Joe on site in Bedfordshire
As the calendar turns to June, and the sky remains grey, it feels like a long time since I was out enjoying myself on site.
Towards the end of April I was able to get out from behind the desk in my office. The sub-zero months of winter had passed, and I was looking forward to getting some fresh air and sunshine, down in Biggleswade, delivering the replacement out-building for Mr and Mrs Watkiss.
The project was a pleasure to work on from start to finish. Chris and Barbara were looking for a replacement outbuilding next to their Georgian Manor house, set in 60 acres of green fields. They were looking for a place of artistic inspiration to pass their days and entertain family and friends. The initial concept was drawn up by Oakwright’s architectural designer, Pete Tonks, who works locally to the clients and was able to deliver their expectations. Derrick Whittaker, who is another Partnertect local to Hereford, provided the building regulation package.
I often find a well designed project flows between all stages of design, manufacture and erection. When at concept stage, if all parties involved have extensive knowledge of working with green oak there are often far fewer surprises for the clients if timbers are shown to be used properly and efficiently.
The 3D modelling stage of the design process was helpful to Chris and Barbara as they were able to visualise certain elements of their build they couldn’t see from plans and elevations. Very little changed in the design of the studio, except, to enhance the richness of the design, the addition of an oak floor to the gallery, and oak studding to the external carport.
Chris and Barbara had appointed a local builder Les Dimmock, who came recommended by their friend, a previous Oakwrights client. His experience and knowledge gained from working with us before, meant that he clearly understood what was required and his brickwork prior to the frame erection was millimetre perfect.
The frame flew up faster than expected. The clients spent the day sitting in the garden with the family watching in amazement as the frame came together. Within one long day all the lifting had been completed and the frame was standing safely. All that remained was to return the next day and finish pegging up and complete the job.
As I said in the beginning, a lovely project from start to finish!