So, you finally have all the funds, plans and permits necessary to start the so long awaited and dreamed of your london home renovation, house extension project, or even building of a new house. The final result of any building project depends on the workforce that implements your vision. Whether the project is a full or partial renovation or a new build, you have three options: hire a building contractor, individual tradesmen to carry out different project stages (and become yourself a contractor) or do-it-yourself.

Usually the last option is not considered because of lacking time, knowledge and experience. In this article I will discuss the first two options: hiring a contractor versus hiring individual tradesmen.

A building contractor is a person responsible and managing the project from the beginning till the final touches. He must have necessary knowledge, experience, resources in all project stages and must be able to plan terms, costs, manage all the tradesmen working on the site. Hiring local building company gives you these advantages:

  1. clear written estimate – you know what materials will be used, what jobs included;
  2. work and payment schedules – you know in advance what jobs and when will be done, what and when payments will be required;
  3. advice when you need it – very often once everything is stripped out, some building problems become obvious and need to be addressed before any planned work commences;
  4. peace of mind – once you hire a contractor, his job is to arrange tools, materials, workforce when they are required to get the project going smooth, meet deadlines and expectations;
  5. any extra work, project specs changes you only have to discuss with one person.
  6. saves you a lot of time, stress.

When considering of hiring individual tradesmen, there aren’t any advantages other than saving some money. However, dealing with one person (general building contractor) greatly reduces the risk of being ripped off. On the other hand, hiring many individual tradesmen not only may result in higher project costs, but also in lower job quality. The disadvantages are obvious:

  1. It is almost impossible to plan timing: very often a plumber or an electrician may get some extra work in other projects – showing up later in your project and thus disrupting, delaying the planned work schedule.
  2. A customer himself becomes a contractor (which also requires a lot of time), responsible for the whole project. Usually customers do not have necessary experience and may not have work schedule or knowledge: e.g. some plastering or carpentry work may be already done and later electricians or plumbers have to open up walls, partitions, ceiling thus making damage.
  3. The other problem that so often occurs – if something goes wrong, individual tradesmen blame a person who worked in the project earlier stages and he already may have been paid and long gone or he argues the opposite.


All of this creates unnecessary stress, increases the project costs and term. This is why it is always better to hire a building contractor, with necessary building experience in all building jobs and managing the whole project.