Last updated 20th October, 2021
If you think you might need to hire a builder in the near future, or you own your own property, this guide will take you through all the different aspects of hiring a builder to work on your property, from pricing, jobs and much more.
Before we delve into the prices for builders for each job or per hour and day, we're going to take a closer look at the specific jobs that they carry out every day.
Often people don't really know which tradesmen deal with which jobs, and some are quite surprised at the range of work that builders complete for their customers.
So here is a list of some common jobs builder will be hried for:
When you're renovating a new or existing home, the outside of the house is sometimes neglected. This isn't done purposely; it's just far more apparent to renovate the rooms and spaces that you spend your day in, rather than areas outside that see activity in only short period throughout the year.
However, the addition of well-built garden walls can be a wonderful way to revamp the look of your home. A lot of people will even spend money on this before selling a home as it can increase the valuation of your home by a lot more than it costs to implement these additions.
The typical garden wall building will cost you anywhere between £800-£1,200 depending on the thickness and length of the wall required.
Of course, there are many different factors that you must think about and talk through with the builder you hire.
The timescale for these types of jobs is around 1-3 days, again depending on the size of the job and the state of the current space.
If you want to find out more about getting a garden wall built, check out our in-depth guide 'Costs of Building a Garden Wall'.
Conservatories are one of the most popular building constructions in the UK, with nearly 20% of homes having a conservatory.
A significant factor in this is that conservatories, in general, don't require planning permission, as they are considered permitted development, unlike full extensions that do require planning permission.
Conservatories also provide wonderfully peaceful spaces that can act as playrooms, offices, second living rooms and games rooms.
The versatility of these spaces makes them very popular developments, and they're also pretty cheap to construct when compared to full extensions.
Now, it all depends on the type of conservatory you wish to have built, the size of the conservatory and many other things, but as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around £10,000.
It can be far less if you choose a 'lean-to' conservatory, or much more expensive if you opt for a 'Victorian' build.
The construction of a conservatory can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, and your builder will advise on exactly how long you can expect it to take.
For more information on conservatory constructions, take a look at our guide – Conservatory Costs for 2020.
Home extensions are an excellent way to completely revamp your home without needing to move.
Some people will opt to improve or extend their current home instead of going through the rigmarole of selling and moving to a home with more space.
Usually, homes will have a single-storey extension to extend the size of their living room or kitchen, allowing for more space on the ground floor.
Still, in recent times more people are utilising double-storey extensions that will extend the amount of space on offer for both storeys of their home.
Now, this will need planning permission, which can be a lengthy process, but it is wholly worth the effort for the added valuation and space to your home for when you are ready to move on to another property.
Firstly, it's important to note that a double-storey extension is far from cheap, with the average extension costing around £60,000, with higher-end finishes for spaces that extend kitchens and bathrooms costing more around the £100,000 mark with fixtures and fittings.
Of course, this is all dependant on the average builder prices in your area, along with the size of your home and extension.
In any case, you can expect it to take around ten weeks from start to finish. If you're interested in a more detailed look at single and double-storey extensions, take a look at our guide here.
Instead of spending a lot of money on a complete extension for your home, why not consider converting your garage into a fully-fledged room in your home.
After all, it's already halfway there. Garage conversions are incredibly popular for a few reasons, firstly they are a whole lot cheaper than full extensions, costing around £10,000. They also take a lot less time, with 3-5 weeks being the typical timescale for a single garage conversion.
Additionally, they make fantastic offices or living rooms, considering most garages are already of ample size. Now, most garage conversion jobs will be covered under the permitted development clause that allows you to carry out the work without planning permission.
However, you should still double-check this with the local authority. Find out more about garage conversions in our full guide here.
In 2019 emergency repair call outs cost landlords across the UK £4.5million in total for everything from leaks to wall damage.
Builders and tradespeople, in general, will almost certainly keep normal working hours in the daytime, due to the noise that most jobs generate and the daylight they usually require to carry out the work.
This means that any work you require at unsociable hours comes at a premium cost.
If you have an emergency that needs tending to immediately the only option available to you is to call a builder and have them carry out the work on emergency rates. This is usually double or triples their daily working rate, plus a single call-out fee, usually a couple of hundred pounds.
