Now you know I have done some complaining in the past over builders but really Irish builders (and using my own area, West / Connacht) as an example, here’s why:
1. They can build from anything
A lot of my jobs involve complete drawing packings including structural and architectural details; complete specifications and schedules. Some however are for planning only. The Connacht Builder (CB) can build either way, I reckon you could whack out a quick sketch on the back of a cigarette packet and the CB could ‘knock it up’ no problem.
The downside of this is that the CB will tend to do things in the ways he has previously done them and not necessarily the way that you want them. This is where the CB and architect need to work closely to ensure the end result is what you are looking for.
2. The Connacht Builder can build solid
The CB has years of building experience behind him (at least the ones that are still in business have). They know how to build solidly to withstand the wind and rain from the West of Ireland. They may not know the most up to date building methods but the building will be strong and weatherproof.
The downside of this is that again the architect and contractor need to work closely together in order to build to today’s standards. The level of insulation and airtightness (I remember the ‘discussions’ with the CB over the years on this concept) are completely different even to a few years ago.
3. They’re an amiable bunch
By and large they’re a lovable bunch; I enjoy the relationship I have with most of the CB’s I work with – they’re open to discussing and resolving problems. It’s important however that the architect builds the trust & relationship and puts in effort over the design, detailing and construction of the building with the CB. Otherwise the CB will just carry on on his own building what he thinks it should look like (see 1).
Below is ‘Work in progress’ on current job on site at moment with YT and CB: