Full service builder recommendations?

Hi everyone,

Has anyone had positive experience of using full service builders – who work out all the practicalities, do drawings and help with planning permission?

It’s for a major remodelling of an existing space, not an extension, so trying to work out whether better to use architects or builders for the practical stuff that precedes the building work.

Any thoughts/recommendations welcome!



  1. If youre remodelling an existing space its unlikely you’ll need planning permission unless you change the exterior appearance significantly. You may need building regs if youre doing stuff like electrical rewiring. You will also require freeholder approval if you dont own the freehold and may require a party wall survey if youre doing anything that significantly affects the party wall.

    It takes a bit of self education but finding out about these things in your own time should save you a lot of money over employing an ‘all in one’ firm. Most competent builders will know people that can do the architectural/ engineering/ party wall work for you anyway. I can provide a name or two if you like.

  2. Thanks @GavinRedknap – very helpful. I think in the end we’re going to go for an architect + small scale local builder combo, which I think will achieve best balance of design/finish/competent project management and cost.

  3. In the end I decided to go with an architect and will be using specialists for some key parts of the job. But I am still looking for a reliable, sensibly priced, quality finishing builder. I’d be really grateful if anyone has any recommendations of builders they’ve used that fit the bill. Thanks very much!

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