associations.
- Housing defects.
- Land acquisition.
- Land banking.
- Minimum space standards.
- What is a housing start?
Featured articles and news
High levels of mica and pyrite found in aggregate used for Irish homes.
Organisation offers mobile app to its members.
BSRIA explores US share of 2020 VRF market.
New fire safety requirement comes into force.
Different types of bridges are meant to move.
A logical approach to handling the internal voice of self doubt.
First fashionable in the US, decorative metal has become globally desirable.
Helping communities preserve and enhance historic environments.
Creating comfortable climates despite extreme temperatures.
Study examines how adjustable arrangements can succeed.
Government announces plans to improve accessibility.
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.