2016 was an epic year for us and our builder: Martin from MJO Limited. My fiancé and I embarked on our first renovation project, and we certainly didn’t start small! At the end of 2015, we moved into a caravan in the garden of our recently purchased dilapidated barn, and in early 2016 after posting an advert for the renovation work on My Builder.com, we elicited the assistance of Martin Robinson to help us with a 34sqm extension to the barn.
We chose to work with Martin, because of his positive and energetic approach to his work. His price, whilst not the most expensive we received, wasn’t the least expensive either; but we decided that because of the size of the work and the price tag associated, that we wanted a builder who could think outside the box, bring energy to the job on those wet, miserable days and be someone who could potentially help us with the work required on the rest of the dilapidated barn. That’s why we chose Martin and he didn’t disappoint; during 2016 he not only helped us to build the 34sqm extension we wanted, but he also helped us to make huge progress on the rest of the barn.
Having started discussions with Martin at the point of planning, our project was able to benefit from his experience and ‘out of the box’ thinking, so that our renovation dream went from something average, to something exceptional. Because of his advice, support and enthusiasm, our project has made more progress than we’d thought possible within the first year of works. We’ve been able to replace the entire roof on the existing barn (as well as roofing the extension) with brand new trusses and felting and of course, gorgeous period looking pan tiles as well; we’ve replaced all the windows and doors throughout the existing property, as well as the extension, with fabulous triple glazed wood framed products which he sourced for us from a company in Poland. Martin didn’t take a cut for helping to source these windows and doors either, he just believed that they were a great quality product at a great price and that they’d be perfect for our project – he was right! Martin gave us advice and suggestions throughout the project to help us to achieve the best finished product at the best possible price.
Not only did Martin give us advice, but he also gave us spare building materials he was going to skip from other jobs, as he knew that we could use them and that it would help us financially. He didn’t ask a penny for them, he even delivered them for us and he had to travel a 40mile round trip just to drop them off. He gave us free rolls of insulation, free interior window sills, plasterboard, guttering, piping etc, and even 12 brand new doors, which one of his clients had ordered, but then changed their mind about, the doors hadn’t even been hung! This would be a wonderful gesture from anyone, but when it’s from your builder, it’s just so humbling.
We’re a year on now from when we first contacted MyBuilder.com to help us with our renovation dream, and we are thrilled with what we’ve achieved. We’re still working with Martin as we move forward with the next stages of the project, and we’re excited by what we will have achieved by this time next year.
Whilst people embark on renovations all the time, I think that we deserve to win the Job of the Year award because we’ve taken on a renovation project that most people only dream about doing, but aren’t quite brave enough to give up everything to achieve (living in a caravan 12months of the year is not an easy lifestyle choice!), and because this renovation has become so much more than it would have been if we’d gone with any other builder. Martin has taken our dream and made it his own. He’s worked with us to understand what we need, what we want, and what we’d love (but don’t think we can afford) and he’s helped us to make those things a reality. He’s an honest and reliable builder, who cares about his customers, and wants their project to be a success.
Homeowner Ellouise Hempstead