Inspiration and advice for your building project
Many self-builders – perhaps even a majority, and especially those on a low budget – choose to build using subcontractors.
In some ways this is like learning to swim in the deep end: choosing to build without the backup of a builder and taking on a project that in most cases is way outside their normal life experience. Most are successful. Most experience a very steep learning curve that involves mistakes, delays and misunderstandings on site, which the repeat self-builder will make certain never happen again.
Learning the sequence of events on a building site is invaluable. Learning what each trade does and where their responsibilities begin and end is vital. And learning that the critical path in building can so easily be thrown off course – and how to get it back on track again – is essential.
Listing the tasks of each trade is one thing. But all but a very few overlap to some degree and it’s important to understand the grey areas between, which can be the responsibility of a builder but which, in their absence, often falls to the self-builder.
Bricklayers are invariably labour only, supplying only their own hand tools. All materials and especially the sand of their choice must be ready on site together with: water in a butt, a mixer, spot boards to put the mortar on and scaffolding — preferably hire and erect. If they’re not building joinery straight in, they’ll need profiles.
If they’re laying the foundation blocks they’ll need to be on site at the end of the first week.
Around £145 per day per bricklayer, plus £90 for a labourer. Bricklayers often quote per 1,000 laid bricks — often around £350-400, or £10-12/m².