This project has certainly been a challenge, but we are on the home straight now.
The clients had previously had a small single storey extension built on the back of the property some years before.
The internal space had not been reconfigured at the time, the result being a small dark internal kitchen and spaces that didn’t really work.
Our brief was to completely reconfigure the ground floor of the home which involved the services of a Structural Engineer, so that we could open up the area to create light and the feeling of space.
The design and specification was completed by Christmas 2019 with a building commencement date of the beginning of February 2020. The clients had moved out of the property and were expecting to move back in by the end of April. This of course couldn’t happen, but the clients did move back in in June into what was effectively still a building site. Very stressful for the client and our team. Managing expectation is key on a project but when the goalposts are constantly moving and you cannot deliver, events can snowball quite quickly.
As we all know, events moved very quickly, becoming very difficult once lockdown happened. We could keep some of the building work going but getting materials was becoming virtually impossible, the schedule was slipping and there was nothing we could do about it. Very soon manufacturing also ceased and we are still waiting for some fixtures and fittings ordered before lockdown.
The economic blow to the practice cannot be underestimated. Delays and respecifying materials (for sometimes more expensive ones) have to be paid for and the strain on the business will be significant. Interior Design is not the only sector suffering as we know and rolling with the punches is all we can do now. Not being able to plan is the biggest problem.
We have some fixtures and fittings still to arrive but I am sure despite everything, this will be a project that we will be proud of.