Ensuring the client experience is positive from start to finish during their home refurbishment project is an essential aspect of Clara Bee’s service ethos, as a recent case study in Battersea demonstrates.
This project was to modernise and update the family’s 5 bedroom terraced house. 17 years had passed since any previous work and the kitchen, bathrooms and décor were tired and dated. The brief also covered updating wiring, plumbing and technology, remodel floor layouts, and maximise storage.
“Clara Bee took our vision, shaped it with us, and delivered it all in a beautiful way” says Douglas, their client, to create the perfect home for the next stage of their lives. The clients had clear ambitions and anticipated costs, their greatest challenge was finding time to set up, coordinate and manage the project, with busy work, school and family lives. “Previous experience of projects had been stressful”, Douglas continues, “This project was far more complex structurally, but delivery was as seamless and stress free as possible”.
From the outset, Trevor and Claire took their clients’ vision and brief; analysing the value and cost associated with each component in scope, before creating the overall budget. Douglas says “They listened to our ideas. Getting strong input as to what was practicable and achievable was particularly valuable. ”
One problem was the second reception room, which was dark and under-utilised. The solution was to incorporate this room into the kitchen to enlarge the dining area, and create a separate utility, storage, larder and comms room. Light flow and useable space is now maximised with the utilities, equipment and storage items practically tucked away behind stunning antique glass.
Architecture plans courtesy of and copyright Reverb Architecture
Once the project was scoped out Clara Bee introduced an architect and structural engineers to develop the formal drawings, structural requirements and planning legalities. Clara Bee differentiates from its competitors through introducing and coordinating independent contractors from their network of reliable local suppliers, selecting professionals they feel suit the job, ensuring a supply of new ideas, fresh approaches and regularly-assessed costs.
Another key aspect as the project moved to the build stage was Trevor’s role as Project Manager, Douglas describes “He went above and beyond with daily on site attendance, regular calls and good Whatsapp contact”. Trevor confirmed deliverables, challenged outputs, identified and explained risks, leaving the clients to be as involved as they wished, or needed to be. Managing the budget from the initial scope through evolution of ideas was essential and Douglas confirmed “We had such high confidence in the team because we could see the parameters set by the budget”.
Tight budget control, overall confidence and communication organically extended the scope to cover garden landscaping and planting. Claire was keen that the beautiful interior be complemented with improvements to the exterior.
Once the house began to take shape Interior Design progressed; “Claire really helped by letting us be the customer; buying and using things we wanted to, her team’s involvement being tactically and carefully managed to have the greatest effect”.
Douglas knows projects like this involve stressful complexities “Having your home turned into a building site is not the easiest thing” however, readily admits that the process “Was as enjoyable as much as is possible”.
He concludes, “We have gained a room, love the space, our friends are extremely complimentary and our teenage daughter actually wants to have her friends here, which says it all! The whole family is delighted. Our house now brings a smile to our faces as we walk into it, welcoming us home after a hard day at work, really a house to be proud of. Clara Bee made everything run smoothly, plus the project timeline was as they predicted. We would happily recommend them to anyone considering a home improvement whether they are novices or experts at it.”