Our ability to plan carefully and work flexibly has proved invaluable in our projects for commercial customers. For businesses, staying operational is vital and so we have developed a multitude of ways to minimise disruption to the business day. For institutions such as schools and colleges, we often organise our work over holidays, applying tight control to complete projects in the limited time available.
When an insurance broker client moved offices, the landlord wanted to take possession rapidly, so we began work immediately staff had left the building – literally as the removal teams were carrying out the remaining furniture. We are pleased to report that the decoration and the client’s move went extremely smoothly.
A firm of accountants wanted us to redecorate their premises while avoiding interruption to their business. By doing preparation work before the office opened, we kept the environment clean and safe for staff when they arrived for work. We then worked around them using protective screening and low emission water-based paints.
Our experience and knowledge of working on listed buildings has been a major asset in our continuing work on historic colleges, where we often work closely with principal construction contractors on renovations and improvements.
Such buildings present many challenges. For example; one commission required us to refurbish historical oak panelling, which was as old as the building itself. We began by carefully removing all the accumulated dirt and coats of stain that had turned the wood dark brown. Contrary to our normal practice, we were asked to preserve certain examples of graffiti as it had been carved by historically famous alumni! A final buffed coat of traditional beeswax brought up the panelling like new and preserved it for future generations.
Refinishing traditional cast iron column radiators is another common requirement. These look wonderful but can be difficult to paint in situ when space is limited. For one project where a significant number were involved, we worked with professional services to disconnect them before taking them to a specially constructed booth on site. Here we could treat any rust and prime the radiators by hand before spray-painting them. This method allowed us to achieve an excellent finish in a short time.
Renovation projects, especially those with tight timescales, often require us to work alongside other trades so that progress can be made in parallel. We are adept at doing this and pay particular attention to controlling any dust generated during preparation – not only for health and safety reasons but to avoid affecting the work of other specialists.
Schools present particular challenges. Because the time available to redecorate is usually restricted, regular maintenance can fall behind and preparation work becomes more extensive. Typical tasks include removing thousands of staples and adhesive putty stains before we can begin to paint! However, we have the solution: by allocating most of our extensive team, we are usually able to complete all the work within a half-term break.
Interior design projects
Interior designers need to be sure their vision will be accurately interpreted and our team is skilled at bringing creative ideas to life. For example, we worked closely with the interior designer on the refurbishment of the very busy bar in The Bear Hotel, helping to transform its ‘olde worlde’ look into a light, contemporary style using hardwearing furniture paints in subtle Farrow & Ball colours. The bar top required special treatment. We belt-sanded it down to the original wood and coated it with a clear, high-traffic flooring grade lacquer to provide an attractive and highly durable finish that would resist damage and shrug off spills.
Swindon Cricket Pavilion
Following a number of fundraising initiatives to restore Swindon Cricket Club’s famous Grade II listed pavilion, we were honoured to be selected as the decorating contractor.
We like to think the Club members who supervised the building’s construction back in 1892 would be pleased to see how well its looks have been preserved after so many years (and runs) have been recorded!