Builders and tradespeople

Places to find a builder or specialist to carry out work
ecohomes + self build library







Self Build

 System Build



 DIY Stores


Walls & Roofs


Timber + Joinery

Windows + Doors



Building Services



Loft Conversions



Building Regulations

Rated People

Builders and Contractors

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 article below.

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

See also: Tools | Tool Hire | Skip Hire

Environmentally Firendly Builders

  • 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 materials.
  • 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.
  • Wilkinsons -based in Hertfordshire, they specialise in energy efficient building using timber frame construction.

Directories of Contractors and Installers

  • - Directory of air conditioning installation and maintenance specialists throughout the UK
  • - Directory of burglar alarm, fire alarm and security specialists throughout the UK
  • British 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.
  • Electrical Contractors Association -members organisation for electrical and building services trades -fully searchable database of members.
  • Federation of Master Builders -builders resource and information centre see also Find a Builder -search the FMB's database, containing more than 12,500 members.
  • Guild 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 and decorators.
  • - Directory of cavity wall insulation, sound proofing and loft insulation specialists throughout the UK
  • Lead Contractors Association -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.
  • National 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.
  • React 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.
  • -advice on hiring a builder and home improvement tips.

Professional Trade Associations

  • 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.
  • ICE -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.
  • National House-Building Council -the independent regulator and standards setter for the new homes industry. Register of builders and useful advice on buying or building a new home.

Standards and Official Bodies

See also: Tools | Tool Hire | Skip Hire

Search this site with Google:

Custom Search

theHousePlanner | construction | sustainability | gardening | property | contact

Featured books:

Converting Garages, Attics & Basements
Jeff Beneke, Sunset (Editor), Marianne Lipanovich
Paperback - 192 pages 1st (August 2001)
Sunset Books Inc
Price in UK pounds
Price in dollars

in association with

more books on House Conversion