Tradespeople part 7: Local decorators

In the final part of 7 where we discuss the professionals you’ll need for a self-build, we talk about local decorators and what they’re responsible for.

local decorators

Local decorators are the ones who finish up the whole self-build process and make your new home look the part. Once everything’s been built, fitted and installed, a team of decorators and painters will come in and turn a building site into a home.

You’ll need to first ensure that all plasterwork is completely dry before local decorators are able to apply plaster sealer and a first coat of paint. They should be able to get straight to work according to how you want your self-build to look, as long as there aren’t too many stray nubs of plaster. However, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue providing you hired other reliable professionals to do all the work up until now.

Some floors and woodwork may need to be treated before anything is decorated, so ensure this is done before local decorators come in. They might be able to sort this out themselves. It won’t hurt to enquire.

How involved do I have to be with their work?

This is the part of your new home you need to be involved with the most, especially if you hired someone else to run your project for you up until this point. Until now you may not have been on site too much while construction was taking place, but if you want your home to look as you imagined it you’ll need to be very vocal with the decorating team. Otherwise they’ll have no direction.

You can hire someone to monitor all the work for you if you really want to, but it would probably be beneficial to you if you were personally involved. You don’t want to risk messing up at the last hurdle.

Where can I find local decorators and how much do I have to pay?

Just like with any other professional, you can search for them online on sites like However, you’ll get a more reliable guarantee of a job well done if you make sure to hire local decorators who are registered with the PDA (Painting and Decorating Association). You can type in your postcode and they will return all the local decorators available to you. They represent thousands of decorators and painters around the UK and only the most highly qualified and good value local decorators are associated with them.

In summary, the overall message is that you should do intensive research into every profession and make a list of your top three choices for each type of tradesperson you want to hire. Generally speaking, their fee should be representative of their knowledge and experience, but there are of course many rogue tradespeople around. Just check with any of the specific associations mentioned throughout the seven parts of this guide for tradespeople who are registered with a body who can guarantee the quality of their services.

And if you want to make sure that your self-build project is as energy efficient as possible, make sure to inform all your hired professionals before they start work so that they can implement the appropriate measures to make your self-build a green one.

Back to Tradespeople part 1: Groundworkers.

Image: Michael Cory

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