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When projects don’t run entirely to plan!

By Sarah Wood | Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Having a clear plan is essential to the success of any project, but nothing is set in stone – I honestly can’t recall a project where everything has gone to plan, but please don’t assume that’s a negative…


Dynamic project management

Changing any element of a brief or build spec inevitably has a knock-on effect to other areas and can impact the dreaded program of works!  As with most things in life communication is key, to ensure all the trades on site understand the bigger picture, so, as well as regular telephone and email updates, I try to visit site for a full walkthrough once a week to check progress and resolve any issues.

Some changes are unavoidable, such as supplier delays but others evolve organically – as walls go up and rooms start to take shape minor adjustments are often necessary as you understand how the space will be used. To give a couple of examples, in our current development in Aldeburgh, the architect planned for a large utility room, incorporating a toilet and basin. On our last visit, with the stud walls in place the room felt huge, and it was obvious that if we slightly moved the toilet we could create a cloakroom, separate to the utility room. As all the trades were part of the discussion, we were able to sign off the new, 2 room layout there and then and follow up with a sketch plan of what has been agreed, so everyone is working to the latest version! This change not only makes it easier for our guests to use the house but will also increase the overall end value of the property.

Future proofing our property development projects

Another example of modifying plans is to do with climate change  We have just had the hottest summer on record and while that isn’t likely to be repeated for a couple of years, Summers in the UK are getting warmer. To futureproof our developments and ensure guests’ comfort, we have decided to install bedroom fans in all new properties, to cool the room in Summer and to help circulate warm air in Winter. The Alburgh development was well underway when this decision was made, so lighting schemes have been adapted to allow for stunning Create ceiling  fans that will take pride of place in the center of the bedrooms. Sarah always includes plenty of gorgeous artwork in the houses so to overcome taking away the overhead lights in the bedrooms, it seemed sensible to use directional spotlights at the edge of the room to light the artwork in conjunction with lamps to create a cozy warm atmosphere.

Since we had plans drawn up for a property development in the New Forest the energy and climate crisis has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind, so we have made the decision to ensure the building’s thermal efficiency is as high as possible – the builders tender has now been revised to increase the spec of insulation to wall and ceilings as well as replacing windows with custom triple glazed units.

Working together to achieve great results

The key to a successful project is real collaboration – we choose our local trade partners carefully to ensure we have a great working relationship for the duration of the project – encouraging creative thought processes and welcoming innovative ideas along the way. Its hard work and it can be stressful at times, but we all love what we do and seeing all the elements come together in a finished Quince place is everything!