2023 South West Winners

Congratulations to the Master Builder companies and tradespeople from the South West who were announced as winners at the South Master Builder Awards ceremony on 17 March, sponsored by Openreach. Well done to all those who were nominated for an award, and thank you to everybody who joined us for the ceremony.

South West Apprentice of the Year - Joseph Harris of Alford Construction and Joinery

Apprentice award winner - Joseph Harris, Alford Construction and Joinery

The judging panel commended Joseph’s change of career path in stepping away from the family line of farming to carve out a successful career in carpentry, whilst still helping out with family business alongside his apprenticeship.

Joseph has worked hard over the past two years to hone his skills as a joiner and is often the go-to person to speak to on site if his co-workers need specialist skilled advice. He demonstrates a readiness to help and shows empathy for others.

On the academic side, his employer praised his application to his course work, going above and beyond to achieve distinction marks and travelling to college to make revisions to his work – showing dedication to his craft.

Find out more about Alford Construction and Joinery.

Apprentice of the Year Award (Highly Commended) - Aaron Dearing of Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd

Aaron Dearing, Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, 2023 South West MBAs Apprentice Award highly commended.JPG

Having completed his Level 1 and Level 2 Carpentry courses four months ahead of schedule and earned a distinction from Exeter College, Aaron Dearing (left) has impressed his employer Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd from the outset with his rapidly developing understanding of the trade, and willingness to take on any challenge.

In addition to his trade qualifications, Aaron has also completed an emergency first aid training course and roof installation training. He won his college’s overall Apprentice of the Year award and represented the academy when it was visited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a shining example of true up-and-coming talent. The judges hailed Aaron’s exceptional abilities not just in the trade, but in going beyond to make the difference for his clients and company.

Find out more about Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, who are also an FMB Insurance customer.

South West Bathroom Project winner - AB Conduit Building

Bathroom Project - AB Conduit Building

Our winners in the Bathroom category delivered a full renovation to a hunting lodge – parts of which date back to the 13th century. The result was an 8-bedroom retreat space and hotel, with some impressive en-suite bathrooms.

They worked with local architects, structural engineers, ecologists, asbestos engineers and conservation officers to keep the project on track, using traditional building techniques – from lathe and plaster ceilings to lime render and hand-carved stone to replace lintels and window jams in the bathrooms. They also custom built all bathroom joinery to give a bespoke feel.

Judges were impressed that they had replaced the roof whilst maintaining the original structure, and noted the complex nature of this heritage build.

Find out more about AB Conduit Building.

South West Building Company of the Year - AB Conduit Building

AB Conduit Building, 2023 South West Building Company of the Year winners

Despite the significant disruption to supply chains and working conditions in recent years, AB Conduit Building is a firm that has remained committed to protecting its workforce’s wellbeing, and meeting or exceeding their obligations to clients – even when it meant losing money on fixed price contracts.

During the pandemic when others were laying off staff, this Master Builder proudly retained their entire roster, rewarding them for the loyalty and service they continue to deliver. Regular breaks at 10am for a builders’ breakfast, 1pm for lunch and 3pm for coffee ensure that staff remain focused and committed to delivering high quality work. Friday night drinks also offer a chance for team bonding, and for boss Andrew Conduit to show his appreciation for his dedicated squad.

The judges commended the firm’s clear appreciation for their staff, and commitment to developing trust and working transparently with all their clients.

Find out more about AB Conduit Building.

South West Commercial or Public Sector Project winner - Stonewood Builders Ltd

Commercial or Public Sector Project - Stonewood Builders Ltd

With this outstanding project, Stonewood Builders Ltd delivered an ambitious full-sized replica of a Hadspen Roman Villa, using ancient crafts, techniques and materials – the largest replica villa currently in the UK. They were also tasked with building a modern, minimalist museum building alongside the villa, to house the original archaeological and visitor displays.

This project was a real test of Stonewood’s ability to harness traditional craftmanship, whilst embracing the cutting edge of modern technology. The client commented: 'In the Museum building we wanted to create things that had never been done before whereas the reimagined Villa building required elements that hadn’t been done in thousands of years. Stonewood were willing to research, learn, and explore as part of a team to achieve what we wanted.'

Features of the Villa include hand-painted ceilings that use authentic materials, thatched roofs, wattle and daub, rammed earth, a working hypocaust heating system and bathing pools; this meant specialists from nearly every trade were required to be engaged in team meetings.

The steel framed museum has been designed in a contemporary style; a fully glazed 48 metre façade offers unobstructed views of the Roman Villa. The standout internal feature is a glass bridge and balustrade sitting over the original ruins.

Judges commented that ‘It’s a reflection on the confidence the contractor had in taking on this project.’

Find out more about Stonewood Builders Ltd.

South West Heavenly Builder of the Year - Ken Willsher of Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd

Ken Willsher, Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, 2023 South West Heavenly Builder award winner

Ken was nominated by a disabled client who was impressed with this professional, considerate and effective management of an annex construction project designed to cater for their unique needs.

During the build he went above and beyond to communicate in advance with the family whenever loud or disruptive works would be carried out, so that they could make preparations for their child with autism and avoid unnecessary distress. He also worked diligently to remove all potential trip hazards and assisted in the design and implementation of a custom accessible shower room with built-in seat and airing cupboard.

The judges loved Kenny’s commitment to understanding and meeting the whole family’s needs, whilst remaining positive and constructive at all times.

Find out more about Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, who are also an FMB Insurance customer.

South West House Builder Award winner - Northcott Building Contractors Ltd

MBA 2023 - South West - Northcott Building Contractors Ltd - Regional winner - house builder.jpg

Built in the garden of an existing property, the brief for Northcott Building Contractors Ltd was to construct a four-bedroom new home for their client.

