Mr & Mrs Blake

“Background and key contacts

We used Crawford & Co. Construction Limited to completely renovate a Victorian terrace house close to Jericho in Oxford and create a state of the art, modern home within the existing Victorian shell. The building work involved expanding the property’s footprint by digging out, underpinning and damp-proofing the cellar, installing stairs in a dormer window to access the attic space and re-roofing the entire property. Our primary contacts were Israr Hussain (financial & contractual aspects) and Stanley Crawford (building and project management aspects). We had supplied our architect’s drawings specifying the work to be done and Crawford & Co. helped us turn these plans into reality in an active building phase of approximately one year. We continued to live in Germany throughout the duration of the project and made periodic visits to the property to inspect progress and fine-tune decisions. We therefore relied on Crawford & Co. to project manage the team to get the job done and had regular contact with Stanley by phone.

Our experience and observations

We chose to work with Crawford & Co. based on a competitive building quote and having inspected their craftsmanship on similar renovation projects in the Oxford area. Being based overseas we valued working with an established local firm with a proven pedigree and good connections to reliable partners. Crawford & Co. brought in specialists for specific tasks during the project (e.g. structural engineer to advise on internal load-bearing solutions, damp-proofing firm for the cellar, electrician to fully re-wire the house, plumber to install new boiler and underfloor heating, tilers to fit out bathrooms/kitchens, fire security specialists to fit misters by stairs). We found the Crawford & Co. core team of employees and their specialist partners friendly and reliable to deal with. We had our ideas and vision for the property but adapted these during the project when we heard good reasons to go with a better alternative approach. Crawford & Co. worked cooperatively with us to turn our vision into reality. They also maintained very good relations with our immediate neighbours, which was important in contributing to the overall success of the project and keeping the goodwill intact. We feel we benefited from good recommendations from Crawford & Co. for low-cost solutions and good value sourcing available in the Oxford area. We found them helpful in pointing out ways to avoid over-paying for materials, whilst still delivering a high quality finish and keeping the overall costs under control. We worked to a baseline quote agreed at the start of the project. Any additional work requested by us during the project was negotiated in a fair and open environment and we found we reached agreement with Israr with minimum fuss. Similarly, they worked through the end of project ‘snagging list’ quickly and efficiently, which was important for us as we had tenants wanting to move into the property at short notice.

Recommendation

I would have no hesitation in recommending Crawford & Co. for residential property renovations. Indeed, if were renovating a second property in the Oxford area I would definitely use them again.”