2023 Scotland Winners

Congratulations to the Master Builder companies and tradespeople in Scotland who were announced as winners at the ceremony on 9 June, sponsored by the Mercedes-Benz Western Commercial. Well done to all those who were nominated for an award, and thank you to everybody who joined us for the ceremony. 

Scotland Apprentice of the Year - Noah Archibald of Haldane Construction Services Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, Apprentice of the Year, Noah Archibald of Haldane Construction Services Ltd v3

Now in the final year of his General Construction Operative SCQF Level 5 apprenticeship, Noah has impressed from day one, having now worked two years full time at Haldane Construction and serving as an intern prior to that. 

He has attained qualifications in Health and Safety and a 360-degree excavator operators' course, the latter taking him just five of the designated ten course days despite being one of the youngest participants at 17 years old.  

He travelled over 50 miles from his home to stay at the CITB National Construction College in Renfrew, as no local colleges could cater for his ambitions. Despite the challenges and the nerves that came with being further away from his home than he had ever been before, Noah has embraced the challenge and become a key member of the team. 

When agency workers delivered disappointing results, Noah took it upon himself to purchase the necessary tools and support Haldane’s bricklayer during a particularly challenging project. Practicing during his weekend and carefully observing directions given, he quickly developed the skills required and became integral to the successful delivery of the brief. 

Find out more about Haldane Construction Services Ltd, which is also an FMB insurance customer. 

Scotland Bathroom Project winner – Thistle Trade Group Ltd

Bathroom Project – Thistle Trade Group Ltd

It was Thistle Trade Group’s care and consideration for their clients that stood out for the judges, who also praised this calming loft-space bathroom for being ‘contemporary and luxurious, and filled with light’. 

Built as part of a larger home renovation, the bathroom was designed as an adult-only sanctuary, ticking all the boxes for both style and comfort – including an indulgent heated shower seat. 

The bathroom makes clever use of the space. After the challenge of manoeuvring the free-standing stone bath up to the first floor, the team positioned it away from the wall to allow room for two floor-to-ceiling windows. Useful built-in storage was added under the vaulted ceilings. 

Forming a trusting relationship with their clients contributed to the success of the build, helped by Trade Group Ltd’s easy and open approach to communication. To help guide this, they drew up a meeting matrix for all stakeholders, with weekly meetings on site and personal involvement from the directors. In fact, the homeowners were so pleased with the finished project that they took the team out for drinks to celebrate after completion. 

Find out more about Thistle Trade Group Ltd, which is also an FMB insurance customer. 

Scotland Building Company of the Year - Haldane Construction Services Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, Building Company of the Year, Haldane Construction Services Ltd

Now in its 20th year of trading, Haldane Construction Services has prevailed through some of the toughest conditions the business has ever faced following the passing of its founding member Andrew Haldane and the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic / material shortages. 

Despite these setbacks, the team have continued to fulfil their commitments to clients and even brought onboard two new apprentices to support the next generation of Master Builders. To that end, the business continues to invest in training and upskilling for its staff, who, with an average age of just 28, still have an enormous amount to offer the construction industry. 

Their client relationships have remained exemplary despite the pressures placed on them by recent circumstances, with fortnightly meetings and professional conduct central to ensuring their continued health.  

The judges described the company as an 'inspiration' and agreed that the team have shown great resilience in the face of significant challenges. 

Find out more about Haldane Construction Services Ltd, which is also an FMB insurance customer. 

Scotland Commercial or Public Sector Project winner – O'Mac Construction Limited

Commercial or Public Sector Project – O'Mac Construction Limited

O’Mac Construction Limited won the contract to build this 74-home affordable housing scheme in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, for local housing association Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP). The largest housing development in the Western Isles to be undertaken by an island contractor, the project had community at its heart. The aim was to provide a mix of social housing for rent and shared equity homes, providing quality homes to encourage local residents to stay on the island and support its economy.  

The specification provided by HHP left scope for the team to ensure the homes were finished to the high standards, which set O’Mac Construction Limited apart from other developments.  

