Tuesday, 24 May 2011

is this a change too far

I found myself with an unexpected 10 minutes to play around with the blog. Ben is quite upset and his exact words were........'ooooh..........ohhhhhh..............ummmmmm...........no'.
But given that Ben is adverse to even the slightest impulse change of any description I thought I would check with my loyal band of readers.
What do you think? I'm not entirely happy with it myself but if you think change is good I will invest a bit of time making the blog more 'Merry' (or less merry if I am getting on your nerves). None of the standard templates really got me that excited to be honest. I think I was just bored and now look what has happened!
I know there must be a 'look' I can use but if you were all happy with the old layout, colours etc I will stick to that. 

do let me know


ps - I woke up this morning feeling decidedly unsure - so have reverted to white and will definitely work on something better. 
looks very similar to what I had in mind (I already have key and tape measure images that we have used in other brochures) - but obviously Border Oaky instead.
Better do some 'real work' now.

A house - from the drawing board to the plot (the construction equivalent of field to fork?)

When you 'buy' a house from Border Oak there is a veritable troop of people involved (some modestly beavering away behind the scenes - unlike myself who would trade in the family pet to appear in a lifestyle magazine apparently). 

The sheer amount of design work for each home is incredible and as we often build the house as well as make the frame we need to produce copious amounts of detailed and exact working notes and construction drawings. These cover every element of the build from drainage to site survey, bat housing to renewable technology, window arch detail to chimney top design. There is no other oak frame company that produces such intricate and knowledgable notes and drawings - because no one else builds the house from concept to completion. 

And so I thought I would show you just the teeniest glimpse into a 'real' project and what is produced by our amazing design office and fabulous builders.

Once the frame is designed (say between 8 and 28 A1 pages) and the construction layers drawn (another 50 odd pages - I know, quite mind boggling, just imagine you are a Border Oak project manager with up to 10 jobs on the go? That is a lot of paper in the back of your Audi estate. Imagine if one day you drove into flood water and your car got swept away holding all your files and drawings and computer and mobile and camera - unlikely, but true for poor project manager Dan.) Anyway where was I? And we also have to do the Building Regs  and apply and meet the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria (yes, we do all that and NHBC approval applications).......phew......anyway once all of that is done, Ed T can feed the info into  a whizzy magic programme and produce this clever little cut through.

He can also produce a visual 3d fly through which would give you a virtual experience of a house that hasn't been made yet. Isn't technology fabulous?

Well in truth these things don't make too much difference to the project but they are 'fun' I guess and can be quite educational and informative.

So wind the project clock forward 6 months later........and ta da! A real house to look at (which perhaps renders the virtual version obsolete?)

But in conclusion I think the two images show just how accurate our designers can be/need to be and how thorough the design process at Border Oak really is - not just in relation to the beautiful oak frame but for the whole project.

Obviously there are endless other design process involved in between these two stages. Not to mention 24 weeks of hard work on site and from our Project Manager (in this case Dan, but with a new car). Without all the specifics produced by the Border Oak drawing office I can bet you £500 that the 24 weeks would stretch to 44 (at least).

And did I mention my new obsession with stone work? I am helping with the finer detail of a lovely project faced in stone and now dream of brick window reveals and aggregate mortar mixes. Good job my fantasy/imaginary home (which if I keep blethering on about will one day come true?) is a mix of Herefordshire stone, oak and glass............

Friday, 13 May 2011

It's been too long!

Gosh, it feels like an age since I posted. A mixture of holidays and hard work have taken up the past couple of weeks and now I have so much to tell you. I will try to spread the news out over the next day or so.

As I write this I have Gardeners World on the TV in the background - for a good reason though. We've got a stand at Malvern this year, for the very first time. We have a beautiful potting shed and a circular gazebo on display and I spent the day there yesterday dodging the showers and admiring the show gardens.

And guess what? We won an award for our stand presentation! We didn't even know that the stands were judged so it came as a huge surprise to us all. Luckily a lady at the office has particularly green fingers and she has done a fabulous job. The judges said they loved our posh outbuildings and the simple palette of planting and gave us a few tips so that next year we might get a gold (apparently every plant pot must be hidden or covered). We did our best because we love making our exhibition stands look incredible but we really hadn't put specific effort into winning medals as such - because we didn't even know they would be inspecting us. Next time we will be prepared!

The Potting Shed also gained quite a following from garden designers and magazines and so watch this space for further developments. The gazebo was sold today for a Special Show Price of £4000. Pop over to the Malvern Spring Flower Show if you want to see what our wonderful craftsmen can achieve -its open until Sunday night.