5 – Olive Stores – Builders and Subcontractors

| 17th October 2015 | 0 Comments

How to Find Builders and Subcontractors

Olive Stores, Brenchley, Kent TN12 7NQ

No 5 in series

We have go this point because I have “Found and Negotiated the Purchase”, “Designed a Scheme and Obtained Planning”, “Purchased the Property” and now I need to find and employ the team that is going to carry out the work.


I carry out developments around the South East and from time to time I move into areas where I don’t know the local builders and subcontractors. Contractors will travel but they will need to factor in the cost so I always try to employ local trades where possible. This was the case with the Olive Stores project.

Before contacting and meeting the trades you will need to first split the work into work packages.

On new Builds and some conversions it would be beneficial to employ a Quantity Surveyor to put together a Bill of Quantities which could be split into the packages. Contractors would be selected to take part in the tender process (see below) and the tender packs would be sent out including Drawings (Elevation and Plan) and the Bill of Quantities. They would need to visit site and carry out their own inspections to confirm quantities. I would always want to convert any price into a lump sum. In essence I will only pay what their price for the completed works so it is essential they are happy with the measure.

However this would be too difficult to do on a project like Olive Stores as the building will was bound to present a variety of challenges resulting in a great deal of change.

I therefore decided to tender the following packages using drawings only and site inspection only:

  • Scaffold – Including full roof
  • Roof and Tile Hanging – Old and New
  • External Decorating
  • Plumbing – Design by me
  • Electrics – Design by me
  • Internal Decorations
  • Damp proofing & Tanking to basement
  • Woodworm treatment
  • Plastering
  • Internal Decorating

The carpentry element would be impossible to price so I decided it would be best to employ and supervise a frim on Dayworks. Not something I like to do as a ‘Days Work’ can mean different things to different people…if you know what I mean!! This did actually work well as it happens. The crew I employed were hard workers with a great work ethic.

Selecting Sub-Contractors for the Tender Process

There are various websites that can help to find the trades you need. In essence you will be looking for contractors with the capability and capacity to complete the works to a good standard. Evidence of previous work is essential.

The size of your project will also have a bearing. Large projects fall under different regulations. Things are changing in April 2015 but under current Construction Design Management Regulations, amongst other things, contractors will need to supply Risk Assessments and Method Statements for their works and some smaller contractors won’t be familiar with these documents.

Word of Mouth

Your first port of call should be recommendation. Speak to who you know and tell them what you are doing. They may be able to recommend somebody to you and the contractor will be more willing to speak to you as a result. Contractors are busy people who price a lot of work winning only some, so if they believe they stand more of a chance due to recommendation you will get a much better reaction from them.


Websites to look at are as follows. These are best good for both builders’ individual trades. All have a different way of doing things but in essence what you are looking for is capability/experience and references.





www.trustmark.org  – Government Endorsed




www.trusted traders.which.co.uk

You can also enquire with your Local Trading Standards service as they will hold a register of contractors that have been recommended and have then been vetted by Trading Standards.

The Local Authority Assured Trader Scheme Network (LAATSN) links together some of the schemes run by 18 Trading Standards Services.

There is also Which Local. This is a paid service with a trial for £1 and then £7.50 per month. http://local.which.co.uk/

If you need a builder rather than a sub-contractor then you can look at the following:

Federation of Masterbuilders www.fmb.org.uk

Guild of Builders and Contractors www.buildersguild.co.uk

National Federation of Builderswww.builders.org.uk

There are a lot of good builders and sub-contractors out there: just be diligent and take you time selecting your power team as once you have built a relationship it will stand you in good stead for many projects thereafter.





Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Builders & Subcontractors, Construction Phase, My Projects, Olive Stores - Brenchley, Property Developing

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *