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31st January 2014 / posted by MarekHallmann

It Was A Very Good Year



2013 was a truly amazing year for Oakwrights Country Buildings division. For the first time ever we sold and produced more than 100 projects through the one calendar year. All over the United Kingdom (and beyond) we completed a whole range of small projects (1-2), standards (3-7) and onto the very complicated and bespoke (7-12). We were hit somewhat at the end of the year when one of our Project Managers, Kim Jack, returned to his homeland of South Africa. It was big loss for the company but a great gain for South Africa: all the best to Kim and his family. To maintain our very high standards and improve on the high-quality bespoke oak outbuildings products, we had to reorganise Oakwrights Country Buildings (a little).

Here is a little introduction from each member of the team starting with Katie, the lady whose responsibility it is to take over from where Kim left off:

Katie Archer

I’m one of the Project Managers here at Oakwrights Country Buildings. I’m the newest member of the team, joining at the beginning of December. My role is to be the main point of contact for you, the client. I ensure the smooth running of every aspect of your project, from the ordering of all the materials to the arranging of transport and our site teams. My background is in customer service and I get great enjoyment focusing on the client’s needs. For me, my job is about taking any stress and pressure away from you in terms of your project. Ensuring that everything is right first time and making sure that you are very much satisfied and happy with your finished building and the service you received.

Away from work, I have a great interest in Interior Design and Home Renovation and I am currently on the lookout for a run-down property that I can turn around. At the minute, for inspiration whilst I’m on the lookout, I am reading a wonderful book by Kelly Hoppen, called ‘Creating A Home for the Way You Live’.


1 - Lancashire


2 - Essex


3 - Hampshire

Pete Cianchi

Originally from a mechanical engineering background, I joined Oakwrights as a Project Manager in November 2006. During the last seven years Oakwrights Country Buildings has grown significantly, not only in the the range and styles of timber outbuildings we offer and produce, but also team size and turnover. For the last four years, I have worked part time at Oakwrights and part time on the family farming enterprise – Emma’s Pigs.

We have finally obtained planning permission to build a new farmhouse on our smallholding, which we will start this year. This will be a self-build oak framed house (naturally) from the Oakwrights Woodhouse range. A blog following our progress will follow in due course.


4 - Kent

West Sussex

5 - West Sussex

Phil Butler

I am the estimator for Oakwrights Country Buildings. I too only recently joined, bringing with me a sound estimating knowledge gained within the steel frame industry. This helped greatly with the transition to oak frames, as there are many similarities between the two in the methods adopted for estimating, detailing, fabrication, and erection. Working closely with prospective clients, the sales team and other members of the team, my role is to produce an efficient estimating service in what is a fast moving environment where no two buildings are the same.

Away from work I enjoy running & walking or just simply relaxing on my allotment.


6 & 7 - Worcestershire


8 - Holland

Jo Young

Originally from Scotland I found myself in Hereford four years ago as a trainee designer with Oakwrights. Before coming to Hereford, I studied Architectural Technology at Sheffield Hallam University.

Whilst doing my training with Oakwrights, I was approached by Marek and asked if I would like to hop over to Country Buildings.

For a couple of years I spent my time working between the two design elements of Houses and Outbuildings. But now I have moved completely to Outbuildings, concentrating on building this part of the business with the rest of the team.

Most weekends I volunteer for the Herefordshire and Gloucester Canal Trust, which usually means getting mucky while attempting to tidy up the Over Basin at Gloucester. When I’m not there I am out on my mountain bike…getting mucky on a hill somewhere.


9 - Surrey


11 - Gloucestershire


12 - Oxfordshire

Marek Hallmann

I am the Manager of Oakwrights Country Buildings. I joined Oakwrights in 2007 with a job in the workshop. In 2008 I started work as a designer and after a couple of years proving my worth, was promoted to the role of Oakwrights Country Buildings Manager in 2010. My role includes monitoring all the work that the department takes on, liaising with the sales team on our full range of products, searching out gaps in the marketplace and researching what our customers may be looking for beyond what we can offer (but nothing is beyond what we can offer) whilst looking to make sure that all our client’s expectations are realised and satisfied. I also like to stick my two-penneth in with the marketing department, giving advice on strategy and opportunities for advertising. I am the main designer in the team, working with the production department along with site erectors to ever-simplify and streamline your build process.

In my spare time, to get away from it all, I like to listen to the classic Metallica albums whilst I am fishing in the many reservoirs and lodges of Herefordshire.

We look forward to speaking to you and indeed meeting you as we make our way through 2014. Keep an eye on our Show Diary page to find out where and when we will be exhibiting throughout the Spring, Summer & Autumn. And of course, you are always more than welcome to come and pay us a visit at our Herefordshire headquarters…




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