As the building material crisis took hold, the team were able to mitigate the pressure of rising prices by buying in bulk and building a dedicated store for materials on site. The site was shared with another contractor building a care home, and issues were resolved at monthly meetings with the other company, as well as at weekly meeting between O’Mac Construction Limited and their subcontractors. To keep the island community in the loop, they released a quarterly newsletter with updates on progress and kept in regular contact with residents of neighbouring streets. 

John Maciver, Director of Operations for HHP, said that the housing association highly commended them for the quality of work delivered on the project. ‘The feedback from our tenants has been universally positive and people are delighted with their new homes.’ 

Find out more about O’Mac Construction Limited, which is also an FMB insurance customer. 

Scotland Heavenly Builders of the Year - Pamela and Kevin Wilson of Kevin Wilson Joiners and Building Contractors

2023 Scotland MBAs, Heavenly Builder of the Year, Pamela and Kevin Wilson of Kevin Wilson Joiners and Building Contractors

Taking on the renovation and restoration of an aged property for a client whose vulnerable family member would soon return from hospital, Kevin Wilson Joiners and Building Contractors showed great compassion and professionalism throughout a project that ultimately saw them nominated for this award.  

Pamela and Kevin reworked their busy schedules in order to meet quickly with the client, who lived some 350 miles away from the site and could therefore only visit sporadically. They took the time to understand the family member's needs, and thereafter carefully coordinated their tradespeople from the outset of the project until its successful, timely delivery. 

Throughout the process, they remained approachable and responsive, and the client was struck by the quality ethos that they have so clearly instilled throughout their business. 

The judges hailed Pam and Kevin's focus on ensuring the safety, security, warmth and wellbeing of their client. They also loved the commitment shown to supporting the surrounding elderly community by doing their weekly shop, and the charity shown in setting up a Ukraine donation point in the company’s workshop. 

Find out more about Kevin Wilson Joiners and Building Contractors

Scotland House Builder Award winner – Coldwells Build Ltd

House Builder Award – Coldwells Build Ltd

The project began when their clients bought the wrong house in the right location. By knocking down a bungalow in a prime spot close to Aberdeen, Coldwells Build Ltd was provided with a blank canvas to bring the owners’ dream home, the two-storey ‘Arbour House’, to life. Its minimalist design belies its detailed construction, concealing hundreds of engineering solutions, discussions, and decisions. 

A stone wall from the demolished bungalow has been salvaged to form an entrance colonnade, and the original stone garden walls provide a sheltered private haven, complete with a secret garden. The first floor is cantilevered above the colonnade, bridging old and new.  

The home’s interior has been finished with microcement floors, timber ceiling and panoramic glazing. Made to measure joinery provides the owners with ample storage with neat details including a pivoting front door in smoked larch and a spiral staircase meticulously constructed from 200 plywood pieces. 

The Coldwells Build Ltd team were tested when the supplier of the timber-imprinted concrete panels bowed out at the last minute. With no other alternatives, they rose to the challenge, innovating a solution to make the panels on site – which proved to be a process of trial and error (albeit one with outstanding results). The architects were so impressed they have specified the technique for their next build. As were our judges who said, ‘the builder's willingness to learn, to innovate and to do so with the most complex of tasks is astounding.’ 

The resulting project pushed boundaries and raised the profile of the company nationally, with a surge in custom home enquiries in 2021.  

Find out more about Coldwells Build Ltd

House Builder Award (Highly Commended), Stuart Livingstone Joinery Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, House Builder Award (Highly Commended), Stuart Livingstone Joinery Ltd 2000px

Fulfilling their clients' dream of a custom-built eco-friendly home where they can indulge their love of water sports, fishing and wild swimming, Stuart Livingstone Joinery has pulled out all the stops in creating this unique property in Argyll. 

Situated on the waterfront with stunning views of the local loch and mountain landscape, the property has been constructed using a timber frame kit, and highly insulated to levels which far exceed current Scottish requirements. 

Warmth is provided by an air-source heat pump, which also supplements the solar panels in the provision of hot water. The whole ground floor features underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove is positioned in the lounge area for additional heating when required. There is also a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system in every room which means the upstairs rooms require no direct heating themselves. 

The clients had worked with this Master Builder in the past and been impressed by the team's polite and courteous manner and their exceptional quality of work. They stated that '...when we were going to build our dream home there was never going to be anyone else we would want to do it'. 

