You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Some elements within this site are not compatible with your browser.

Please consider upgrading your browser or switching to a different one to avoid any compatibility issues.

You can contact us at or by calling +44 (0)1962 793100

How to select a builder or, should you look for a developer? And what about a quantity surveyor?

Quantity survey So, you have your planning approval for your extension to your residential home, now you need to find out precisely how much is it going to cost and which builder to choose. This is called going out to ‘tender’ for the building works that are required.

For most people getting to the planning stage was complicated; you might have been in contact with an architect to help you through this stage, maybe just a builder or possibly both. Dependent upon how closely you worked with either of these professionals, often the works are only accurately costed once you have the official planning approval. Up to this stage you may have been talking ‘ball park figures or PCs’.

How do you select your builder?

You may be lucky enough to know of a builder that has undertaken work for you previously or who is known in your village, town city or neighbourhood. Often you are able to contact the owners of the properties where work has recently been carried out. If their experience was good they will tell you and would probably make a recommendation, if not, why not and what were the problems.

For smaller jobs, it is worth considering whether you would get a better deal from a one man band or a small/medium sized or larger building company? It’s a difficult one to accurately answer, but maybe the answer is to get several quotes from a range of people/builders. However, ensure that each quote is estimating for exactly the same work otherwise it will be very confusing and no clearer for you to make a sensible decision on your choice. quan

However tempting, avoid the ‘cash in hand’ builders and look wherever possible for written guarantees and builders that are qualified and who meet quality and high standards of workmanship. There are excellent web sites that can guide you such as:

For the larger jobs, retaining the use of a professional quantity surveyor maybe the right option to oversee the budget and ensure that the project runs smoothly and to plan. The cost of employing a QS will almost certainly reap its benefits and monitor expenditure.

In summary, apply logic and sound judgement to your decision making process when it comes to appointing the right builder or building company.

For more advice and information, please contact us by email or telephone + 44 (0)1962 793100.