Wondering who to hire for your home adaptations?

A home adaptations specialist or a general builder? Find out the pros and cons of each below.

What Is A Home Adaptations Specialist?

Builders with specialised knowledge of a certain aspect of the trade are considered home adaptation experts. There are all sorts of home adaptations specialist builders, from extension builders to bathroom fitters.

Home adaptation specialists know all about the different adaptations a home needs to make it safe and comfortable. Their extensive knowledge and unrivalled expertise are varied because accessibility covers such a broad range of factors, such as:

  • Adaptations made specifically for mobility issues
  • Alzheimers-related changes
  • Modifications made for individuals coming home from the hospital.

The John Ford Group specialises in the adaptation of houses to make them easier to live in for people with reduced mobility. We have 14 years of experience behind us and employ an incredible workforce of managers, skilled tradesmen and fitters.

From large-scale house extensions to grab rails and shower seats, we know first-hand the difference adaptations can make to people and their families. Managing Director John’s mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was a young boy. He watched how some basic adaptations transformed her quality of life and experienced the same magic of independent living with his Dad many years later.

Home Adaptation Specialist Builders2

The Pros Of Hiring A Home Adaptations Specialist

When you hire a contractor who knows what they’re doing, here’s what you’ll get.

Specialist Knowledge

A home adaptations specialist builder will be able to listen to your needs and know which adaptations will work best. They have so many years of adaptations behind them that they’re also likely to be able to suggest things you might not have considered. 


Home adaptation builders know the trade inside out. They will have extensive experience installing all the necessary adaptations, demonstrating complete competency and working quickly but safely, with minimal disruption to your home. 

This also means you can ask to see working examples to get a better feel for how an adaptation will look and work in your home.


Choosing to be a specialist in this field can be personal. Many home adaptations specialist builders have experience supporting and helping those requiring adaptations, so often have an intrinsic understanding of the emotions involved in the process. 


Home adaptations specialist builders employ a sensitive understanding of what it’s like to work with older clients or clients who may feel anxious about having tradespeople in their homes.

Our team has undertaken training on how to interact with vulnerable individuals to minimise the impact of the changes on such clients. 

More Options

A professional home adaptations specialist company that has been transforming lives for years will have accrued access to more product and fitting options, meaning the customer can enjoy a wider choice of styles. 

Included Project Manager

Adaptation projects can involve many trades and complex timescales with things needing to happen in a strict order. A home adaptations specialist builder will manage this important aspect of your project so that things happen smoothly, in plenty of time and without disruption.

The Cons Of Hiring A Home Adaptations Specialist

When you contract a professional to carry out changes on your property, there are a few things to consider.


The price of bringing in a specialist contractor may well be higher than opting for a builder, and for good reason. Home adaptations specialist builders’ costs reflect their level of professionalism and expertise. 

Finding One

Contractors who specialise in home adaptations are not as common as general builders, and this means you might find it tricky to find one close enough to where you live. 


Because they aren’t as commonplace as standard building companies, if you do find a home adaptations specialist who can cover your area, their waiting time might be much longer. 

What Is A General Builder?

A builder, or construction worker, carries out building, maintenance, repair and renovation work. They might work on projects such as building extensions or properties, renovating homes or working on commercial sites. 

A competent builder will have the skills necessary to operate a variety of equipment and tools, and the knowledge to complete projects, bringing in other contractors if necessary to get the job done. 

The Pros Of Using A General Builder For Home Adaptations

Some benefits come with opting for a general builder.


There are a lot of factors at play, but choosing a general builder for accessibility changes in your home could work out cheaper.


There are vastly more general builders out there than specialist home adaptation contractors. And that means that you’re more likely to find one who can get the job done without you having to sit on a waiting list. 

Broader Offer

General builders may be able to offer scope for a wider range of services, like driveways and conservatories. This may not matter for many individuals, but for those making huge changes to a property, employing one contractor to do everything may make sense. 


Many families and individuals return to the same handyman or builder when new jobs and projects arise that need input. You may have a history with a builder already and choose to use them because of this. 

The Cons Of Using A General Builder

Now, let’s consider why a general builder may not be the right choice.

Lack Of Experience

General builders don’t have years of adaptations under their belt, so they might have to use ‘best guesses’ based on skills and knowledge they do have. 

Without this crucial understanding, you might find that some aspects of a project need to be redone later down the line. 


With a lack of knowledge at play, your adaptation project is likely to take much longer to complete because the contractor is not familiar with the work involved. And when the days keep passing, you’re subject to delays and further costs.

Narrower Range

Generic builders are far less likely to have access to and good relationships with specialist suppliers, meaning you will have fewer options for products like grab rails, shower screens and accessible taps.

Limited Skills

Builders tend to have a wide range of building skills, but when a project requires multiple specialist trades, you are likely going to need to source additional contractors. And that means you become the project manager, placing a significant time and stress burden on your shoulders.

Get Your Home Adaptations Right First Time

A home adaptations specialist may be trickier to find and pull the purse strings a bit harder. But they will work faster, have access to everything your project needs, and may be more aware and conscientious of those who need extra sensitivity. 

Bringing in a general builder might be cheap. However, you run the risk of their lack of specific adaptation knowledge, costing you more time and money in the long run. 

Are you thinking of adapting a property? Overwhelmed with the options and unsure where to start with the project? We could be what you’re looking for. Visit our website to find out more about what the John Ford Group does.