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This page has everything you’ll need to know about finding and hiring a local builder. Learn about this trade and how they can help you around the home.

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We are a small company based in Sunderland,we cover all building work including extensions,loft conversions,kitchens,bathrooms and full refurbs

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Ben on 27/12/2020

We had a great first impression when we met Steve. He was quick to get in touch with us after posting our job and met us within a few days. Unfortunately the quote he gave was not quite right for us - we were hoping to be able to see more of a breakdown of costs before making a decision so it did not work out this time.

Our residential team can cover areas such as overall building construction, landscaping, patio, driveways, fencing, lighting & technology, and groundworks. We treat your home just if was ours! We provide our customers with the highest standard an quality we possibly can. Check feedback from our customers. Get in touch today with our friendly team!

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Jorden on 13/11/2020

Brilliant service from start to finish, the work carried out was to a high standard and I would definitely recommend this company! I will be working with them again.

Builder and maintenance contractor with over 30years experience in general building and roof, chimney repairs, and all aspects of building and maintenance ,also a roof washing system where we was repoint and seal with a waterproof coating, currently working with the new government’s grant scheme for funded improvements

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Andrew on 18/12/2020

I will employ Peter many times again, so reliable, terribly honest, excellent work and incredibly good value. Make sure you use this guy!

We are a small family business based in London. We are friendly, transparent and very hard working. We have worked very hard to build a strong reputation with a majority of our business coming from referrals from happy clients. In order to maintain our great name, we ensure that we pay attention to details every time for every project regardless of budget. Book a FREE quotation today and we are confident that you will experience the best building project delivery available.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Jenna on 9/1/2021

top notch work. Very tidy and professional finish thank you

We offer high quality building and maintenance services across London

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by sonali on 1/7/2020

We found Victor and his team to be punctual, helpful and courteous. The work carried out has been to a high standard with a professional finish and always left in a tidy manner. We have had several jobs completed with some more to be booked in. Would definitely recommend Victor and his team to friends and family.

I have been in rhe building trade for over 45 years as carpenter/joiner, foreman carpenter and site manager until i branch out in building extensions/ loft and garage conversions, refurbs ect. Since 1986.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by John on 16/12/2020

We loved the team who came and worked converting our garage, friendly, worked hard, just a pleasure to have around. The work is excellent we are so very pleased with the results and would definitely recommend this company. Value for money too!

Blueprint Conversions LTD is a loft conversion specialist covering the south east. We are a TrustMark registered business, a proud member of the Federation of Master Builders and are a partner of the LABC (local authority building control). This ensure's every conversion we undertake is built to the highest of standards. From concept to completion, we're with you every step of the way. We have built up a long list of happy clients over the years and would love you to be next!

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Antony on 6/1/2021

Expertise in loft conversion evident from first site visit. Competitive quote. Came when promised and super attention to detail throughout. Delighted with job and all trades used by Tom. Would score 6 stars if was possible.

London Development uk ltd is our company, we have been trading for over 12 years in the construction business. - We are a fully insured company with a big portfolio of jobs completed and we are friendly and reliable on any work and business that is coming across. - We can do big jobs as new buildings or full refurbishments, basements, extensions, lofts conversions etc and also we can do small jobs as bathroom refurbishments or even smaller is always space and time for a new job. - We guarantee you that you will get the best workmanship on your job with best skills and acknowledge in the construction industry, time effective and costly effective for customers. Try our company and you will gain the benefits!!!

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Zaid on 22/10/2020

Peter added new bathroom and kitchen and work was very good standard and on time. I would definitely recommend.

serious company, good knowledge about the jobs and materials, experience,high quality work, Fast and Clean after us ! don’t hesitate to contact us!

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Stuart on 31/12/2020

Ignore my first review. 2 days after laying the floor it raised up due to poor fitting. Can no longer get hold of this tradesperson. Avoid hiring this company.

Operated by myself and 2 family members for more than 40 years, customer satisfaction is important ,which is reflected in the satisfied customers we have provided our services to ,achieving five 5* ratings. We can assist with design /structural calcs.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Val on 21/12/2020

John and his guys have been great. Always on time and focused on the job. Thanks!

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What type of tradesperson do you need?

What type of job is it?

Builders - what you need to know

The term ‘builder’ covers a broad range of possible work in your home. In general, a builder will take on larger structural jobs like loft conversions, home extensions and full renovations. They’ll assess what needs to be done and arrange for various specialist tradespeople to complete the work, while managing the whole project. They’re crucial to making complicated jobs run smoothly.

What a builder can help with

  • Conservatories.
  • House extensions.
  • Garage conversions.
  • Loft conversions.
  • Basement conversions.
  • Renovations.
builder illustration

A builder won’t typically be very hands-on with tools. Instead, they’ll be arranging materials, submitting plans to councils, organising tradespeople, and communicating with you what’s happening and what decisions you need to make. They’ll also make sure that everything is being completed within your budget.

