In 1962 Alistair went into partnership with his best builder, Peter Hellemons. He talks about what this meant to him in his autobiography, A Middle Class Man.
"I made my best builder, Peter Hellemons, my partner in a new building company; this left me free to get on with planning. Except for the last few months, the combined activity had been so complicated that I found it nearly impossible to do anything with sufficiently detailed accuracy. I was always so far behind with my accounting. I could succeed at either planning or building; it was combining the two that was difficult. The money I made from planning was swallowed up in the building costs. The whole process of dealing with the clients - from conceptual thoughts about designing a building to the placing of every screw and nail and the settling of every account - was so stretched out that it was almost impossible. Even the best clients would occasionally phone up years later expecting something to be done, for friendship's sake, that was beyond the bounds of sanity."