Pride in the Job
Best practice guides

Discover what it takes to win an award

A guide to the judging criteria and best practice

Our series of Best Practice Guides take you through what the Pride in the Job judges look for at each stage of construction and when considering the site manager’s overall organisation and management skills.

House building is always a team effort, but the calibre of the site manager has the most significant influence on the quality of the completed home. Winning site managers demonstrate incredible dedication, passion, commitment and leadership to produce homes of exceptional quality. The judges look for that spark of magic that turns a good site manager into a true great.

See what best practice looks like, exactly what the judges will be looking for, and what to avoid! You'll also find guidance on earning top marks in each section.


Ensuring the foundations to a new home are sturdy enough to transmit the loading safely to the ground is essential to the long- term durability of the home. Section 1 examines the three main aspects of this work.

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Substructure and drainage

This section covers the part of the home that connects the structure above ground to the foundations. Including walls, services, drains and the main ground floor - and all associated protection needed to prevent damp rising.

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This section covers all aspects of the superstructure build above ground. Structure, brickwork, blockwork, timber frame, weatherproofing and aesthetic finish are all considered here.

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This section covers the structural build of the roof and its ability to keep out the weather. In terraced properties, we also need to see evidence of appropriate measures taken to prevent the transmission of fire between dwellings.

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First fix operations

First fix This section covers those construction processes which would normally be available at this time. Bear in mind that many aspects of the quality of the home when it is finished are fixed at this stage – for example spacing of electric sockets and switches.

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Second fix

This examines the trades and finishes that will be seen by the homeowner. The neatness, squareness, levelness and general aesthetic finish are all considered. The overall effect of the finished home is what the new home owner will see and judge you by.

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Surface finishes

This section looks at aesthetic finish, much of this work can be affected by works undertaken at earlier stages. A site manager in full control will anticipate problems later on in the build and have solutions to hand.

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External works

This section covers the external features set off a new home. Whatever specification is used, it must be well presented and have a positive effect on the overall aesthetic finish of the new property.

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This final section covers the site manager’s skills and how they are influencing the quality of build by setting standards of workmanship and behaviour. Site discipline and good inter-trade co-operation is key for all site managers.

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