Now, this fee will change depending on where you are in the country as different regions have different pay scales. For example, London is a big city with a high cost of living, so naturally, the rates for tradespeople in these regions are slightly more expensive than that of a small village in Yorkshire.
There are a few typical jobs that builders tend to be called out for, and we're going to provide a little explanation for each of them here.
Using this scenario as an example, say you return home after a late-night a friend to find your home has been burgled, there may be damage to the door and the wall surrounding it.
You won't be able to leave the door open due to the cold and fear of further break-ins. So, you will need to call out a builder to fix the wall and secure the door, even temporarily until a full repair can be carried out on the structure.
In this case, you would need to find an emergency builder, pay their call-out fee and amplified rates, and have the work completed as an emergency.
Again, using a scenario as an example, say there has been a car accident outside your home, resulting in a car crashing into the front wall of your home.
This is now a structural issue that is dangerous for the overall front wall of your home. Fearing it will collapse you call out an emergency builder to secure the wall to ensure the safety of the rest of the structure and prevent any further damage or injury.
In a similar situation, there could have been a bad storm resulting in a chimney breast breaking away and falling, causing damage to the structure of your home. This again may require the attention of an emergency builder.
Below are the different rate you can expect a builder to charge you:
As we touched on in the previous section, the hourly rate for a builder will differ depending on where in the country to you are.
This is mostly affected by the cost of living in that area, meaning that big cities and popular living destinations are affected by the increase most. It's also important to note that not all builders will work on an hourly rate.
If, for example, you hired a builder to build an extension for your home, it would be very tough to keep track of the hours working on the project, so instead, you would use a day rate or even a price for the entire job. We'll talk about that more in the next section.
Builders tend to start early, so working from 8 am to 4 or 5 pm is the typical working day for a builder. Obviously, there are a few reasons that builders need to take time away from the worksite, with breaks, lunch hours and trips to the timber or hardware stores being the main ones.
The average hourly rate for a builder is around £25; however, this can be as high as £45 in London and the surrounding areas, to as low as £19 in Liverpool. Again, it all depends on the local economy and the cost of living within the region.
Like we mentioned in the previous section, it's often much easier for a builder to quote a job on their day rate than it is by the hour. This is due to building jobs usually being completed over days and weeks instead of hours and minutes.
You can also secure a builder's services for less by paying for them over days instead of hours, as it cuts down on lost time between jobs.
So, if you have a few jobs that you need completing, you can hire a builder for a few days and have all the jobs completed under the same project, instead of paying them to come back over weeks to complete smaller jobs.
The average day rate correlates with the differing scale of hourly pay, with the rate being higher in different regions. The average daily rate for a builder is £210, with a lower scale dropping to around £185 and the larger scale rising to anything around £250.
There are a few different ways to vet the reliability of a builder and to determine whether they are a legitimate tradesman.
We'll discuss how to find a builder in a later section but focusing solely on qualifications there are a few things you should ensure your builder has before hiring them to carry out work on your property.
Firstly, they should have an NVQ in Construction for Builders, and if they don't have that they should have a card from the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.
They should also be aligned with a trade association scheme or organisation, of which there are many to choose from.
You can ask them who they are aligned with and check their credibility online, also checking whether they are listed as registered with that association or organisation.
You should check that your builder has the correct liability and public liability insurance to carry out work on your property to prevent any issues further down the line.
This insurance is to protect both you and the builder should any injury or damage occur on the property during work carried out by the builder and commissioned by you.
The Citizens Advice Bureau suggests that tradespeople carry this type of insurance with them to prevent very damaging and costly lawsuits in the case of an accident.
Hiring a tradesperson was once a fairly difficult task, with only word of mouth and the appearance of professionalism to go by. But in modern times we have a fantastic tool called the internet to research tradespeople on.
You can take a look at many only directories for tradespeople, looking at previous reviews from customers, examples of the work completed along with portfolios on their own social media and websites.
You can also see who they are accredited by and if they are a member of any recognised association or organisation. All of these things help you make an informed decision on a builder, but you should still take some stock in word of mouth.
If you have a friend or family member that has had good work carried out by a tradesman and they recommend them, it won't hurt to get a quote and do some research on them.