Building Contractors

What is a “good builder”? and How do you know if you have one?

Some useful advice on choosing your builder or tradesman

  • There are many small building contractors who may want to carry out your job for you, and it can be a minefield trying to pick the right one. The pitfalls of finding the right contractor could well form the content of a book, but please take heed of the following brief overview.
  • A personal recommendation is often a good starting point from a friend, neighbour or relative who has had a similar type, or size of job satisfactorily completed.
  • If you end up talking to a builder who offers to build your project without a drawing – be very wary. In fact the recommendation is to say “no thank you” and walk away.
  • Your builder should ideally be a member of a building trades organisation like the ”Federation of Master Builders”. In practice you will find that many one man bands, or otherwise small building contractors are not. They might find it uneconomic, or not have the capacity and organisational set-up to deal with the associated administration.


  • they may not be up to membership requirements.
  • Members of the FMB or not, ask for two or three recent customer references. Get the customers telephone numbers and call them. You should find that a happy customer is only too willing to speak with you and tell you how pleased they are with their recently completed work.