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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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A complete solution from design to build We are a well-established family run business originating from the heart of Essex, however we cover all areas of inner and outer London. EMC have an extensive portfolio of completed builds from; loft conversions, extension, renovations and out houses. We pride ourselves on our extensive portfolio of work and happy clientele. We have many of excellent testimonials on our website, which show-case some of our more recent projects. Over the decades we have gained extensive knowledge and expertise within the building industry which we utilise with our comprehensive design and build services. These include all general residential building works, renovations, conversions project management. We have partnerships with architects, structural engineers and have worked closely with most building control teams. Here at EMC we unfailingly deliver the finest workmanship at affordable prices.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by carly on 13/10/2019

Very impressive turn around on my outhouse by EMC whom carried out the works to an exceptional standard. Great team , a pleasure to work with . Thank you

Quinn construction Ltd general building works, specialize in Knockthrough, garage conversions and chimney breast and stack removal

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by C on 5/9/2019

Ben came quickly, priced the job and completed it on time, to a high quality and excellent price. He is a considerate builder, minimises mess and cleans after him. I am very fussy person when having work done at home but I was pleased with the end result.

Welcome to this site. The client is the most important visitor on our premises. They are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them. They are not an interruption to our work, they are the purpose of it.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Ashley on 14/5/2019

Excellent work I would definitely recommend

I am hard working and reliable, I have been in the business 18 years and my work is second to none. I pride myself on my excellent workmanship and being able to give my customers the best possible price. I guarantee all my damp proofing work. I will come out at a time to suit you for a free no obligation quote.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Linda on 10/10/2019

Steve arrived on time, and worked quickly and cleanly. The job was done to an excellent standard, and the price was very reasonable. Couldn’t ask for more, and would definitely recommend him.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by john on 13/10/2019

Paul did a good job. He sealed the conservatory roof where it was leaking as per the job. In addition he re-aligned some of the glass panels and sealed quite a few more than I had requested.

Hi offering a quality professional services at affordable prices with guaranteed job satisfaction , brickwork blockpaving ,flat roofing,plasterwork,garage conversion demolition,refurbishment,extensions, we have 25 year experienced we cover all aspects of building work

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Tessa on 26/9/2019

Quick, efficient and a very good job done.

We are a local company with over 20 years experience in the construction industry . Honesty and reliability are a big part of our make up along side quality workmanship and products we know we have everything you need to get the job done right & on budget

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Stephen on 12/10/2019

Excellent service. Did what was asked and required in professional and helpful manner. Would use them again!

All our work is carried out by seasoned builders, qualified specialists and managed by an architect and a building control officer. We take pride in our user friendly approach and professionalism and always aim for a flawless finish.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Marc on 5/10/2019

Elvis and team did a good job. Kept me informed when he would arrive, worked quickly, and was polite and tidy. Cleaned up after himself and stuck to the quote. Will be using him again!

We are a small family run company that cover all aspects of the building trade, with over 40 years experience. A member of the federation of master builders so our work is monitored and trusted. Our range of work ranges from repointing a wall to newbuid.we have a great team and cater for all aspects of building,renovating and repairing, giving your home the loving care it deserves.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Shirley on 26/8/2019

I hired Ian to rebuild a stonewall that had partly collapsed. He turned up on time to quote for the job and kept me informed every day of when he would be able to start. He came to do the job within a few days and did it really well. There was no mess to clear up as he left the site clean and tidy. I would definitely use him in the future and would highly recommend him.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Alex on 7/10/2019

Karl was excellent from beginning to end, providing a realistic quote, a reasonable timeframe for the work to be completed and managing our expectations throughout. We had struggled to find anybody willing to take the job, and those who did quote for us were wildly unrealistic, but what Karl did was both affordable and carried out to a high standard. Would definitely recommend.

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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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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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