Find out more about Stuart Livingstone Joinery Ltd.

Scotland Kitchen Project winner – Thistle Trade Group Ltd

Kitchen Project – Thistle Trade Group Ltd

The brief for Thistle Trade Group Ltd was to create a minimalist, multi-functional space for their client. It needed to include a dining area, a chill-out zone and a fully kitted-out kitchen that allowed them to entertain family and friends.  

An existing conservatory was demolished to make room for a new extension, with large windows flowing onto the outside space and two large skylights, taking advantage of natural light. The dining area features bespoke shelving, and the kitchen houses luxurious touches including a wine cooler and hot water tap. Smart lighting and underfloor heating can be controlled in different zones. 

The judges were impressed with Thistle Trade Group Ltd’s ability to deliver a quality build on time, despite some challenges, including issues with sourcing windows with a high enough U-value and the ceiling height above the kitchen cabinets. They judges said: ‘The builder’s willingness to go the extra mile was evident in the time spent before the project to gain a clear understanding of their client's wishes - something that has clearly paid off due to their enduring relationship.’ 

Find out more about Thistle Trade Group Ltd, which is also an FMB insurance customer. 

Kitchen Project (Highly Commended), CTJ Services Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, Kitchen Project (Highly Commended), CTJ Services Ltd 2000px

This project in Stonehaven saw CTJ Services create a new open plan kitchen, dining and living area for their client's family with two young kids. 

One of the key highlights is how the rear external wall has been opened up in order to install a six-metre, three-section sliding aluminium door. When opened fully, this allows you to walk out onto a new porcelain slab patio; a great spot for breakfast outside on warmer summer mornings. This feature posed significant engineering challenges and structural works requiring more than a tonne of steel, but the process was well managed by this Master Builder. 

The judges described the finished product as 'a lovely bright, open family kitchen' and complimented the careful planning and execution of this challenging build. 

Find out more about CTJ Services Ltd

Scotland Large Renovation Project winner – Coldwells Build Ltd

Large Renovation Project – Coldwells Build Ltd

For this winning build, Coldwells Build Ltd reinvented a grand Victorian house for the 21st century. A complex project spanning two years, it demanded a level of innovation than the team had not expected, but gave them the opportunity to learn new skills and use traditional tools. 

The finished result is a light and spacious family home, which has been fully rewired, replumbed, reroofed and reconfigured. The ground floor has been opened up to allow the family to spend time together. Period features were lovingly restored including picture rails, decorative woodwork and panelled doors, whilst great care was taken to match intricate cornicing and stained glass. 

Made-to-measure joinery is fitted throughout, including oak cabinetry, a wine cellar and a 3.5 metre tall Accoya front door. Their joiners custom-made a new oak staircase on site using traditional carpentry methods, and space was optimised over the upper two floors with an improved layout and the creation of a rooftop office. 

It’s evident that client care is a top priority for Coldwells Build Ltd. When the initial quote came in too high for their clients, the team took a forensic approach to identifying where clever substitutions and cost savings could be made to deliver a proposal that the clients were happy with. Their clients heaped praise on the builders, stating that the ‘quality of workmanship and service delivery were impeccable. Coldwells Build Ltd’s approach and the highly amicable nature of the team has made for a perfect family home.’ 

The judging panel commented that ‘Coldwells Build Ltd has displayed everything you would want in a builder. It used innovative methods of construction, pushing the team to develop new processes, use traditional tools and learn new skills.’  

Find out more about Coldwells Build Ltd

Scotland Medium Renovation Project winner - H M Raitt & Sons Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, Medium Renovation Project, H M Raitt & Sons Ltd

This property in North Berwick, East Lothian saw H M Raitt & Sons realise their clients' plans for a fully renovated family home which made use of their available attic space. 

The previously unoccupied area of the home now features a master bedroom suite, with a bath in the bedroom and a separate water closet, along with storage along the eaves of the room. The team have also added a dining, kitchen and living area as well as a Jack and Jill shower room on the ground floor. 

The highlight of the house is the luxuriously appointed sleeping and bathing space, offering great views out of newly installed Velux windows of the nearby golf course and the historic Bass Rock. 

