Choosing a good builder

Start with referrals

If possible, start by getting a referral from family or friends who have recently had work done.
Ask for help from respected trade bodies

Contact your local builders association and ask for a list of registered members. The National Federation of Builders has 14 offices around the country which can provide you with a list of registered builders in your area.
Obtain estimates

Ask two or three builders for estimates in writing. Ask them to confirm whether there is any planning permission required for the work.
Ask for references and check them

Ask each builder for two or three references from previous customers. Contact these people and find out how happy they were with the work carried and the builder’s conduct. If possible go and view some of the work.
Find out if the builder belongs to a respected trade body

Ensure the builder belongs to a respected trade organisation as it will have membership standards and requirements. Don’t forget to make a call to make sure membership is current.
Agree the work and put it in writing

You should make an agreement or contract in writing with your builder. It should outline the work to be done, date of completion, security and safety, catering and lavatory arrangements, disposal of waste materials, hours of working and so on.

Ask to see the builder’s public liability insurance certificate. Also, the building work may affect your home and contents insurance – contact your own insurance company.
Deposits and Payment

Deposits are usually only payable where specific or custom-made materials are required or where the project will take a long time to complete. Otherwise, avoid paying deposits, and agree any payment schedule in writing.
Beware the VAT-free ‘deal’

A VAT-free deal means one of two things. Either the builder does not do more than £47,000 worth of business per annum, or alternatively he is avoiding his legal tax liabilities. You need to ask yourself – Is this builder large enough to be able to complete my work, Will he be around if any of the work requires repair?, How can I have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment?

Repairing a concrete floor

Repairing a concrete floor

Clean out the small depressions and cracks to be filled with a club hammer and chisel. Beware of flying chippings. Use a trowel to fill in the depressions with mortar and to level off to provide a suitable surface for the tiles.

concrete floor metal mesh

Filling cracks and hollows

If you have a concrete floor which is flat, dry and level you can go ahead and lay tiles without further preparation. Often, however, the floor is not level or there are cracks and small hollows on the surface. Indentations should be filled with mortar (a 3:1 sand:cement mix is suitable) mixed to a creamy but not too runny consistency. For mortar with a good bond add some PVA bonding solution to the mix. Cut back the holes to a clean shape and brush out any loose material so it doesn’t mix in with the mortar making it difficult to get a smooth surface. You can also coat the holes with a PVA bonding solution to help the mortar adhere.

Fixings in solid walls

Fixings in solid walls

Drill a hole, insert a wall plug, and then drive the screw into that. As the screw penetrates, the plug expands and presses against the sides of the hole. So long as you don’t overtighten it (in which case the screw thread will destroy the plug) the screw will then be very firmly embedded indeed. You must, though, ensure that the plug expands in solid masonry, rather than in the plaster coating, or in any mortar joins.

Standard wall plugs

Made from plastic,these give a stronger fixing than strip plugs. Designs vary, but all have slits or opening jaws to increase the degree to which the plug can expand, as well as fins and barbs to increase grip. The other advantage of this sort of plug, is that, with most brands, one size of plug can take several sizes of screw, without reducing the fixings strength.
wall plug plastic

A special version of the standard plug for fitting structural timbers like door frames. It has its own, built-in brass screw.
frame wall plug screw

Strip plastic plugs
Similar to fibre plugs, these are sold in 300mm (12in) lengths so you can cut off just the amount you need. Again, you must match the size of plug and the hole to take it, with the size of screw, and to help you the plug sizes are colour coded. White is for screw gauges 4 and 6 and needs a hole drilled with a No 8 masonry bit; red is for gauges 6 and 8 and needs a No 10 bit; green is for gauges 8,10, and 12, and needs a No 12 bit; and blue is for gauges 10, 12, and 14, and needs a No 16 bit.

Driveway builders in London

London Patio and Driveways builders

Block Paving, Indian Sandstone, Cobble Sets,Shingle Driveways, Slab Laying, Crazy Paving,Decking,New Lawns,Landscaping,Fencing, Walls

Planning legislation for Patios and Driveways, Building Regulations

Department of Communities and Local Government, guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens.

“On 1 October 2008, the Government introduced changes to the General Permitted Development Order, making the hard surfacing of more than five square metres of domestic front gardens permitted development only where the surface in question is rendered permeable. Use of traditional materials, such as impermeable concrete, where there was no facility in place to ensure permeability, requires an application for planning permission.”

“Planning permission is now required to lay traditional impermeable driveways that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater onto the roads because this can contribute to flooding and pollution of watercourses.”

Planning permission NOT required

If the area of hard surface is constructed using a permeable product there is no limit to size in this case.
Standard impermeable paving can be used if provision is made for rainwater from traditional impermeable hard landscaping to drain into a soft landscape such as grass or border planting with sufficient permeability, or into a specially constructed soakaway.
If the area of hard surface intended is less than 5 square metres.
The new legislation only affects front garden areas.
Elsewhere around the house there are no restrictions on hard surfaces at or near ground level.

Planning permission IS required.

If rainwater from the impermeable hard surface at ground level has nowhere to run other than into the household drainage system or on to the public highway.
If the property intended for work is a listed building.
Conservation areas, World Heritage sites, National Parks and Areas of outstanding natural beauty may have some restricted permitted development rights for householders. Better to enquire in advance in such circumstances.

It is the homeowners’ responsibility to apply for planning permission. Marshalls and Brett have a wide range of products both permeable and impermeable. Both types, with expert installation, will avoid the need for planning permission for most front gardens.

Office Refurbishment builders in Barnet

Office Refurbishment builders in Barnet

Building contractors Barnet

Household & Commercial Refurbishments
Extension Building
New Build
Kitchen & Bathrooms
Brickwork & Stonework
Masonry Renovation
Carpentry & Joinery
Flooring & Tiling
Painting & Decorating
Plumbing & Heating Installation
Electrical, Fixtures, Fittings, & Light Design
Partitions & Plastering
Loft Conversions
House Division & Flat Conversions
Design & Plan Drawings
Gas & Central Heating
Landscaping & Remodelling
Handy Man & Labour Supply

Barnet Builders

Builders in Barnet,London

Experienced and Qualified
Quality, Personal Service
Prompt, Reliable Service
Clean, Tidy
Specialists in House Extensions
Specialists in Loft Conversions
Robuild Barnet Builders Covers North London Area

Converting your loft into another room? Do you need a specialist to undertake some property maintenance work?


Our building services include: Refurbishments, Renovations, Extensions, Loft conversions, Kitchens, bathrooms, Building maintenance, Roofing, Roof repairs, maintenance, Painting and decorating, Wallpapering,Carpentry, Plastering, Tiling,Plumbing, Central heating, Electrics