The visionary founder of the Arts and Craft Movement, William Morris, held firm views on the value of artisanship as an alternative to mass production. Artisan values are about attention to detail and using quality materials to produce something of unique worth. Can these values be applied to today’s thriving property market, and even give construction a competitive edge?
Diligence in Restoration
The restoration of a castle in southern Spain has recently hit the headlines due to the unsuitability of the materials used. The contractors working on Matrera castle used new materials to protect older stones but the result has been disastrous, with the new brickwork spreading like an ugly stain across the original building’s surface.
“The materials always should be appropriate to the task,” comments Michael Kemp, Construction Director at Restoration Projects. Michael cites various examples where he has sourced original, reclaimed building materials; or alternatively applied specialised aging processes to contemporary materials.
“The key is to provide a bridge to the past using cutting edge, contemporary building techniques and know-how,” Michael explains.
The Artisan Business Model
When it comes to building work, this carefully crafted approach works in creating a niche service. Essentially, the specialised techniques and craftsmanship that Michael and his team bring to bear on restoration projects work equally well in contemporary domestic and commercial property markets.
“People are increasingly discerning about how they go about property refurbishments, conversions and extensions,” Michael says. “They want to add real value by creating something that has a unique feel to it.”
This can involve sourcing a whole range of specialist materials, from bespoke ironmongery to antique wooden flooring. The aim is not to create a museum piece but to apply cutting-edge methodology to timeless craftsmanship.
Michael has worked in restoration over a long career and he is well aware of how the success of a project relies on this kind of sensitivity to materials and how they are practically applied.
“Property development, particularly around refurbishment and extensions can get a bad press,” Michael states, “but it should always be a question of getting it absolutely spot-on. We build strong relationships with our clients because we know that like us, they’re perfectionists.”
If you are a perfectionist and would like to discuss how to successfully perfect your upcoming restoration project or refurbishment please call Restoration Projects on 01457 861702. Alternatively you can read about some of their work with National Trust, the NHS and English Heritage, here.