The best builders in Britain, from Country Life’s secret address book

Whether you are embarking on a new build or painstakingly restoring a landmark, here is our selection of craftsmen with excellent foundations.

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Established in the design and manufacture of country house joinery, this Somerset-based firm has a keen interest in how best to delicately renovate period homes for modern families. Home spaces and kitchens are its forte, with recent projects including a Grade I listed Jacobean manor and a castle on the Isle of Wight.

01934 745270;

Kitchen Artichoke.

Arturius Faber

Based in Yeovil, Somerset, the family-run British natural stone specialist manufactures indoor tile flooring, paving and architectural detailing. All products are custom made, created and made from scratch in the company’s workshops, often with stone from their own quarry. Projects include Georgian townhouses and country estates, as well as important historic buildings.

01935 847333;

Oak carpenter

This respected specialist has been designing and building timber frame buildings since 1987, and his portfolio spans commercial and public projects such as the oak arbor, larch trellis and 22 oak pews for Britain’s Normandy Memorial, officially open in 2021, to residences. oak frame new buildings, cottages and extensions.

01803 732900;

Distinctive rustic furniture

Owner Brian Purnell has over 35 years of experience in antique style handcrafted furniture and architectural joinery, as well as experience in 16th, 17th and 18th century interiors. His firm can deal with oak panelling, staircases and fireplaces, as well as complete libraries and wine cellars.

01935 825800;


This bespoke luxury wardrobe company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year by recently expanding its manufacturing facility in Halstock, Somerset. Renowned for its attention to detail and first-class craftsmanship, the firm offers a full range of interior furniture and joinery services, including design, fabrication and installation.

Its employees have over 500 years of joinery experience, including designers, project managers, tilers, polishers and assemblers. With projects in the UK and abroad, now including Portugal and the south of France, Halstock is particularly known for its custom built-in furniture for kitchens, wine cellars, libraries, offices, home theaters and walk-in closets.

Sister company Little Halstock, located five miles down the road, makes freestanding items such as dining tables, luxury safes and jewelry boxes.

01935 891762;

First-class craftsmanship and attention to detail are the hallmarks of Halstock, a Somerset-based luxury bespoke cabinetmaker. Exton Park Vineyard; designer: Dunning and Everard. Photo courtesy of photographer Brent Darby.

Locker and Riley

Specializing in stucco work from design to installation, this family-run firm recently restored lime plaster at the Buxton Crescent Thermal Spa in Derbyshire, which was built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire in the 1780s.

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01245 322022;


This award-winning firm creates oak frame houses and outbuildings, garden sheds and garages. It uses renewable green oak and can provide energy efficiency recommendations. In 2018, the company built the UK’s first oak-framed passive house using its own weatherproof panels.

01432 353353;

Prime Oak

Market leader in the manufacture and construction of timber-framed garden rooms, conservatories and outhouses in the UK, Prime Oak also manufactures timber-framed garages and stables from sustainably air-dried oak in its own yards.

01384 296611;

R. Molding & Co

The two directors of this family-owned construction company, Bill and Tim Molding, are members of the family that founded the business, which turns 225 next year. The firm specializes in construction, restoration, maintenance and landscaping, operating within a 50 mile radius of their home in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

01722 742228;

The restoration of the 17th century Mawarden Court in Wiltshire was meticulously carried out by Salisbury builders R. Molding & Co.

RV Armstrong

This Hampshire family developer was founded in 1957. He specializes in the renovation and renovation of country houses and listed buildings, as well as the construction of new custom homes, both modern and traditional. The company also offers bespoke joinery services.

01256 850177;

Rose of Jericho

Known for producing and supplying traditional paints and lime mortars, this team from Dorset knows little about the materials used in the conservation, renovation and decoration of traditional and historic buildings. The firm can also provide advice and materials tailored to the needs of individual projects.

01935 83676;

Stephensons of Norwich

From decorative ballroom gypsum ceiling to handmade cornices and ceiling rosettes, Stevensons of Norwich is considered an expert in the creation, installation and restoration of all types of gypsum stucco. The firm, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, recently restored the original Georgian and neoclassical architectural elements of the Theater Royal Drury Lane, W1.

01603 400824;

Stuart Interiors

This family-owned joinery business, founded over 40 years ago, can produce traditional wood paneling, ceilings, doors, stairs and furniture. The company also offers historical research and advisory services, as well as expert advice on period details.

01935 826659;

V.G. Carter

Specializing primarily in the restoration and refurbishment of country and town homes, half of which are listed, this full-service company operates in Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and surrounding counties. Two members of the family continue to work for the company, founded by William George Carter in 1947, just 50 yards from where it is now.

01865 864626;

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