Finding a Builder

14 Apr 2013
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United Kingdom
Hi folks

New on the forum so hope this is the right area to post.

I'm having some difficulty finding a building contractor who can carry out the work we need them to do and wondered if anyone else had similar experience/tips for for dealing.

Essentially we're looking to build a 2 story rear extension and loft conversion to a terrace house in south Manchester. We're very keen to do as much work as possible ourselves. We've done smaller projects before however this is by far the biggest - but we're really keen to learn and keep the cost down!!

We need a builder who will just do the basic/structural elements i.e excavate and lay foundations, build brick shell, drains, install roof, and install the new structural floor joists for the loft conversion. What we don't want them to do is stud walling, plasterboarding, roof insulation, install stairs, any plumbing or electrics (we have our own contacts for this).

However we're having a nightmare finding a builder who doesn't want to quote for doing everything - despite having it explained to them. Has anyone been in this situation before? and, more importantly, do you have any ideas on how we deal with it?

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Most builders like to do the job from start to finish. We had a guy who wanted to help with us building him an extension but we didn't do the job for that reason.
I think the magic term is 'shell only' builds - there seem to be builders out there which understand what this means.
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Have you tried any of the "find a tradesman" type websites?

We have had varied results, but at least gives you a chance to put in writing exactly when you do (and dont) want... So you'll only get quotes from those willing to do that kind of job.

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