But­lers in boiler suits

At the heart of every suc­cess­ful restora­tion is a team of knowl­edge­able crafts­men who can breathe new life into a build­ing with­out di­min­ish­ing its spirit. Clive Aslet looks at some of the best and most es­tab­lished firms

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

WHAT­EVER the divided state of so­ci­ety, there’s one thing that unites it: ev­ery­one has a story about builders. Even the Egyp­tian pharaohs had their prob­lems over the pyra­mids—strikes in the 20th Dy­nasty—and client-builder re­la­tions have been a fre­quent source of anx­i­ety ever since.

This doesn’t only re­flect the size of the job—quite small works can cast a dis­pro­por­tion­ate blight over a fam­ily’s life when they go wrong— but, gen­er­ally, the big­ger the job, the more hair-rais­ing it can be; the com­plex­i­ties in­tro­duce a greater po­ten­tial for er­ror and the house­holder is likely to have more money at stake. This is par­tic­u­larly the case with work on his­toric prop­er­ties, whose chal­lenges may not be ap­par­ent on the sur­face.

What is an owner to do? One client, who has ex­pe­ri­ence in both the com­mer­cial and do­mes­tic sec­tors, ad­vises


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