Renovations to a private home in West Sussex – Shoetree

NHBC Repair Midhurst, West Sussex: January-May 2022.

Although not usually one to rush to rate companies who do work for us, there are occasions when the quality of the work is exceptional and I feel that the good word should be spread. Our experience of Jeremy Doe and Sussex Hardwood Workshops Limited is one such occasion. I can’t praise this wonderful company too much.

After a lengthy negotiation with the NHBC to establish the full extent of the faults with our two oak gable end windows and the best remedial action, we found ourselves with a cash settlement in hand and a line up of contractors chosen and costed by us and approved by the NHBC. With no experience in building we had put our trust in Jeremy Doe and Sussex Hardwood Workshops on the recommendation of Green Oak Carpentry Company Limited(specialists in the design and fabrication of contemporary and traditional oak structures)to carry out the major part of our remedial work.

From our first meeting, Jeremy demonstrated his polite, warm, approachable personality and inspired me with the confidence that his company was absolutely ‘the one’ to transform the shoddy workmanship passed off by the original builders to make our home into the property with beautiful, attractive oak features we thought we had bought.

Owing to the complex nature of the repair, requiring the expertise of several specialist companies, I found myself in the unenviable position of project coordinator as no builder wanted the responsibility for managing the scale of the work involved considering how little they would actually be doing themselves. Any anxiety I had about the way the project was going to go at the start of the repair was soon dissipated when Jeremy came to check measurements for the direct glazing on his first site visit after initial work to the frames had been completed. Jeremy was quick to recognise my predicament and spontaneously outlined for me a clear step-wise plan of how the project was to proceed and reassured me of his support and advice with any aspect of the job, subject to the limitations of his own experience, even beyond the sphere of Sussex Hardwood’s job specification. Jeremy willingly gave me an hour and a half of his precious time to help me to manage the daunting repair schedule for our home when he should have been driving to Leicestershire for a prior commitment in connection with a large, new, multi-award winning building development he was working on. This was a great endorsement of a man who not only cares passionately about the level of service that he and his team provide, the level of skill that Sussex Hardwood brings to a project and the quality of the experience of having his team on site, but also very importantly, a man who cares about the people whom his company is working for and how having work done on their home impacts them.

Seeing Jeremy’s team in action I realised that we had really first-rate people working for us. I can honestly say that in spite of the stress inherent in having work done to our property, it was a pleasure to have Sussex Hardwood working here. This was a company I could trust completely to see our job through until we happy with everything. All highly skilled craftsmen, the men who worked on our project were focussed, friendly, polite , conscientious and happy to answer any queries. Jeremy himself was ‘hands on’ with the work throughout the repair, briefing his team each morning and inspecting how the work had progressed at the end of the day. I was impressed by the rapport that the team had with each other and with Jeremy and with and the respect that they showed for him. In addition to the impressive carpentry skills that the Sussex Hardwood team bring to a project, Jeremy’s excellent leadership, clear communication and good connectivity with his team and his customer guarantee the an outstanding end result.

Following on from this, it almost goes without saying that the standard of the workmanship delivered by Sussex Hardwood Workshops is second to none. For our repair, while one oak gable end frame had to be completely replaced, the second needed extensive refurbishment and realignment following the initial reinforcement by Green Oak Carpentry Company, before the direct glazing and capping could be undertaken. In this tricky realignment and other problems which arose during the course of the project, Jeremy was swiftly able to action appropriate measures to achieve a strong and really fine aesthetic result.The attention to detail of the the oak work both on the exterior and interior is excellent, with oak trims added indoors where the new structures met the original fabric of the house to given a seamless, high quality finish. Jeremy was involved with our project from start to finish, making himself easily contactable throughout and making his team readily available to fit in with other contractors working on our repair when necessary. We now derive pleasure from admiring the oak features to our property on a daily basis rather than looking at them with our previous feelings of despair and for that we are very grateful to Jeremy Doe and his team. We were indeed most fortunate to have them working on our NHBC repair project and I would thoroughly recommend Sussex Hardwood Workshops under Jeremy Doe’s expert direction to anyone else who finds themselves needing to undertake remedial work of a similar nature.