New Faces

We’ve got a really strong team of tradespeople here at Raspberry Homes, who return to our jobs time after time. It’s one of the things we really value as a company. We can completely rely on our craftsmen to work to the high levels we make routine on our projects; conversely, they can rely on us to give them the quality materials and support they need to do their jobs at the highest standards, never pressurising them to cut corners, and that’s why they keep coming back to our sites. It costs us a little more to work like that, but we can’t imagine doing it any other way.
Consequently, it’s not often that we have new people on site – we’ll occasionally have people in for specialist or unusual works, but for the bread-and-butter trades it’s our trusted faces that are around. This month, we’ve had a new team in fitting some heritage Crittal-replacement windows for us. We don’t usually use aluminium windows – most of our projects require timber – which is why we got some specialists involved. It’s been a challenge, but they’re getting to grips with the Raspberry Homes approach and the final appearance is going to be amazing!

Bathroom Shopping

The conversion of our beautiful barns is going full-steam ahead. First fix is all but finished, the tackers are busy filling walls with insulation, and I’m writing this while waiting for delivery of the bathroom suites. Shopping for bathrooms for a build like this is always one of the fun parts of the job. The spaces in barns are often quirky, and finding innovative ways to use them always leads to lively discussions between the designer and the plumber! Vaulted sloping ceilings in the master bathroom here inspired a free-standing roll-top bath with a hanging traditional circular curtain rail enveloping it, and modern floor-standing taps to set it off. I can’t wait to see it finished!

Wildlife Watch

One of the best bits about working on a rural project like this is the variety of wildlife you interact with – particularly in old barns like our lovely conversions in Headcorn. The blackbirds nesting in the roof have already successfully raised one brood, and are noisily feeding their second batch of chicks; our swallow pair are swooping in & out through one of the old windows up to their mud-house tucked against one of the ceiling joists; and all manner of amphibians are noisily impressing their mates in the ponds. We’ll wait for all the young ones to fledge before closing up the openings they’re using – we can work around them for now. Enjoy the summer, everyone!

Floors down

We finally poured the floors at the end of May, and have started putting the internal walls in place. It’s now that you can really see how these former agricultural buildings will work as modern family homes – how the light pours in, the sightlines over the open countryside, where the cosy wood fires will burn. We’ve also had a long think about the gardens, and will start to chivvy the existing planting into shape and prepare for the new turf, flower beds and pathways. It seems like ages away, but some preparation now will definitely pay dividends later!

Bank Holiday Sunshine

Our beautiful barns in Headcorn are really starting to look lovely. We’ve done a lot of tidying up – replacing tired timbers, repointing, new weatherboarding – as well as the more serious structural stuff (new foundations, rebuilding brickwork, steelworks) – and it really shows. We brought the scaffolding down this month, and the change is remarkable. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s clear that these will be something special, nestled in a quiet lane in the countrysides. The plan for this month is to finish putting the internal drainage in and then insulate and screed the floors. By the end of May we’ll be working on the internals, and they will really be starting to take shape. Watch this space!

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