Great builders in Sussex – Martlet’s

by Chris Newson on August 15, 2010

So anyone who has followed this blog over the last year or two, or known us for the previous decade, will know we have had our fair share of builder nightmares.

We all know the score…It all starts off well, and then gradually standards slip as they lose interest, or some catastrophe conspires to destroy relationships to the point where you never want them to darken your doorstep again.

I’ve always fantasized about the Holy Grail of a great bunch of builders who you can really trust, that have great craftsman, and a committed team who care about your house as much as you do.

Well of course we thought we’d never find them…. but… as we have been through this job over the last few months we’ve had a creeping feeling that we might just have done so.

I have resisted this blog post until the end, to avoid tempting fate, but we’ve crossed the finishing line (bar a bit of snagging that can wait until after the school holidays) and I really think we have found them.

Andrew Bone, who owns Martlet’s is a great man to have in charge, and has put together a great team. He also has a really caring approach to the building, and as importantly to the family living inside it.

We started with Big Dave as our foreman – who was a legend for the ‘real man phase’ of the project. When earth needs a-lugging, and walls need a-building then it’s Dave who you want as your foreman – conducting the team with a firm hand, and caring about every small detail as if it were his own house.

Dave was a star, and when he went on holiday we did wonder if things might go off the boil, but elegantly Andrew swapped in a new foreman even better suited to the fine detail phase of the project – enter Colin.

Colin proved to be a total workaholic – here typically until 6 or 7pm, and towards the end 9pm and all weekend wasn’t uncommon. So much so, we kind of miss him now he’s gone. (Beers and movie night soon Colin!).

Again Colin wasn’t going to miss any little detail. Things that I would never have even noticed, he would spend ages getting ‘just so’.

He worried about things a lot, which resulted in a lot of thinking and planning, and a great job done. (Another reason for me to believe my ‘only the paranoid thrive’ theory has got legs, but that’s not for this blog.).

The quality of all the work was outstanding. Literally with everything they have done, we have been very pleased, from new walls to repaired sash windows and staircases, plasterwork, cast iron guttering, lead work, slate roofing, new dormers, painting…the whole lot has been done to the highest of standards. (I’ll get some photos up shortly to show you what I mean.)

So all in all I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Martlet’s to anyone – and in fact they have already started on our neighbours’ house as a result.

I would definitely recommend you get Dave or Colin as your foreman (I’m not sure who else Martlet’s use, but a great foreman as well as a great boss is definitely key), and having seen both these 2 in action – they are indeed great.

By heaping praise on Martlet’s I wouldn’t want to detract at all from the great contribution to running the project smoothly that JJ Hatfield & Co have made. They are of course the super surveyors who have designed, project managed, specced out, and guided all the work on the house on our behalf

Thank you David, and thank you Cath. Once again – a great job done, and again I could not recommend JJ Hatfield’s highly enough to anyone taking on a major building project.

When we’ve saved up the pennies for the next phase of the work we will certainly go to Martlet’s for it. (As long as they keep their prices keen of course!), and of course we’ll use JJH too.

Life’s too short to keep trying new builders when you’re a fussy git like me, and having found the dream team of JJ Hafield’s project managing and Martlet’s building, there really is no more need to keep on searching.

If you are contemplating building in Sussex use them both. Definitely. And feel free to email me, and come and have a look at what they’ve done here if you need convincing any further.

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