building valuations


It is important to remember where

builders come from


If you need help and advice with regard to building work, alterations or extensions to your home or commercial property, structural surveys, building surveys, engineers reports, defects reports, including things such as cracks, dampness, condensation, foundation problems, etc, then contact us free to phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

It is important to remember where builders come from!


How do people end up in the building trade?Often, people are in the building trade because:

Someone in their family was also in the same trade.

They enjoy working with their hands (note we didn't say are good at working with their hands) and this may be because when they were at school they lacked confidence with reading, writing, maths, etc.

No other industry that we know of allows you to set up the next day and call yourself a builder.

They had Lego or Meccano, or some other brick type game when they were children (be very careful what you buy your children as presents!).


Where do clients come from!

Clients come in all shapes and sizes just like builders

They are normally people that

•  Don't understand property and the building industry because they don't have any friends or family in that industry.

•  They didn't enjoy working with their hands and were good at reading, writing, maths, etc, at school.

•  They have a well paid job and have the means to employ someone to do the jobs that are not so nice in life.

•  They didn't have Lego, Meccano, etc, as presents!


So, you can see there is an immediate difference between a builder and a client and that is why it is so important to communicate clearly.


Communication is everything

Whatever size the job is, particularly smaller jobs (we can't really give an amount because what some people consider a lot of money other people consider a small amount of money), you will need to communicate.

Make a list of the work you want your builder to carry out

You will need to prepare a list of what you require doing. This is known as a schedule of works.

Photographs are always very good, as you can show the kind of thing that you have seen that you would like doing, or finding articles in magazines, etc.

Ask the builder for an itemized list and repeat this process with two or three builders.

Compare the different quotes and also the end prices and make sure the builders are pricing like to like or in a similar manner. If one price is half the price of the other builder's prices then it is likely they are not pricing for the same thing! Look at the two or three quotes and identify the items that are priced differently and then phone the builder up and ask him about adding these items on or taking them away, whichever way you are dealing with the process.

Communicate your requirements with your builder

If you want specific things, such as specialist items, e.g. the lime mortar repointing of your bricks, or you have an expensive shower that you want fitting, advise them and remind them and advise them and remind them again; communication is the key.




For larger building projects we would recommend you use a building professional, such as a building surveyor. Again, you need to communicate with them. It is worth looking at the sort of background a building surveyor has.

They usually will have had family friends or something to do with the building industry.

They will normally have enjoyed working with their hands and been reasonably good at reading, writing and maths.

They would have worked out quite early on in life that they wanted a variety of work and didn't want to just be stuck on one job for a long period of time and that they could earn more money advising people in relation to building work.

They probably had Lego and Meccano, etc, and watched Bob the Builder!


Communication again is the key for all jobs of over £25,000. From your list of works a brief will be developed.

This will be produced into a schedule of works.

Scaled drawings will be produced to get Local Authority approval for planning and building regulations and tenders will be obtained from various builders that they probably know and have had a working relationship with.

Terms and conditions will be issued that are very specific to the standards required.


It is very important to agree the communication system when the builders are on site and stick to it, i.e. if it agreed that all communication will be via, what is known as, a supervising officer (a building surveyor) then don't keep asking the builder to do bits and pieces, otherwise you will get a long list of extras.


Team building

Agreeing your deal with your builder and Chartered building surveyor

Remember, when the builder is appointed, you, your building surveyor and the builder are all part of a team, working to get the project finished. In our experience as working as a supervising officer there will be some disagreements whilst the work commences, but these shouldn't get out of proportion and normally with building work there is several solutions, depending upon how much money you want to pay and how much time you have, but they can usually be worked round.

The last thing that you, the client, want is for the builder to walk away from the building work, as any builder coming on to the job will charge a premium. They will think you are a very awkward customer from day one. Therefore, make sure that you can live with the builder that has been chosen and that you can live with the professional adviser that you have chosen, however many weeks the project is meant to go on for (we would always recommend adding a few more weeks).


Fingers crossed, and many cups of tea, biscuits and bacon sandwiches and everything should go well!

You may be interested in these other articles:

Estimating Building Costs

Definitions of Building terms

Loft Conversions

Cowboy Builders and Cowboy Clients! How to get on with your Builder

If you need help and advise with regard to structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects reports, dilapidations home buyers reports or any other property matter please call 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat. Please note we are independent surveyors.

If you have had a project go wrong you may want to visit our sister website and for Dilapidations Help then please visit our website.

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


building engineers



Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright
Site Map

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax