Walter Harold Skidmore, 50, an area builder and contractor who had been a partner in the firm of S & Y Contractors since 1960, died Saturday at his home in Silver Spring after a heart attack.

Mr. Skidmore was born in West Virginia and came to Washington when he was 16 years old. He was a carpenter's helper and job superintendent with builder Thomas H. Ryan before forming his own firm with Barnard J. Young.

S & Y Contractors, with offices in Washington and McLean, has built houses, apartments, and office complexes throughout the metropolitan area during the past 20 years.

Mr. Skidmore served with the Army during the Korean conflict. He was a 1960 graduate of the West Virginia Institute of Technology.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Excoq Skidmore, a daughter, Lori Ann, and two sons, Thomas Harold and Scott Alfred Skidmore, all of Silver Spring; his father and stepmother, I.R. and Ruth Skidmore of Corley, W. Va.; three brothers, Theodore R., of Williamson, W. Va., Robert O., of Millersville, Md., and Jim G., of Charleston, W. Va., and five sisters, Edith Helmick of Willowick, Ohio, Helen Crane of Saraland, Ala., Betty Kniceley of Nitro, W. Va., Lorene Morton of Sutton, W. Va. and Karen Kniceley of Woodbridge.