How to Become a Freelance Builder

(3 minutes to read)

Working as a builder is certainly a job with a lot of variety as it can cover a range of different types of projects, from building an entire house from scratch to sorting out roads.

Here we take a look at everything you need to know when it comes to becoming a freelance builder.

What does a builder do?

As mentioned previously, the role of a builder covers many different areas, with the main ones being public and private housing, repair and maintenance, non-residential public property (i.e. hospitals and schools) and industrial and commercial.

Daily tasks will depend on experience and project type, but in general, a builder will carry out tasks such as:

  • Preparing and operating equipment and machinery
  • Insulating and soundproofing
  • Both putting up and dismantling scaffolding
  • Demolition
  • Helping out clients with planning processes, particularly when it comes to planning permission
  • Organising materials – working out the quantities and then managing when they need to be delivered and where
  • Providing quotes for projects

What qualifications and skills do I need to become a builder?

The apprenticeship route and learning on the job is the most common route to becoming a builder.

Applicants are usually required to have GCSEs in Maths, English Language/Literature and a technology subject (grades A-C), however, there are also other ways to enter an apprenticeship programme, such as having taken construction-based courses.

It’s probably best to approach firms and ask exactly what they require for you to join up.

In terms of skills, being able to work well in a team, having attention to detail, working well under pressure and being a good multitasker are all vital for becoming a builder.

Benefits of becoming a freelance builder

As with all self-employed professionals, there are a number of benefits to being your own boss, whether this is working as a sole trader or working through your own limited company.

Freelancers will often find that their income is much higher compared to those who are employed due to the fact that you can take on as many clients as you want at a time and you are able to claim back on business expenses, which can reduce your tax bill at the end of each year.

As well as these financial benefits, you’ll also have a great deal more freedom and flexibility than an employed worker – being able to choose when you work and the projects you want to take on.

For more information on what you can gain from becoming self-employed, read our page The Benefits of Contracting.

What do I need to know about the Construction Industry Scheme?

Everyone working in the construction sector will need to be aware of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and how it affects them.

CIS is a deduction scheme designed to put a stop to fraud and tax evasion within the construction industry by having a contractor withhold a certain percentage of a subcontractor’s pay and then paying it on to HMRC – this will then count as advanced payments toward the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance (NI).

All contractors within the industry need to register for CIS, and subcontractors can choose either way, but it works in their favour to register as it means less is withheld from their earnings.

If you’re not sure what CIS is or how it will affect you, you may find the following pages useful:

If you need any further help, or you’d like to sign up you can either contact us via our online chat, call one of our friendly experts on 01442 795 100 or email

You may also like to read

Why Dolan Accountancy?

With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With IR35 Legislation changes we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or