14th November 2008
KJS Construction from Stroud, Gloucestershire, beat the cream of Britain’s builders to be crowned the Best Large Renovation Project builder in Britain at this year’s Master Builder of the Year Awards 2008 for his wonderful renovation and extension of a Cotswold farmhouse.
Naomi Cleaver, presenter of C4 Grand Designs Trade Secrets presented the award to Kevin Smith and his team at KJS Construction for their stunning transformation of a dilapidated Cotswold farmhouse into a large, light, spacious and elegant family home for Andrea and Simon England.
The Englands bought a dilapidated 1880s Cotswold farmhouse, set in a conservation area in the Cotswold hills, with the aim of creating a five-bedroom family home with a separate guesthouse for visiting family and friends. The farmhouse needed total renovation including re-roofing, while the adjoining barn required new foundations and extensive rebuilding.
The hardest challenge for the builders was the access to the site, as well as appallingly wet weather. Kevin and his team salvaged and reused some stone, but also had to source new Cotswold stone too. Today the match is so perfect that it is virtually impossible to differentiate old from new.
Client Andrea England describes Kevin Smith of KJS Construction as ‘their builder for life,’ explaining: “Not only were Kevin and his team, good old-fashioned craftsmen with wonderful attention to detail, they also understood the importance of communication and there were never any issues because we just kept talking. I’ll always call on Kevin now, as I really trust his judgement.”
She said that throughout the project, Kevin’s enthusiasm never waned and he remained sensitive to the fact that the family was building their dream home and every detail was important. “This is our dream family home and we will be here until we grow old. It was wonderful being able to create it the way we wanted it. All credit to the Kevin and his team who made it happen,” she said.
The Master Builder of the Year Awards, now in its ninth year, is organised by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the UK’s largest building trade association. These annual awards celebrate the outstanding work delivered by the vast majority of builders who can only be nominated by highly satisfied clients.
KJS Construction triumphed to win the national award in the Best Large Renovation Project category, which is supported by Velux and Buildstore.
Speaking at the Awards ceremony, FMB director general, Richard Diment said: “These Awards are an opportunity to showcase projects around the country that would otherwise be overlooked. Size is not important, while solid craftsmanship, excellent customer service and delighted clients are. The Awards give these clients a platform to publicly thank their builder both for their excellent work and for the consideration shown to them throughout the build.
“For us it is heartening to see that so many clients are still willing to invest in improving their properties, something that is vital for the future of the domestic construction market, and also to see that they are increasingly concerned with energy efficiency and sustainability,” Richard added.
“Our congratulations go to KJS Construction for this well-deserved award, but equally our thanks go to Andrea and Simon England, who nominated them,” said Richard.
Kevin Smith and Andrea and Simon England each win a luxury all-inclusive weekend break for two at any of the UK Barceló Hotels.