After photo of the interor of a children's room with roof lights and folding doors to the garden.

Another satisfied client.

Feedback is so important to us, as a company we strive to give the best service we can. The feedback we receive helps us to do that by showing us what it is we’re doing right, and what aspects we need to build upon. We thought we’d share a recent testimonial from one of our clients.

“First of all, we absolutely love our extension, it transforms our house! Everything feels more spacious and less ‘boxy’ – its impact is bigger than expected. Thank you so much for your help with this. We feel we have a new house on the same address! Even our garden looks bigger, how unexpected!

More specific feedback for yourselves:

What worked well was the good advice you gave us about what would work and what wouldn’t and therefore keeping it cost-effective, you visiting us and giving us face to face advice and having the ability to make as many changes as was needed until such a point that the scheme was satisfactory.

What could have been a bit better would have been to help us set realistic expectations early on, such as quickly finding a builder and advising us on eventual build costs, especially the effect of the hedge on the foundations.

Once again, thank you for your involvement and direction with this project, which has improved our day-to-day lives immensely. We are delighted.”

Exterior

Testimonials and the truth

We received an email from a client last week following a meeting, and thought we would share some of the feedback given to us:

“Thanks a lot for your time today. We do feel that the rigour and length to which you have gone to understand our POV to incorporate in the design is exceptional and we are grateful for the same.”

I asked if I could use this as a testimonial, and he agreed with one condition; “please do not publish my name because I am media shy”. This is fair enough, and so we have respected the clients wishes.

I was speaking to a potential new client who liked our website, in particular, some of the projects highlighted there because they’re the sort of thing he wishes to achieve with his house alterations. In fact he liked everything about us but pointed out that we don’t have many client testimonials or reviews.

This is a frustration I have; clients tell us how much they appreciate what we do, but trying to get them to write something is so difficult. I told my new client this (he has now commissioned us), and we laughed at how easy it’d be to create some fictitious reviews, so the fact that I haven’t must prove something. He also said that he would be suspicious of reviews that were all too glowing, this is of course true. I did mention that sometimes clients say they’re too busy, but if I write something suitable they’ll put their name to it, I have done this on very few occasions. I find it really hard to write a glowing report of our work, so now I know that it shouldn’t be too glowing so as to be believable. Perhaps with that knowledge I’ll find it easier!

Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd.

It’s all in the detail

When it comes to detail, we like to leave a “blank canvas” so to speak, so that the client can “dress” their house to their tastes. However with an existing house we assume that the client likes their house, and so we look for features to replicate or enhance, in any event my assumption is that the style of their existing house is a starting point. We don’t like to impose any design features on a client, it’s almost a policy to try to describe as “pay homage” to. This approach is particularly important when designing a facade. Soemtimes you can create a frontage which is just too busy for instance, and then the effect can be overwhelming. On the other hand, to extract a detail and use that in some subtle way often works well. 

Where a completely different approach is required such as where the existing house is devoid of any attractive features, and/or the client has made it clear they do not like the appearance of the house, then we do have to look for other design clues. I had better just add that the old adage “less is more” should be remembered, especially in a modern design context where you are relying on the whole form and shape of the building to create the chemistry.