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
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