And the construction team is back. It seems impossible to think, we are three months on from saying goodbye to the team building the houses. If you look back to the previous blog in March, it was not safe for the groundwork team to continue working on site due to COVID-19. Fortunately we had completed the piling, so there was nothing to deteriorate during that time. Today the equipment has been delivered. We can continue the process of completing the bases that will support the wooden structures.
We will not see the houses being completed at the end of summer as we had predicted in January. Once the team is fully operational and schedules rejigged, we are hoping to have a show house ready during late Autumn. We are accepting that things will take a while to get up to speed. Some suppliers are suggesting stock may be delayed. Now we are hoping once lockdown starts to lift further, that all the contractors are keen to move forward. Like all sectors, things are still very much up in the air. We are excited to see movement on the site again. The estate agents report that the housing market is busy, we are thankful for this, long may it continue. Marketing will start once the contractors are able to confirm their deadline dates. We do not want to promise finish dates, then see things slip back. We are confident to schedule meetings, to plan new dates, as they say patience is a virtueâ€¦â€¦ something with this project we have learned in abundance!
A great plus during lockdown is our new little nursery. We designed the landscaping and planting schemes to reflect the surroundings. We have lovingly collected seedlings and plants in the garden and potted them up. There seems to have been a glut. Plants such as Hawthorne seemed to sprout up everywhere and will be a good size by the late summer. We had planned this for hedging and will, alongside hollies, beech and other native species be able to recreate the woodland theme we were wanting.
Chiselwood remains very buoyant. We were fortunate to have full order books before lockdown and we are getting lots of new enquiries. The sites continued to be renovated during lockdown. Now the clients are keen for us to try and meet their fitting dates. Both manufacture and fitting teams are very busy. The nervousness that everyone felt starting back is beginning to lift. We are mindful of each other and we are not complacent. Our new systems are working and everyone is very supportive of each other. It will be great when we are able to socialise together again. There are plans for a garden party with a social distance when appropriate.
Projects we had photographed just before lockdown have been picked up in Autumn magazines. This is fantastic, especially as some of these publications have been paused for many months. It will be great to pick these up and have a read with a coffee when the nights pull in. https://chiselwood.co.uk/projects/
Like many companies we are so thankful we are busy. Patience and support from our teams, clients and suppliers are paying off. Many others are not so fortunate through no fault of their own. In our sector we have had many years of inconsistency and battles to survive. It really has been a tough twelve years. Recession, Brexit and COVID-19 has taken its toll. Hopefully there will not be too many that fall by the wayside. That we are able to look back in a year or two feeling we have all bounced back. We all need to be supportive of each other and our teams. It is great to see how our industry are being innovative and supportive for those struggling. Trade magazines such as KBBReview have launched a â€śSave our Skillsâ€ť campaign to advertise those who have been made redundant. It is essential we keep these skills within our industry.https://lnkd.in/d5BqTEk
This has been a stark reminder on how fragile life can be, nature has given us a jolt. Our experience is that we can choose how we respond. We have a great brand, great people around us and we remain positive. We believe we will emerge stronger, innovative and design led. Whilst we know there may still be challenges ahead, we are excited for both the fantastic projects we are working on with Chiselwood and the development of the six eco houses. We will keep you posted!
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