Clients Mark and Alison approached us in 2018 after purchasing a building plot in Surrey from an existing client of ours. Planning permission was already in place for a new dwelling, but as this was to be their forever family home, they wanted to make amendments to the design to suit their own needs.
They had chosen a 5-bedroom home of approximately 4500 sq. feet, with timber windows, stone cills, and handmade bricks and tiles. Several meetings took place to get the design where it needed to be, and once we had the go-ahead from the couple, we submitted a revised application to the local authority.
Planning was very straightforward and was granted approval relatively quickly.
The clients signed a contract in January 2019 – and this is where the fun began!
We hadn’t envisaged that the build would be stalled by the repercussions of a global coronavirus pandemic.
When Covid first hit, there was initial confusion around whether building merchants and construction sites could remain open. After what seemed like an age, we were given the advice that as long as our workforce were happy to work, we could continue with our schedule. Building recommenced, with all necessary precautionary measures being taken to protect staff and visitors.
The client chose a timber frame as their preferred construction method. In the initial stages of the project, we worked with engineers and architects who provided all the necessary plans and documentation to submit the Building Regulation application. We employ our own groundworkers, so once the foundations were complete, our own fully qualified carpenters began to erect the frame.
Each and every home that we build is bespoke, so Alison and Mark were able to choose everything they wanted. Although we have a preferred list of suppliers, the client can work with their own contacts; Alison and Mark went with most of our recommendations, but contracted their own kitchen company, who we happily liaised with to ensure this aspect of the work ran smoothly.
They chose their own windows, flooring, staircase, sanitaryware, tiling, and paint colours, and our team purchased these products on their behalf to secure favourable trade discounts.
As with many of our builds, we opted for Bereco timber windows throughout. These are sustainably sourced and manufactured to the highest standards in quality, performance and security.
Mark and Alison are a professional couple and lead busy lives with their family. Much to their delight, they were still able to carry on as usual throughout the project, with Benjamin Allen taking the stress out of their self-build.
At the height of the pandemic, regular phone meetings were held to discuss key decisions. These calls were vital in terms of keeping everyone in the loop.
With our help, Alison and Mark have created a home they can be immensely proud of. Here’s a summary of their experience with Benjamin Allen, in their own words:
“Allen, Michelle, Ben, Scott and Ross and the wider family have project managed and built a truly wonderful brand new forever home for us. They did so with the same care and attention as if it were a self-build for themselves. They were always patient to the fact we’d never attempted anything on this scale before. And all done in the midst of the pandemic. 6 months from completion too and the aftercare and support has been as exemplary as expected.”