At the Federation of Master Builders, we see the great work our builders do both within their own companies and within the community every day. Once every two years, we come together to celebrate some of the great work that our members do with the FMB’s Master Builder Awards.

Awards are given for the best projects, but a special award is given to the Heavenly Builder of the Year – to one builder who has made a difference to people’s lives.

This September, the 2023 Heavenly Builder of the Year award has been given to Chris Shaw of Stockport-based FMB member, T D G Contracts Ltd, who came to the assistance of a family going through a huge time of upheaval.

Outgrowing their home

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T D G Contracts Ltd’s youngest apprentice.

When Chris came into the family's lives, they had recently suffered from the unexpected death of their younger sister, and had taken their three-year-old nephew into their care. However, their home didn’t offer them the space they needed to accommodate their suddenly expanded family, and it wasn’t suitable for their young nephew, who has complex needs.

They needed to find a solution, fast.

Which is where Chris and T D G Contracts Ltd came in. They turned to the family-run contractors for a quote to extend their home, being upfront about their budget. Unfortunately, the amount they had available fell short of what was needed. Chris could have simply walked away from the project, but after listening to their story, he knew he had to help.

He drew up a plan to build them an extension that would give them extra space without busting their budget. He knew it could be achievable and had a few tricks up his sleeves...

The building community comes together

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Working on their award-winning extension, to add a much-needed new bedroom for a young lad.

Drawing on the building community, Chris reached out on social media, putting out a shout for tradespeople who could give their time and resources to the project. The family was impressed with his creative thinking and with the response from the building community: ‘Thanks to the reach of social media, we had skilled tradesmen coming to give their services from all over the country, one bricklayer travelled to us from Kent, an electrician from Wales.’

The plan was to build a small extension to the side of the house, creating an extra bedroom with ensuite. The team would also decorate and carpet the new room and landscape a paved outdoor area – to make the garden more useable and safer for the little boy. The project was completed with all aspects being taken care of by Chris, his team, and an army of volunteers.

‘This project has been much discussed in our neighbourhood and local area, everyone being so impressed by the standard of the work carried out and the highly considerate and respectful way it was done. I believe this is all down to Chris. His standards, beliefs, and work ethic shone through his workforce, and also the tradesmen he engaged.' The owners added that the team delivered ‘a superb extension that fully meets our needs now that we have this special little boy in our family.’

‘Our gratitude goes beyond words.’

‘I just think it’s one of those stories that brings a tear to my eye, but reinforces my belief in human nature as being a good thing… I think Chris should be most proud of the fact that he’s just a good bloke.’”

Mark Garnier MP, 2023 Master Builder Awards Judge

‘The real standout thing about Chris, is that even without the budget, he went beyond. He expanded the project scope to include a paved area and to make the garden secure for the family and that was very much appreciated.’”

Paula Higgins, HomeOwners Alliance CEO, 2023 Master Builder Awards Judge