Sunday, 27 January 2013

In Praise Of Local Suffolk Tradesmen

Now that our project is almost over (bar the garden and the office) , it's time to reflect on the past six months and thank those who have made a big contribution. Organising a building project like this from a distance of over five hundred miles left us extremely vulnerable to poor workmanship as it was always going to be a few weeks before we saw the results of each step by which time the work was done. 

I'd like to start with decorator Gerald Clements. Gerald and his colleagues worked on the house on and off for almost two months. They decorated every room and every room has been beautifully decorated. Gerald paid great attention to detail; surface were always carefuul masked or otherwise protected before starting any room, at the end of every day things were tidied away, wet paint signs were always in place to warn the other tradespeople in the building and, when Marion and I asked for finickety little changes or retouches, they were carried out immediately without as much as a raised eyebrow. We were so pleased with Gerald's workmanship and his excellent wallpaper hanging that we have asked him to paint the exterior of the property as soon as the weather is suitable. I'm sure that he will never be short of work but if you are in the area and need a top quality painter and decorator this is a link to his website.

We wanted the house to be fully rewired and, in addition, set up with phone sockets and broadband network in most rooms. We used Trevor from M J Spink Ltd (pictured here with his dad Michael who also worked on the wiring). Trevor is another tradesman who pays meticulous attention to what he is doing. He sheeted up wherever he was working and didn't leave a trace of dust. The fact that there are twenty six LED spotlights in the kitchen/diner alone will give you an idea of the size of the job.

This was how the cupboard under the stairs looked when all the wiring was taken through to it.

And here's how it looks now after Trevor and Michael had finished (that loose telephone box cover is awaiting a part that's on order). I think you'll agree that's some mighty fine work. We're extremely pleased with all the electrical work and would be delighted to recommend MJ Spink Ltd of Saxstead Road - tel 01728723163

Another excellent tradesman was Dale from PE Gray Plumbing and Heating. Dale was camera shy but he and his father Paul completely refitted the plumbing and central heating system including new radiators, new boiler, Megaflow hot water system two new bathrooms and a WC. The work was carried out to a very high standard and, again, we are happy to recommend PE Gray Plumbing & Heating - tel 01728 602566

Last but by no means least there's Roger Mayhew of R P Mayhew Ltd (above right with architect Keith Frost of whom more in a future blog). Roger was the overall contractor repsonsible for the entire project and it is him that we must thank for employing all the people I have just written about. It was Roger who completed all the joinery and building work and it was he who had to employ labourers, plasterers wood burning stove fitters and just about anyone else who worked on the house. We put the work out to tender and all three tenders came very close in terms of price but, as soon as we met Roger, we were instantly impressed with his knowledge. He took us to visit a job that he was working on and the client couldn't speak highly enough of him which was no surprise as the work was extremely impressive. And that's how our project has turned out. Roger has shown amazing patience in dealing with a couple of fussy clients who have had to communicate by email (not his favourite) and has never failed to do what we have asked immediately and to a very high standard. He's always been bright, cheerful and immaculate both in himself and in his workmanship. If you are looking for a builder or a first class carpenter in this area you need look no further. Roger can be contacted on 01728 724529 .