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Hiring separate contractors

Another option is to hire different building companies to carry out the different pieces of work needed to build your house.

An example of this is the 'separate trades contract', where your architect is in charge of hiring each company and making sure the construction is running smoothly.

Not all architects will have experience doing this or want to do it. If this is the case you can hire a project manager, who'll manage the build for you.

Your architect or project manager will be in charge of:

  • hiring the different tradesperson who need to be involved
  • ordering materials
  • arranging water, electricity and gas connections
  • making sure lenders' surveyors and building control inspectors can carry out inspections

If you choose this option you'll have to pay your architect (or project manager) more than if you were hiring a single building company, but by hiring different contractors you'll usually save money.

Choosing a project manager

If your architect is going to handle your project you should be confident they'll do a good job for you, since they already know the house's design and requirements.

If you need a project manager instead, speak to several firms until you find one you feel you can trust and get along with.

Your project manager should:

  • have recognised qualifications in construction (like HND, BSc or MSc)
  • be experienced in managing builders, tradespersons and logistics
  • belong to a professional institution (like RIAS, RIBA, RICS, APM or ICE)
  • be local, with good knowledge of local builders and tradespersons
  • be able to visit the site regularly and meet tradespersons face-to-face

If you need help finding a project manager in your area, you can get advice from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, the Royal Institute of British Architects or the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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