Construction Trades

The success of a construction project very rarely lies in the skill of one individual. To complete any building structure to a set quality standard, on time and within budget, numerous tradesmen must work together as a larger team. Each construction trade brings its own skills and knowledge to a project. The primary roles on a building site include: demolition experts, bricklayers, dry liners, carpenters, partitioners, roofers, electricians, plasterers, painters, joiners, welders, tilers, plumbers, glaziers and hard landscapers. Each of these teams will be needed on-site at different times and for different periods of time. Therefore, it’s also essential to appoint a construction project manager who ensures timely introduction of the right trades at the right times so as not to delay progress on a project. A building surveyor will monitor quality and safety of building work on site. Other tradesmen necessary on other types of site may include boilermakers, dredgers, linemen, scaffolders, heavy equipment operators, pipe fitters, sheet metal workers and so on. Many tradesmen will also have labourers, often in training for the trade in question.

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  1. Boilermakers
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    Boilermakers construct, install and maintain boilers, closed vats and other large vessels that hold liquids and gases in the construction and manufacturing industries. They are responsible for ensuring vessels are correctly assembled, inspected and maintained in good working order.

  2. Bricklayers
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    Bricklayers build and repair walls and other brick or block structures, guided by construction plans. They may work on domestic, commercial, industrial or infrastructure building projects; and may be involved in the construction of the building in question from laying foundations to topping out.

  3. Carpenters and Framemakers
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    Carpenters and framemakers construct the roofs, floors and timber frames of buildings during the first fix phase of a project. They return at a later date, once plastering has been done, to add finishes such as skirting boards, architraves and doors.

  4. Demolition Contractors
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    Demolition contractors specialise in the deconstruction of buildings and structures, ranging from residential properties to factories, hospitals and bridges. Leading firms in the sector may be members of, and accredited by, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors.

  5. Dredger
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    A dredger removes unwanted sediments underwater either mechanically by means of a large-scale shovel or bucket; or hydraulically. Dredging is necessary to clear bodies of water for construction, but must be done with extreme care to avoid negative environmental impacts.

  6. Drilling and Boring Contractors
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    Drilling and boring contractors create tunnel-like cavities through which power lines, water pipes and so on can be installed without the need to disturb land at ground level. This process is called directional boring. It can save contractors inconvenience, reduce safety issues and minimise the impact on the environment.

  7. Electrical Contractors
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    Electrical contractors supply electricians to work on large-scale electrical systems. These services may be classified as outside (from power station to properties); inside (to structures within a property boundary); or integrated (efficient supply of all electrical services within an individual building). Approved contractors offer guarantees for work carried out.

  8. Fire Protection Contractors
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    Fire protection contractors can be employed within the construction industry to advise on and implement fire protection and prevention strategies to reduce risk and potential loss of life and property in the event of a fire. Construction firms are advised to build passive fire protection into any new-build.

  9. General Builders
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    General builders are employed in the erection or construction of buildings and structures of all types, from private residences to office blocks and public buildings. They will usually work to a plan drawn up by an architect. They may also conduct repairs or maintenance to existing buildings.

  10. Glazing Contractors
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    Glazing contractors advise on and fit glazing to new and existing buildings, often on a subcontractor basis. They may also conduct repair and maintenance on an ongoing basis. Glaziers can offer specialist solutions for particular issues such as fire and blast resistant glazing where appropriate.

  11. Groundwork Contractors
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    Groundwork contractors prepare construction sites for new buildings and other structures. As well as site clearance, they install access for materials and equipment; and lay drainage and pipework for utilities while the work is in progress. The groundwork contractor returns at the end of the project to install permanent access routes.

  12. Landscaping Contractors
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    Any business or organisation with external grounds will benefit from the services of landscaping contractors to design and maintain its outdoor landscaping. As well as practical horticultural considerations, outdoor landscaping must take into account public safety and environmental sustainability.

  13. Linemen
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    Linemen work outdoors on electricity distribution services, installing, maintaining and repairing the high voltage power lines that conduct electricity from power plants to the end users. They may also be involved in cabling work for telecommunications, fibre optics and cable services.

  14. Painters and Decorators
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    Painters and decorators prepare surfaces and apply paint and other specialist finishes to newly completed buildings or redecorate existing ones. They may work on privately owned houses or take on larger contracts within the construction industry on newly built housing estates or commercial properties.

  15. Pipefitters
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    Pipefitters install, assemble, repair and maintain pipework that carries liquids or gases at high pressures in industrial, commercial and marine environments such as power stations, refineries, factories and offshore rigs. Precision and skill is required in joining sections of pipework together.

  16. Plasterers
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    Plasterers apply plaster to surfaces internally within a building in preparation for decorating or to protect the exterior of a building. They may create three-dimensional decorative detail such as architraves and cornices. Contract plasterers work in a range of settings from housing to commercial developments and public buildings.

  17. Plumbers
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    Plumbers install, service and repair heating, water and sanitation systems in homes, businesses and other commercial settings. Plumbing contractors carry out a wider range of services than plumbers and can be employed on a contract basis in the construction and engineering industries.

  18. Roofing Contractors
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    Roofing contractors specialise in roof construction, repair or replacement. Their role is to apply suitable materials to ensure the building below is watertight and weatherproof. They may work with a range of materials, including metal, shingles and asphalt. Commercial roofing is generally more labour intensive due to the size of buildings and the pitch of the roof.

  19. Safety Managers
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    Safety managers are responsible for ensuring that employers and workers are aware of and comply with all relevant health and safety legislation. They work to reduce the incidence of accidents, injury and health problems in the workplace by inspecting work conditions, advising and developing health and safety related policies and procedures.

  20. Scaffolding Contractors
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    Scaffolding requires a big investment, which is why many construction companies opt to use contractors to provide equipment as well as install. Scaffolding contractors are often hired by those in the field of construction, building, and civil engineering. They provide materials and skill to support workers and materials during the construction, repair or maintenance of bridges, buildings and other structures.

  21. Security System Contractors
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    Security system contractors design, install and maintain security systems to deter or detect intruders and to limit access to buildings and sites. The contractor will work with the client to identify and install appropriate solutions to security risks and will maintain systems routinely thereafter.

  22. Site Managers
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    Site managers oversee daily activity on construction sites, ensuring materials are available at the right time. They act as liaison between construction workers, architects and other professionals and clients; and must monitor the progress of the project to ensure it is delivered in time, to budget, safely and to the right standards of quality.

  23. Steel Erectors
    - 1 Supplier 6 Services

    Steel erectors work in the construction and engineering industries, installing and securing the prefabricated steel girders that make up the framework for a new building or structure. Joints are welded or bolted together and the whole is constructed with regard to plans drawn up by a design engineer.

  24. Stonemasons
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    Stonemasons carry out specialist carving and fitting of blocks of stone, as distinct from bricklayers. Stonemasonry is used to repair older buildings that have fallen into disrepair and also to add features of architectural interest and decorative detail to newer buildings.

  25. Other
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    Other products that didn't quite fit into any of the above categories.