From Court House To Home...The Big Move Part 3
We officially handed the building over to Browns Construction, our appointed contractors on 22nd September 2014. They seem to be a company very similar to our own; can-do attitude with nothing too much trouble…we’ll see if we’re still speaking at the end!
Construction to begin with seems slow as there is a great deal to do in the next 13 weeks and I stand here and wonder how on earth it will be completed…but I’m assured things will soon start to happen! It’s hard to leave the building in somebody else’s hands and regular (daily!) visits are made to keep an eye on progress.
Meanwhile back at the old offices plans for the move are in full swing and we have regular update meetings to ensure things are on track. There is a lot of planning that has gone into the move and this has all been overseen by our own wonderful Amanda – surely all of our suppliers that need to be involved in the move are ready too?...
I’m getting quizzed by the team as to what is going on; can they come and see progress? Can they see where their desk will be? Questions, questions – I just ask them to have patience as we will be looking to do a “reveal” at the Christmas party but I know of a couple that have tried to sneak in whilst the builders have been around!
When at the planning stage many decisions were delayed as it is an old building we were not entirely sure what challenges it would throw up. Regular meetings with the architects, Building Control and the contractors were held but many decisions, much to the annoyance of the architects, were made during the daily meetings I had with the Project Manager, Bob (the builder) and his side-kick, Tony. At least this way we could react to the challenges the buildings set us. For example the heating system was comprised of two huge 7.5 ton oil burners that I suspect had been redeployed from their old role of powering the Ark Royal – they had to go. Also the heating system had a very sophisticated control system, either roasting hot or freezing cold across the whole building. We needed two new gas boilers and to zone the building so we could heat where we wanted to, when we needed it.
The structure of the building was also slightly more solid than the contractors had hoped and many choice words were heard to be uttered from Tony and his gang. Once the carpet was ripped up beautiful oak parquet flooring was revealed right across the building, the wife had a quiet word with the contractors and instead of ripping it up, it was removed with a delicate touch and is now stored in a spare room awaiting re-purposing! Also decisions in some of the rooms where we had chosen carpet had to be shelved – it would have been criminal to cover it over again.
There were a few projects that caused more headaches than others, for example our lovely spiral staircase. As lovely as it is, it nearly didn’t come into being as trying to get an answer from either the architects or Building Control as to whether it complied with Section K (there is a whole raft of regulations covering stairs and steps) proved to be extremely difficult!
After 13 weeks, on 19th December, the contractors handed back the keys…just in time for our Christmas party that night (details of the Christmas Extravaganza can be found here) – talk about cutting it fine!
Yes there is still snagging work to be done but we’re getting there – oh I almost forgot a special mention for two of our suppliers. Remember earlier I posed the question would our suppliers be ready to help with our move? Well a big thumbs down to Virgin Media – they have been appalling and have made what should be a great occasion very fraught indeed.
As a sales company that relies on its phone system to work it is worrying when your main supplier for your phones, Virgin Media are so incompetent. We’re still not sorted out and as yet have no idea when we will have telephone lines into our new building but thanks to our great IT support company, Holker Network Solutions, we have a work around that is reasonably stable. If you are one of our customers and have issues getting through then I apologise and I can only hope that the issues are resolved soon.
Anyway we’re in! It’s such a fantastic place to work and what at first appeared impossible turned out to be only bloody difficult!
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