Finding specialists and tradespeople

 

a plumber working on a piece of lead sheetingFor any work carried out on your building, you should employ an appropriate professional.

It is important to realise that heritage buildings are very different from modern buildings, and need to be treated in a way appropriate to their construction method and building materials.

not using the appropriate materials or methods can cause more significant problems in the future. Therefore, ensure that you employ someone with the right skills and experience.

Finding accredited people

It is worth bearing in mind that some of the specialist trades work across the UK, so they may not be local to you. There are online registers and associations of accredited professionals, consultants and trades people which you can search for suitable people to contact regarding your project.

Historic England: finding professional help for your older home

Building Conservation: annual publication and online database of suppliers and professional advisers

National Churches Trust: Professional Trades Directory

Architects and surveyors

For major building projects (and some minor projects at listed buildings) you will need to appoint an architect or building surveyor. Church of England churches must also be inspected by an architect or building surveyor every five years. You should contact your local DAC, who will help you choose from an approved list of architects in your area.

You can find accredited architects and building surveyors via their professional associations. Some denominations also give advice on finding and appointing an architect or surveyor.

Architects Accredited in Building Conservation: register of architects

RIBA's Conservation Accredited Architects: register of specialist conservation architects

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors: register of accredited surveyors

Church of England: list of links to Church of England diocesan advisory committees

Baptist Union of Great Britain: how to appoint an architect for five year inspections

Procurement and tendering

New rules regarding procurement and tendering can affect churches and architects were public money is funding more than 50% of the total project cost (this includes National Lottery funding). Other funders may also set their own rules regarding procurement and tendering.

However, guidance usually emphasises that skill and experience should be taken into consideration, so if your current architect or local tradesperson is demonstrably the best person to do the work they can be awarded the contract, even if their costs are slightly higher.

The Church of England has worked with English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund to produce a short guidance note on the interpretation of EU procurement rules. It is relevant to all places of worship, and can be found on the ChurchCare website.

Church of England: guidance note on procurement rules

Choosing your contractor

Most external funders will require you to compare at least three quotes for any work you will have done (especially if the cost will be over £5000).

In addition to comparing costs, you should also look at their previous work, request references and check their experience within the sector.

Churchbuild: top ten tips for choosing the right builder