There is no single organisation
representing building trades, but ideally your preferred builder
will be a member of the Federation of Master Builders, or one
of the specialist trades guilds or institutes. When appointing
a building contractor, always take references, and if at all
possible go and see examples of completed work. For general builders,
there are a couple places to look online -Rated
People (see advert above) or the FMB 'Find
a Builder' are good places to start. The Government's "Trustmark"
scheme also sets out to identify good quality tradespeople -see
Make sure you understand whether
you are getting a fixed price quote or an estimate for the work,
and what the terms of reference are -you can employ a builder
through exchange of letters for simple works, but for more complex
domestic work we would suggest you have a minor works contract
drawn up. It may be necessary to engage an architect for this,
but it will ensure you don't forget something important.
How to spot a top tradesperson
Avoid being taken
for a ride by rogue builder
Each year, cowboy builders are responsible for £1.5 billion
of problems for homeowners in the UK. There are plenty of horror
stories -from shoddy kitchens to leaky roofs. The good news is
that there are still plenty of reliable registered builders around
-the important thing is to find one you are happy with. One place
to look is Trustmark, the government backed scheme which runs
a web-based directory of approved builders. They have recently
released this video featuring their number one tradesman, Nick
Orchard from Bristol, who gives some useful tips on finding and
commissioning your builder.
For more information visit www.trustmark.org.uk
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- Earthwise Construction - a comprehensive eco design, build and consultancy
service in Brighton and Hove. Their work includes new build developments,
eco renovations (retrofitting), extensions and loft conversions.
- Ecohouse -based in St Agnes, Cornwall, Ecohouse
Ltd is a design and construction company that aims to create
sustainable, energy efficient, healthy homes for owners in Devon
and Cornwall. Their Falmouth Ecohouse was featured on Grand Designs.
- Craig's Eco Construction - one of Scotland's first construction companies
to build high performance homes and energy efficient buildings
using sustainable energy solutions and enviromnentally responsible
- Growing -London-based natural building company,
specialised in cob and other natural and reclaimed materials.
They also offer hands-on training on natural building.
- Organic Building Company -Hertfordshire based company that specialises
in the restoration and repair of historic buildings, and the
construction of new buildings using traditional building methods.
-based in Hertfordshire, they specialise in energy efficient
building using timber frame construction.
of Contractors and Installers
- air-conditioning-installers.co.uk - Directory of air conditioning installation
and maintenance specialists throughout the UK
- alarmsandsecurity.net - Directory of burglar alarm, fire alarm and
security specialists throughout the UK
Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association - BWPDA is the trade association dealing
with all aspects of timber treatment and damp proofing.
- Building Centre
-permanent exhibition and source of information for the construction
industry, covering all aspects of architecture and design, construction
and planning, DIY and self build.
- BuilditUK -approved contractors and home improvements.
- CIOB -Chartered Institute of Building -the professional home for today's
managers in construction.
- Concrete Society
-an information generator and provider, specialising in practical
applications and developments in concrete for the benefit of
-members organisation for electrical and building services trades
-fully searchable database of members.
of Master Builders
-builders resource and information centre see also Find
a Builder -search the FMB's database, containing more than
of Master Craftsmen
-represents members in over 400 trades including: Antique Restorers,
Blacksmiths, Builders, Kitchen Fitters, Chimney Sweeps, Carpenters,
Electricians, Furniture-makers, Gardeners, Glaziers, Jewellers,
Plumbers, Building, Roofers, Tailors, Woodworkers.
- Improveline -screened UK builders, plumbers, electricians
- insulation-installers.co.uk - Directory of cavity wall insulation, sound
proofing and loft insulation specialists throughout the UK
-UK membership organisation for those working with lead. The
site has a useful contractor locator by region, which gives types
of experience and size of project undertaken.
Federation of Roofing Contractors
is the UK's leading trade association for the roofing industry.
- NICEIC -regulatory body for Electrical contractors
-carries useful advice on electrical safety and database of electricians.
Fast -24 hour emergency
plumbing services, drainage services, emergency locksmiths, central
heating breakdown services, carpentry and electrical services
for homes across the UK.
- The Construction Centre -an online specialist for construction industry
professionals, businesses and private individuals to search for
details for over ten thousand contractors, manufacturers and
suppliers of building materials and components.
- UKBuilder.com -advice on hiring a builder and home
- ACE -The Association of Consulting Engineers -represents the collective views of
the profession to European, UK central and local governments,
as well as to other engineering institutions and associations,
trade and industry.
- BSRIA -Building Services Research &
Information Association -BSRIA offers independent and authoritative
research, information, testing and consultancy and market intelligence.
-Institution of Civil Engineers
-UK-based international organisation with 80,000 members ranging
from professional civil engineers to students, a fifth of whom
live outside the UK in some 140 countries. It is an educational
and qualifying body and has charitable status under UK law.
-the independent regulator and standards setter for the new homes
industry. Register of builders and useful advice on buying or
building a new home.
and Official Bodies
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