To do for a living something that you truly love has often been described as the Holy Grail. Craftsman who take pleasure from what they create, always create something special and something worth significantly more than the sum of its parts. You can tell if a firm of builders have craftsman working for them by inspecting their past-work portfolio.

When inspecting a piece of building work, the assessment of quality is made up from a few different things. Material, cut, placement/fitting and finish.

The Material

The material used is of utmost importance. It doesn’t matter how good the craftsman is if the wrong material is used. This doesn’t automatically mean the most expensive material, you wouldn’t want to fit a solid gold heating system for example. It would look very fancy and cost tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds, but gold’s thermal properties would mean that you would have a very cold house indeed.

Choosing the best suited material is something that is the result of a conversation between the client, who may have a particular look or finish in mind, and the master builder who brings experience-forged knowledge and technical knowhow.

The Cut

This relates to any modification made to the material. Rough or wonky cut lines can damage your material and the finished article will look below standard, like a DIY misadventure. A firm, experienced hand is what you get with a craftsman – measure twice, cut once, cut sure.


It is all very well having the finest materials, cut to bespoke specifications by 30 years of experience but you also need it expertly fitted in place, using the right fixings to ensure it is sturdy, secure and that it functions correctly. You also need to be satisfied that the work conforms to building regulations (where required).

The Finish

At the end of a building project, be it just a new fitted wardrobe, a whole new kitchen installation, a three-story extension or a completely new construction, there is an expectation that the finish will be flawless. If it is below the expected standards then nobody is happy and nor should they be.

Advice to Consider

If your building project demands the highest of standards and a finish of unquestionable quality, you need to consider the ability and pedigree of any prospective builder. Carefully review their past work and where possible, read independent reviews. Take particular attention of comments about their professionalism as it is one thing to have building capability and an impressive website, but it means nothing without integrity and reliability.