Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Prestigious English Country Cottages Gold Award marks continued success for North Yorkshire Holiday Cottage

Before Director Steve Kent, of Kent Building Developments Ltd, converted a derelict listed barn on
the edge of the North Yorkshire moors into two holiday cottages, he was advised to develop them
to a basic level of comfort and services for holiday lets.  

Feeling strongly that people on holiday deserve a comfortable stay and wanting to do justice to the beautiful 18th century part stone built barn, he ignored the advice and renovated the cottages to a much higher standard.  Both holiday cottages, Rose & Granary, are heated with renewable energy and enjoy underfloor heating throughout.

Steve’s commitment and determination have resulted in a Gold Award for Rose Cottage from English Country Cottages.  Gold awards are based on customer feedback and 100% rankings for comfort, presentation of the property, customer service and degree of luxury for the accommodation overall.

The Gold Award follows a top English Country Cottage Five Star rating of ‘Exceptional with a degree of luxury’ for both Rose and Granary Cottages.  The converted barn in Rillington, near Malton includes both holiday cottages and Steve’s own property, so Steve and partner Pam are on close hand to help make visitors’ stay as comfortable and interesting as possible.  All three properties retain original features from the barn including beams and vaulted ceilings.

Steve said; “Despite the advice given to me, my instinct was to give people the comfort they deserve and, at the same time, do justice to the wonderful old barn. I’ve long had a commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency and I’m sure this has been reflected in the high level of comfort reported by our visitors.”

He added; “We spent a lot of time researching the types of visitors we could attract and went out of our way to provide facilities for them. These include an en-suite disabled friendly bathroom in Rose, open plan lounges, kitchens and diners with contemporary furniture, French doors leading on to stone paved patio areas set within secluded walled gardens, secure cycle store, walking trail suggestions for hikers and details of bird watching sites for bird watchers.”


Monday, 29 October 2012

Building Estimates and Quotations

As a professional builder I often come across house buyers and homeowners who have found their longed for building project has turned into a series of problems and delays. Typically these are:

  •  Problems obtaining planning permission and expensive repeat submissions (link this to previous articles)
  • The cost of the finished project exceeds original estimates and quotations
  • The time taken exceeds the time agreed

I decided to pass on some advice based on my 30 years of experience in the building trade. To start with let’s get a few legal points out of the way. When you employ a builder or building company you can expect and are entitled to:

  • Work being carried out with reasonable care and skill
  • Finished in a reasonable and agreed time
  • Provided at a reasonable cost  to an agreed specification

Sometimes, additional work is required to make sure your project is carried out safely and correctly. The very nature of building means unforeseen problems can occur which may affect the final price
The simple way to overcome this is to have a contingency budget and make sure you agree with the builder that any further work will only be completed by agreement. A truly professional building company would not think of carrying out extra work without explaining the necessity for it and how much extra it will cost.

It is important you know about the difference between a quotation and an estimate. Usually an estimate is an approximation of how much your building project will cost. Estimates are useful in the early stages in order to establish an initial budget cost. An estimate is not an agreed price. If an actual price for your building project was not agreed you may legally have to pay the difference if the builder asks for more money at any stage of the contract.

A quotation should be a detailed assessment of the work to be carried out. This should include the time required and the material specification to complete the work. A quotation from a professional builder will include this information. This isa good way to tell if your building company is professional and reputable.