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Jeremy and Lynne - Manor House Barn

"...you provide a very safe pair of hands."

"The end product has exceeded our expectations..."

"...we are grateful for the effort made by everybody to explain things, and show us things, so that we understood and could make good decisions."

"...we were impressed with the very short snagging list that we produced."

"At all stages we felt fully informed, and on top of what we needed to do to keep the project on track."

"As we contemplate the arrival of Christmas and the end of the year, we wanted to write and express our absolute delight with our barn conversion. The end product has exceeded our expectations, and we have the most amazing family home. Please would you pass on our most sincere thanks to everybody in your team who has been involved; the team on site, the office staff and the sub-contractors.

As you know, we are not experienced in construction. We admit to feeling some trepidation about this adventure, but our project was finished on time and within a few percent of the budget. Our worst nightmares never materialised! This project has been a steep learning curve for us and we are grateful for the effort made by everybody to explain things, and show us things, so that we understood and could make good decisions.

A few things stand out for us, and we would like to mention these. At the start you produced a comprehensive costing, which became a key document for us as it did so much to fill in the gaps in our knowledge. Even more impressive, you met with us several times to adjust the specification of the build, and the costing, so that it met our budget. You explained our options and the implications. This process did a lot to reassure us (and was the complete opposite of the approach employed by less scrupulous builders of ‘tender low, then whack on lots of extras’!).

At the start you produced a clear project plan (“the programme”) with a clear end date. Through the project the Contracts Manager reviewed this programme with us on a monthly basis. When necessary this meeting was expanded to include other key staff like Rachel and Richard (senior buyer). Any specific obstacles to the programme were discussed and plans made. Similarly, all those unwelcome discoveries during a conversion that put pressure on the budget. It was professional and controlled.

Once building had started, we met weekly with the site foreman, who showed us progress since the previous week and took us through all points which would need decisions in the near future. He was always well prepared and we felt welcome on site. At all stages we felt fully informed, and on top of what we needed to do to keep the project on track.

Your process of monthly Valuation, followed by invoicing allowed us to see what we were paying for each month. Again, very reassuring, and we were able to raise queries very quickly when it was fresh in everybody’s mind. We realised the importance of an effective team in the office (as well as on site). Our thanks to Jan for being a consistent friendly voice on the end of the phone.

Winter of 2010 was cold and snowy. Conditions on site were inhospitable, but the team soldiered on to minimise any weather delay to the work programme.

As the barns were finished and we got to snagging we were impressed with the very short snagging list that we produced. For a sizeable domestic construction project there was very little that needed to be re-visited and this is a testament to the quality of the work done. We realised how much effort had gone into ‘do it right first time’.

At the end of the project we have a wonderful family home, and the feeling that we might, one day, do it all again. We sincerely recommend Robert Norman Associates to anybody who is considering a significant construction project – you provide a very safe pair of hands."

Manor House Barn, 2011

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