A Guide to Hiring a Builder

Welcome to the ultimate A-Z guide for hiring a builder with everything you need to know about the services they offer. You can also find the contact details of the most highly rated builders and construction companies in the UK or search for a builder in your local area.

Top rated builders in the UK

The following UK builders have received the highest ratings from their local communities:

What does a builder do?

An example of a local builder using a drill

Builders are often responsible for seeing a large project through from start to finish. For example, during a new house build, the builder is responsible for transforming the architects' blueprints into a physical reality. This includes surveying the land, organising permits, laying the foundations, erecting the framework of the house and overseeing the work of other tradesmen working on-site.

To be able to carry out all of the above tasks effectively, builders must have a working knowledge of all the various trades involved in the project, from carpentry and bricklaying to plumbing and electrics. This allows them to assess whether or not the work of other tradesmen is being completed to the correct standard and in the right order.

Why should you hire a builder?

A professional builder isn't just there to work, they are there to help you piece the entire project together. This includes helping you with everything, from the initial ideas and designs to the schedule of construction and the supply of all the necessary materials to transform your vision into a reality.

The experience and technical know-how of a professional builder is also invaluable when unexpected problems occur. When this happens, your builder can help you overcome these obstacles with practical solutions and helpful suggestions. You can also rely on your builder to have a network of professional contacts within the industry to secure the best possible prices from suppliers and subcontractors.

You can also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that a professional builders work is covered by a warranty. They will also hold liability insurance that protects you should an accident occur during your construction project.

How much do builders charge?

As with most trades, there is no universal rate for building services. So prices will vary based on your location and the type of project you need help with. The good news is that you can usually arrange a fixed price for the project rather than paying hourly or daily rates. This is an excellent way to keep costs under control and also inspire your builder to get the work completed on time!

As ever, the best thing to do is to search for a local builder on Thomson Local and reach out to several companies for a quote. You can then compare these quotes with other factors, such as the building services each company offers and the reviews they have received from previous customers. This will allow you to make an informed decision about which builder to hire for your project.

Do builders have to be qualified?

An example of a local builder using a JCB digger during a construction job

There are no formal qualifications needed to become a builder, so in many cases, a builder will be self-taught on the job or will have completed an apprenticeship. There are some training courses available from providers such as City and Guilds that cover the various aspects of the building trade. Some builders will also take part in specialist training programs to become a certified expert in a specific aspect of building such as loft conversions. Specific licenses must also be gained for the operation of construction vehicles such as diggers.

Many builders will also join respected trade associations such as the National Federation of Builders and the Federation of Master Builders. These trade bodies work with their members to uphold high standards within the building industry. If you would like to hire a builder with a trade association membership then simply filter your search by trade bodies when you search for a local builder on Thomson Local.

What services do builders offer?

Most builders offer a wide variety of services, ranging from simple home improvements to full-scale commercial projects. Here are the most common services that you can expect to find on offer.

General building work

This covers a wide range of things, from erecting a new brick wall in your garden to moving a doorway in your house. Generally, if it’s a job that requires some form of construction or deconstruction then a builder is the best person for the job.

Loft conversions

A loft or attic conversion is a great way to add functional space and even value to your home. Many people opt for a loft conversion to add an additional bedroom, home office or even a gym to their house.

House extensions

Adding an extension to your house is a wonderful way to gain additional space and even transform the entire flow of your home. Depending on the extension you go for, this could allow you to add additional bedrooms, bathrooms or even just extra space for existing rooms such as the kitchen.

Your builder will be able to advise you on the options available to you, including whether or not you are likely to be granted planning permission from your local council.

Barn conversions

If you have an unused or dilapidated barn then a builder can transform it into a wonderful living space or practical commercial unit. This is often a cheaper alternative to building a new property from scratch.

Installing partition walls

Your builder can install a partition wall into a large bedroom to create two smaller bedrooms. They can also be used to create corridors through existing rooms, which is invaluable in some older properties where the bathroom can only be accessed via a bedroom.

Kitchen and bathroom fitting

If you need assistance fitting a new kitchen or bathroom, then your local builder will be able to help. This is particularly useful if you need assistance disposing off the old fixtures and fittings too.

Fire and flood damage repair

Fires and floods can be devastating to property and require specialist care to recover from fully. Your local builders will have experience in emergency repairs and can help you to get your property back in good condition again.

Garage construction

Adding a garage to your property is an excellent way to add value and functional space for your car. Many people will often transform their garage into office space or even a home gym, so it's well worth checking with your builder to see what your best options are.

Need to hire a builder?

An example of two local builders discussing the plans for a new building project

If you need to hire a local builder, then please visit our builders page and search in your local area. You'll then be able to find contact details, reviews and a full list of the services that each building company provides.

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