Exeter-based Master Builder Dale Chadwick Carpentry & Construction Ltd are a growing firm who tender for a range of differing project types in the South West. At the start of 2020 they were awarded a contract by Westlands Nursery and Pre-School in Kilkhampton to convert an old office block and bowling alley into a functional, safe and exciting nursery environment for a new generation of little learners.

Despite this being their first project focusing on a nursery or school environment, the Dale Chadwick team committed to delivering everything their client needed to a high standard. Meeting with nursery staff Naomi Black and Claire Burnell, they discussed the vision for the project, reviewed the architect’s drawings and confirmed the budget.

The brief included the creation of new playrooms and sectioned areas, as well as soundproofed sleep-rooms and a baby-changing area. Westlands Nursery Director Claire Burnell speaks highly of Dale Chadwick’s communication process.

“As a director of a brand-new nursery and preschool, I had a vision of what I expected it to look like. Westlands really looks exactly as I hoped it would,” says Claire.

“Meetings with Dale enabled us to share our vision and alongside his experience and enthusiasm about creating a purpose-built nursery, we created Westlands Nursery. It has a wonderful light, airy feel and the internal wood has been distressed as Dale suggested and complements our outdoor ethos.”

New toilet facilities and sheltered open-air play areas complete with seating areas were also added, along with structural and driveway alterations to create a safe carport area for parents to drop off their children.

The team faced challenges early on, with COVID-19 forcing restrictions on the sourcing of materials and on working conditions. Nonetheless, this Devon-based Master Builder worked tirelessly to complete the build, observing strict fire prevention regulations as well as healthy and safety precautions.

Nursery staff were able to add the finishing touches and complete a nature-inspired theme in time to pass Ofsted inspections ready for children to attend in September.

Site manager Ian Perrott says the team took the challenges in their stride and were committed to delivering a quality project.

“Being a busy firm, we are more than used to hitting targets under pressure. However, COVID-19 really threw a spanner in the works with the special order items and timings. The break was inevitable, but the guys were eager to get back to work. The whole team worked well with some late nights and the help of the local fish and chip shop keeping us going let into the evening. We are over the moon for the clients that they have reached their goals and opened the doors,” says Ian.

Dale Chadwick also created additional seating areas and installed toughened, fire-rated glass panels to enable safe and simple supervision by staff throughout the nursery.

Westlands Nursery’s Naomi Black was also impressed with Dale Chadwick’s approach to customer care.

“We were incredibly pleased with the professionalism we saw from Dale and his team. From the very start Dale was incredibly open to all our ideas and gave us a professional approach to how our ideas could be achieved. We were offered alternative ideas to help us save on materials and costs. Budgets were clearly set out and itemised so we could keep an eye on our costs and make changes as and when to suit,” says Black.

“Through the lockdown Dale kept us up to date with estimated dates for delivery of materials. We felt very little ‘bump in the road’ because communication was second to none. I would not hesitate to use or recommend Dale for future build projects, which we fully intend to do.”

Claire Burnell agrees their experience with the Dale Chadwick team has been incredibly positive.

“Dale has been professional from the first meeting, working alongside our ideas his team has created a building that has surpassed expectations. All the way through the build, Dale and his team were happy for us to be involved and change our minds, sometimes frequently,” says Claire.

“The service has also been prompt and effective, with no snags left behind. Alongside how impressed we are, every parent who has viewed [the nursery] has commented on the feel of the building and the work that has been achieved. “We cannot recommend Dale enough. Professional, efficient, accommodating and flexible. We couldn't have asked for a stronger build team.”

Company Director Dale says his firm are over the moon with the finished product and pleased their clients are too. He wishes them all the best of luck in the future with their new business, and we think they’re off to a great start with these fine facilities!

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