The resulting build captures views to the coast from the double-height floor-to-ceiling apex glazing, and the project cleverly enables the owner to section off two of the bedrooms and a second kitchen as a holiday let in the future.  

The judges praised the builder for overcoming several obstacles during the build. Challenges lay in the steep sloping site, and in delays caused by an urgent upgrade and diversion of water mains.

The client commented: ‘My build faced many challenges, each resulting in discussion, possible solutions, costed options and recommendations from project manager Tom, enabling me to make stress-free informed decisions.  I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, more conscientious, friendly and talented group of builders.’ She added, ‘Would I do it again? With NBC…yes. The only trouble being I'm never going to leave.’

Find out more about Northcott Building Contractors Ltd.

South West Kitchen Project winner - Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd

Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, 2023 South West MBAs Kitchen project winner

Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction's work on this property in Exeter saw them create a spacious new open plan kitchen and diner area which now serves as the focal point for their client's home, connecting to the back garden, the kids' playroom, and the office.

The vaulted ceiling and ridge light glazing bathe the kitchen in natural light and illuminate beautiful features including an island packed with storage, power outlets and a sink. The striking worktop finish is matched in made-to-order units and doors plus custom housing for a drying cupboard, ensuring a uniform aesthetic and flow throughout the new room.

The judges loved the modern look achieved by the builder, resulting from the excellent relationship with the client, who was empowered to make great stylistic choices thanks to the provision of sample materials and considerate advice from the team.

Find out more about Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd, who are also an FMB Insurance customer.

South West Large Renovation Project winner - Stonewood Builders Ltd

Large Renovation Project - Stonewood Builders Ltd

Stonewood Builders Ltd were tasked with restoring this Grade II listed Regency mansion to a warm and practical family home that respected its rich history and heritage. Being largely untouched for the past 100 years, it was no mean feat.

Stonewood paid care and attention to protecting historical features, setting up an on-site joinery shop for the mammoth task of restoring nearly 40 original sash windows, which received high praise from conservation officers. The restoration included the use of traditional lime plastering throughout, as well as external stone restoration. They also undertook a full range of decorating crafts, paying particular attention to original features and re-gilding plaster moulding.

Their client commented that ‘It was a joy turning up to the site every day and reassuring that every CDM inspection was passed with a clean sheet. Stonewood fulfilled all our wishes and demands and were fabulous to work with on a project of this scale.’

The judges commented on the project’s wow factor, heritage, fine detail and the strong relationships which enabled successful delivery of the project to an exceptional standard.

Find out more about Stonewood Builders Ltd.

South West Medium Renovation Project winner - M R P Construction

M R P Construction, 2023 South West MBAs Medium Renovation project winner 2000px

Tasked with renovating and extending the rear part of this Victorian terraced home, M R P Construction realised they had their work cut out for them when they discovered the existing structure did not have sufficient foundations.

Despite this major challenge, the builder remained positive and proposed solutions to the issue, consulting with an architect, a structural engineer, and the client to ensure they were all happy before proceeding.

After implementing a support system to secure the home, the team extended the first floor to add an ensuite bathroom, rebuilt a downstairs bathroom, rewired the property, installed under-floor heating, replaced a gas boiler, and renewed the heating system. They even renovated the rear garden with stone paving and raised beds.

The judges praised the strong relationship this builder built with the client in the face of significant obstacles, allowing them to exceed expectations and deliver an outstanding result.

Find out more about M R P Construction.

South West Small Renovation Project winner - P C Builders Ltd

MBA 2023 - South West - P C Builders Ltd - Regional winner - Small renovation.jpeg

As part of a larger renovation project, P C Builders Ltd were entrusted with the cosmetic upgrades needed for this small holiday let property situated within the grounds of the main property.

The work was a late-stage addition to the main build, and the builders worked hard to slot this into their schedule. The judges praised their approach to accommodate this additional work, with the builders viewing it as a positive, stating that they ‘see it as a compliment that they would like to work with us further.‘

To keep costs to a minimum without compromising on quality or continuity with the main build,  existing features were re-used wherever possible – including reconfiguring and updating kitchen cabinets, working with an existing bathroom suite and using décor touches to add personality and warmth – like the addition of panelling and wallpaper in the bedroom.

Find out more about P C Builders Ltd, which is also an FMB insurance customer.

South West Sustainability Award winner - Thorn Homes Ltd

Thorn Homes Ltd, 2023 South West Sustainability award winner v2

This exceptional five-bedroom property in Cheltenham was built to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint using the latest renewable technologies whilst still maintaining a modern, luxury appeal.

The commitment to sustainability is clear throughout in the implementation of A-rated appliances including air-source heat pumps, heat recovery systems, solar panels, water-restriction devices and upgraded cavity wall insulation.

A beautiful aesthetic has also been achieved thanks to the Ashlar stone facade and coping stone set over four storeys, with an oak and glass staircase and stairwell designed to usher in natural light, giving the property a unique and elegant look.

Their client was thrilled with the result, stating 'The technological components are complemented by a remarkably high-quality finish and exceptional attention to detail all around the building… Priory Villa is a fine contribution to Cheltenham's building legacy and an equally fine reflection of the highest standards of sustainable construction delivered by Thorn Homes'.

Find out more about Thorn Homes Ltd, who are also an FMB Insurance customer.

Thank you to our sponsors


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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

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Meet the 2023 South West judges

Alan Tate

Alan Tate

Partner, Michelmore

Julie Putman

Julie Putman

Senior Regional Manager - South, CIOB

Tom Butler

Tom Butler

Head of Sales & Marketing , Glass and Glazing Federation