Building

Building comes in various shapes and forms.

Most commonly the term building is given to the building of homes or businesses. In our case we are interested in home building. Home building in London comprises of some key elements.


Bricklayers fall under the term general building. Brick layers are normally limited to red brick, breeze blocks construction, and concrete work. It is normal that a general builder can lay bricks, however he will not be anywhere near as quick as a specialist brick layer.

Carpentry has many elements of general building associated as part of the package. Roof trusses or staircases, as well as partition walls are all general builder jobs that also have a specialist trade known as a “chippy”. A “chippy” will often work with most trades on a building and then there are more specialisms within carpentry. An example being a roofing specialist or a sash window specialist. Both trades have roots from carpentry and almost all involved in either of those trades will be a carpenter, it is just a further specialism within the phrase general builder.

Electricians are not coined in the phrase general builder as the subject is considered far more specialist, much in the same way as a Corgi registered gas engineer. They are both part of a typical house build, however they only have small parts to play on a single build, whereas a general builder will see the project from start to finish. London builders normally form a gang. This gang will have various specialist trades within their group of builders. This way they are able to effectively refurbish or build from scratch without the worry of a job occurring that requires external help. External contractors are less favoured because they are typically more expensive than a builder as well as not offering any security or warranty on their work, which can become difficult for the main building contractor if he is in a position whereby the client has a complaint or query, he may not be in a position where he can competently answer. So although more expensive running costs are incurred by having multiple trades on a single job, the hope is overall costs and quality will be significantly improved.

In the event of sound proofing almost always an external contract will be called in because the specialism and knowledge is well beyond the range of a general builder. An example would be sash window sound proofing which can range from single to tripe glazing in order to achieve the desired reduction in noise on any specific build project. Another typical example would be the use of comprehensive draught proofing systems to reduce the amount of noise that can leak through the gaps in the windows. This leakage is actually more important than the glass selection since a gap is far less efficient at blocking noise than any single glazing. Typically a sash window will have gaps equating to around 6 inches and this is a major problem for sound insulation.