Refurbishing or restoring a property? Make sure your contractor has the skills and experience they need to do the job.

Finding a refurbishment and restoration contractor who specialises in the type of work you need can be challenging. This guide will explain the basics so you can choose with confidence.

What kinds of work can a refurbishment and restoration contractor perform?


A restoration and refurbishment contractor should be able to tackle just about anything that a property may need to increase its value. That might be adding an extension, but it might also be cleaning the stone or brick surfaces, repointing, painting (and paint removal), joinery, masonry and plaster work. As a contractor, they should be able to bring in specialist subcontractors to handle just about anything you might need done.

Using a ‘normal’, non-specialist builder


If the house is a fairly typical example, you probably won’t need a restoration or renovation specialist. Nearly any builder can handle a renovation project on, say, a home built in the 1980s. If you have a builder in mind, ask them if they feel qualified to take on the work. If they aren’t certain, get a few specialist quotes, just in case.

Specialist refurbishment and restoration contractors


There are many different kinds of buildings, and some require specialists for even light refurbishment and restoration work. Examples of buildings or jobs that demand an expert include:

  • Listed or historic buildings

These properties require an expert form beginning to end. They should be familiar with both traditional and modern building methods, and be able to employ either (or both) as the situation demands.

  • Stone buildings

If you need to restore or renovate a traditional stone building – perhaps a church, a ‘stately home’ or even a castle, you’ll need an expert stone mason. Having one as your primary contractor is important in this case.

  • Specific types of work

Some contractors boast a specialty on one type of refurbishment in addition to their more general focus. They may specialise in adding underground rooms to crowded city properties or in improving gardens and outdoor spaces as well as the building itself. If you are having something specific done, it can’t hurt to get an expert on board early in the process.

One last bit of advice – shop around when choosing a restoration contractor. There are a great many to choose from, but that means there are a great many ‘cowboys’ out there too. Makes sure they are a member in good standing of the Federation of Master Builders, and make sure they have a good reputation amongst their peers. This is a major investment you are making. Be certain it is well-spent!

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