Do I Use A Builder Or Individual Tradesmen?

Do I use a Builder or individual tradesmen? This is a very common question people ask themselves when planning a refurb project. The answer is going to depend on your level of experience and confidence. As with every decision related to any project there are positive and negative factors with either option

Hiring a builder the positive factors

When you hire a builder for your project he will take responsibility for everything. He will take care of planning the work and hiring the neccessary tradesmen. If there are hold ups he will rearrange things accordingly. He will take care of paying everyone so you will only be dealing with one person regarding money. He will also take care of ordering all the materials and the logistics of delivery.

The builder is going to have a lot more experience then you. Anything you are unsure of you will be able to ask his advice. Also he is going to have a lot of contacts in the industry. It will usually be quicker for him to find additional labour or specialists.

He will take care of all Health and Safety issues on site and will assume liability for CDM 2015

Hiring a builder the negative factors

The builder is not going to organise everything for free. He is going to put a mark up on all labour and material costs. You should factor in a 20% mark up. If you don’t feel confident running a project yourself you might feel this is a price worth paying. In the event you fall out with him and he pulls off the project you could find that everyone goes with him. If the builder doesn’t turn up or is unreliable you won’t be able to contact the tradesmen directly. If you dont’like the performance of an individual you won’t be able to replace them without the agreement of the builder

Hiring individual tradesmen the positive factors

If you hire individual tradesmen you will not be paying a mark up on labour rates. You still might have to pay a mark up on any materials they supply. But you can always agree that you will supply the materials yourself. If you are not happy with the work of an individual you can replace them without upsetting other tradesmen. You will be able to organise the sequence of work as you think best

Hiring individual tradesmen the negative factors

You are going to be responsible for organising everything. If you get the programme wrong this can cause delays to the project. That could end up costing you extra to make up time.

You are also going to be responsible for ordering materials and organising deliveries. If you get this wrong you could find yourself having to pay for people to stand around not working. People can’t be expected to lose money because you can’t organise things properly. The individual tradesmen might not be willing to give you input on the materials that are needed. So you could end up getting the wrong things or not ordering enough

You will be responsible for Health and Safety on site. As a result, you will have to understand your obligations under CDM 2015

You will have to pay everyone individually. This means you will have to verify everyones individual CIS status and pass any deductions on directly to HMRC. You cannot check peoples status yourself, it has to be done by an Accountant. So that’s going to be an additional cost to the project.

If you are not confident of organising everything yourself, there are advantages to hiring a Project Manager. However this is an additional expense. Any savings you make on labour could be wiped out by this


There are many things that can go wrong on a project. It is easy to lose money if you don’t know what you are doing. If you have confidence and experience you can save a lot of money by organising the labour and buying materials yourself.

However a few simple mistakes can wipe out all the profit from a project. Therefore if you are not confident it might be worth paying a builder the mark up to be free from the worry and hassle of doing it yourself. There have been sharp increases in build costs  this year. If you are not following trends in the industry this could come back and bite you


We have extensive experience in project planning. It is one of the many services  we offer. If you would like to know how we can help you please contact us






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