When undergoing a big job, there are bound to be issues discovered along the way, and a good builder will communicate these with you, as well as any effect on how long it’ll take to complete the whole project. Always factor in extra time and extra budget into your planning so that you’re not caught out.

Conservatories

A conservatory is a good way to give yourself extra space in your house, and as long as you stay within the (somewhat extensive) planning guidelines, you won’t need to get any planning permission. Conservatories are available in uPVC, timber and aluminium, which will give you plenty of options when thinking about design, build and durability. Depending on your budget and your tastes, you can either go for a standard or bespoke design.

The qualifications your builder needs

It’s always a good idea to ask for proof of any qualifications that a builder has listed on a profile page or elsewhere. They might also have a card from the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Trade bodies

The first thing you can do when considering a builder is to check they’re registered with an official trade body. There are several in the UK such as The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). These bodies have criteria that must be met in order to become a member, demonstrating the extent of their experience.

For example, with CIOB membership they look for things like degrees, technical qualifications, military training and educational backgrounds.

You can see a full list of bodies on the British Associations site, or with TrustMark.

Gas Safe and Part P

Builders will almost definitely be using a team of specialist tradespeople, whether they’re sub-contractors or fully employed by the builder. Anyone working with gas needs to be registered with Gas Safe, and anyone working with electricity (in England and Wales) needs to be registered with Part P. These tradespeople will have a valid ID showing their membership so that’s another thing you can check.

Competent person scheme

For any work that requires planning permission, your builder can take care of all of this if they’re registered with the competent person scheme. You can search the Competent Persons Register to check they belong to a scheme.

Planning permission and building regulations for building jobs

There are 2 kinds of permission and approval you might need, which you can read about in more detail on the government’s website.

  • Planning permission – usually for major changes or new parts to your house (loft conversions, basement conversions, extensions etc).
  • Building regulations approval – this can apply to even small changes to your house, and is to make sure that all homes have the same safety and design features set out in the latest government legislation.

A couple of extra things you might need to consider - if you’re in a conservation area you you’ll need to check with your local council about any further considerations. Also if you’re a leaseholder rather than a freeholder, you may need to get permission from them to get the work done.

Just remember you might need more than 1 kind of permission or approval to get cracking on the work. Use a builder who’s a member of a competent person scheme and they’ll take care of everything for you. You might also want to consider using an architect to help with the planning, design and necessary permissions.

If you don’t have the right approvals and permissions, this can result in fines, penalties, or serious issues if you want to sell your home. You may even have to pay to undo the work, so it’s important to get it right before you start.

Insurance for building work

Public liability insurance

Your builder definitely needs to have public liability insurance, which will cover you and them if someone gets hurt or if the property is damaged.

Insurance-backed warranties or guarantees 

You can get this as part of the cost of the work, if your builder offers it. Check exactly what’s covered - it should include the cost of finishing or fixing the work if there are any issues.

Home and contents insurance

If you have home or contents insurance, check with your insurer to make sure you'll be covered while the work is going on. You might have to pay more for your insurance during and after the work. Your insurer will probably want to know what builder you’re using and what insurance they have.

 

 

Questions you should ask a builder

  • Do they have public liability insurance and what does this cover?
  • Are they registered with a competent person scheme and will they take care of all planning permissions / building regulation approvals?
  • Do they offer insurance-backed warranties?
  • How long have they been trading for?
  • Can they give you up to 3 references of recent work they’ve completed?
  • Do they use sub-contractors or their own employees?
  • What experience do their sub-contractors/employees have and are they covered by insurance?
  • Will they give a guarantee/warranty for the work and how long does it last?
  • Will they source all materials and equipment?

See the latest questions that homeowners have been asking builders.

Building ideas

Check out how to create more space without moving house. Once the work is under way, make sure everything goes smoothly with our top tips for communicating effectively with your builder and how to make things as easy as possible. Last but not least, read advice from TV’s favourite property expert, and our brand ambassador, Phil Spencer – you and your builder.

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  • Pick a tradesperson

    Use our homeowner checklist for extra tips on choosing a tradesperson.

  • Job done

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How our service works

  1. Create a job - it's free

    We'll connect you with the right tradesmen, from over 30 different trades.

  2. Get quotes

    Up to 3 tradesmen can provide a quote, but on average you'll get 1-2.

  3. Check ratings

    Look at each tradesperson's profile to see their ratings and reviews.

  4. Pick a tradesperson

    Use our homeowner checklist for extra tips on choosing a tradesperson.

  5. Job done

    Leave a rating for your tradesperson based on quality, reliablity and value.

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