The customer care and craftsmanship that went into building a substantial two-storey extension to a historical farmhouse in an exclusive area on the outskirts of York, is 'as good as it gets'.
The owners of a historic Yorkshire farmhouse laid down rigorous standards to ensure not only that the extension matched the old hall to perfection and that the interior was spectacularly energy efficient, but also that their retirement should be unspoilt by the noise and disruption of the building work in their midst.
Following complex architectural designs, the extension costing £260,000 was built into the undulating landscape to the west of York, during a five month project.
Builders W A Hare and Son Ltd sourced rare reclaimed "clamp bricks" and old slate to ensure the extension was in keeping with the historical setting.
Nick Hare of W A Hare and Son Ltd said: "The extension looks quite simple and old from the outside, but internally it is very 'hi-tech'. The clients were keen to experiment with high energy efficiency technology."
This included structural insulated panels (SIPs) a ventilation heat exchange system, a high efficiency water heater and under floor heating with room-byroom controls.
Project manager, Malcolm Hoe, later described by the client as "an outstanding individual", exercised particularly strict control of both the immediate building team and sub-contractors. The builders laid a protective aluminium road over the lawn to protect the client's drive and land.
"They were very sensitive about access to the garden. It is really a beautiful spot with mature trees which they didn't want to see damaged," said Nick Hare. "We had to maintain extremely tight controls over all entries to the site. Deliveries were transferred on to small wagons or teleporters."
At the latter stages of building work, when the builders broke through to the main house, a wooden "sentry box" was constructed at the point of entry, to contain the noise and dust.
The owners were so thrilled with the completed work, that they nominated the builder for this award.
Nick Hare said: "The people who worked on this project enjoyed the challenge. It could be frustrating at times with the restrictions, but the job satisfaction when everything works out, is immense."
The Master Builder of the Year judges said: "W A Hare & Son Ltd train their own craftsmen to impeccable standards, which have been displayed on this project. Without question, the building quality is as good as it gets."