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Derek and Jean - Firtree Cottage

"Let me begin by stating how pleased we both are with the quality of the building work and repairs you have carried out for us!† Neither of us would have any hesitation in recommending you and your team to anyone."

"...we were always greeted with good humour..."

"Throughout the project, we have been impressed, not only with the manual workers, but also with the office staff providing administrative, secretarial and clerical support.Throughout the project, we have been impressed, not only with the manual workers, but also with the office staff providing administrative, secretarial and clerical support."

Despite dire warnings from friends that builders’ time-scale estimates have to be at least doubled, we are very pleased to acknowledge that your initial schedules were maintained throughout the building of Fir Tree Cottage. When plans were drawn up in February for completion in mid-December 2008, we hardly expected to move in before Christmas, but despite a wet summer and further deterioration of the weather in the autumn, Christmas saw us comfortably installed in our new home.

At times, working conditions on the building site were dreadful, yet local people have commented on seeing work continuing through wind and rain, yet on our frequent visits, we never experienced any resentment. Indeed we were always greeted with good humour.

At the outset, we approached three builders with our tentative plans. One accepted the architect’s drawings, but we never heard from them again. Another seemed cynical, and quoted an absurdly high guide price. The third arranged an on-site meeting where we discussed how his company was organised, how projects were planned and managed, and how he could not afford to allow projects to overrun. This was, of course, Robert himself. He proactively sought information from the architect (whom we could also recommend) and engineers, even before the engineering designs were complete.

We soon had a detailed costing and a work-schedule, completing the sense of a “common objective” that was shared with the building workers we subsequently met, for example, in our monthly review meetings.

Of course there were problems on the way, but we take great pleasure from the end-result, remembering the knowledge, skill, hard work and great care that went into making this house worthy of its countryside setting. Throughout the project, we have been impressed, not only with the manual workers, but also with the office staff providing administrative, secretarial and clerical support.

It is important to us to know that these people are all aware of our admiration and gratitude. We can recommend Robert Norman Associates unconditionally, and wish them “all the best” in the current world-wide economic downturn."

Fir Tree Cottage, 2009

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