The judges described the project as 'a job to be proud of' and praised the expertise and skill exercised by this Master Builder in completing it. 

Find out more about H M Raitt & Sons Ltd

Scotland Small Renovation Project winner – CTJ Services Ltd

Small Renovation Project – CTJ Services Ltd

CTJ Services Ltd removed a dated old conservatory from this period seaside property, replacing it with a new sunroom for their client, featuring double-glazed wooden sash windows and rooflights to make the most of the views and sunny location. 

Outside, the green windows and oiled timber cladding fit seamlessly with the original home. Inside, detailed tiles and bespoke joinery fit make a link to the age of the home. The client had a unique vision in mind for the finished room that CTJ Services Ltd was attentive to and happy to create. 

The team’s biggest challenge was the property’s hillside position, with no level access to the house, so all materials for the build had to be carried up by hand. They hit issues with the foundations, having to dig them a lot deeper than expected to find the hardpan, and also needed to dig a new soakaway in the garden to address an issue with limited drainage – hiring a Manitou to lift a mini-digger into the garden. 

The judges commended their problem-solving: ‘Whilst a very small project, this to me demonstrates exactly what builders can (and do) do on a regular basis. Working under challenges but delivering a great build which is totally in sync with the building and its surroundings.’ 

Find out more about CTJ Services Ltd

Scotland Sustainability Award winner - True Build Trade Services Ltd

2023 Scotland MBAs, Sustainability Award, True Build Trade Services Ltd

This project in Edinburgh saw True Build Trade Services completes Scotland's first developer-led cross-laminate timber building, proving that this innovative construction method is viable, achieving aesthetic success and doing so without compromising build quality. 

The six-flat tenement building makes use of PV solar panels to power the common area. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) units have been installed in each flat, along with gas boilers and a warm earthy feeling thanks to the exposed timber walls, which help to retain heat and save on energy requirements. 

Making use of custom acoustic seals, gaskets, ceiling and wall brackets, as well as wood fibre insulation and plasterboard ceilings, the team have managed to exceed Scotland's already stringent 56db noise-reduction regulations by 6db. This puts the build amongst the most efficient in Europe when it comes to noise insulation.  

The judges described this as 'excellent work' and praised the builder's problem-solving skills when it came to planning permission challenges in the early stages of the project. 

Find out more about True Build Trade Services Ltd

Thank you to our sponsors


Entertainment sponsor

Western Commercial and Western Maxus, part of Eastern Western Motor Group, are thrilled to be the entertainment sponsor for this evening.  

We’re delighted to offer a wide range of vans, people carriers and pick-ups, including fully electric models. Our staff are experienced in offering electric vehicle solutions which is bespoke to your company, whether you only need one vehicle, or if you’re after a larger fleet with a variety of requirements, we will assess your business needs and offer the most effective solution.

For more information visit Commercials | Scotland | Eastern Western

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Drinks reception sponsor

"We are delighted, once again, to be a sponsor of this fantastic event, which highlights the expertise and work of tradespeople within the industry."

TradePoint is the trade only arm of B&Q, offering a huge range of trusted brands. We supply products and services for every project, all under one roof at convenient locations nationwide. Our range not only covers building, decorating, electrical, plumbing, tools, hardware, landscaping, timber, joinery, safety, workwear and much more, but we also have dedicated kitchens and bathrooms showrooms with takeaway same day ranges.

Whether you're a builder, decorator or kitchen and bathroom fitter, you could be eligible for free TradePoint membership, giving you access to a great range of materials and tools.

For more information, visit www.trade-point.co.uk.

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Event supporter

CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland, and Wales. It’s our job to help the construction industry attract talent and to support skills development, to build a better Britain. CITB’s dedicated advisers support employers every step of the way with SMEs able to have up to 95% of their apprenticeships training costs covered, as well as providing training support for your current workforce.

For more information, visit www.citb.co.uk.

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for FMB events, please email [email protected].

Meet the 2023 Scotland judges

Alan Wilson

Alan Wilson

Managing Director, SELECT

Kieran Findlay

Kieran Findlay

Editor, Scottish Construction Now

Scott Mckenzie

Scott Mckenzie

Local Authority Building Standards Scotland