Thoughts for the weekend and this week’s links

Loft Crag Cumbria

Eudaimonia. I’m on my knees in a field somewhere deep in the Pyrenees. It’s a late Sunday afternoon in July 2018, blue sky and hot – about 33C. Not much is open in France on a Sunday. Even if it were where I find myself after nine hours of riding on twisting mountain roads, there […]

Featured builder: Damien Gartside – expert tiler

“I was always really good at art. I got an A* in school. Hopefully my customers give me the same rating.” Meet Damien Gartside, expert-tiler; Yorkshireman; dad. His expertise may in part be due to the fact he started tiling when he was just 14, when his mum’s partner started teaching him. He took to […]

November Newsletter

Pre-Love. It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun. This is the twenty-fourth time I have sat down to write something for our weekly email. It feels like I’ve written double that amount, but that’s how it feels when you do something new you enjoy, make a new friend or move somewhere that brings […]

Feature on Tiled – a boutique tile stockist in Southsea

Where to find distinctive tiles in Southsea Taking a stroll through Southsea this week, I popped into one of its more recent additions and had a warm welcome from Helen of Tiled, a boutique tile shop on Marmion Road, Southsea. Why boutique? Because this charming shop is no tile warehouse where you wander around dazed, confused […]

Builder of the month – October 2023

Darren Millard

Darren Millard of Millard Installations “When I started the business, I said yes to everything. These days it’s a bit different!” Meet Darren Millard, a builder 20 years in the making who takes tremendous pride in his work and likes to inject a little personality into his construction. “I enjoy recommending something a bit different […]

October Newsletter

Sailing west

We are sailing west. This week, I’ve been marked as a no-show by some very rude Belgians. Taught 600 students to draw by hand, sailed to the Isle of Wight and back. Plus, I produced design options, submitted several planning applications, and solved technical building issues. It’s been a busy week, my brain is a […]

Follow a build in-progress on this detached house extension: Autumn 2023

A liquid screed made from various recycled materials

So, the short Indian summer I referred to last month has been swapped for the sudden arrival of Autumn, with heavy rain and gale-force winds. Needless to say, this is not conducive to building work. But at least we got the roof on – or near enough. I’d been wondering how a powder-coated aluminium roof […]

Builder of the month – September 2023: Mark Fitzgerald of MJF Builders Ltd

Mark Fitzgerald

“When I run over the day’s work, I want to feel that I’ve done the best work possible.” Meet Mark Fitzgerald, builder, boss and family man. Self-confessed tunnel-visioned perfectionist. “I lie awake at night working out construction problems in my head. I’ve always been driven to do a job better than how I was taught to […]

September Newsletter

A whole month has passed. Schools are back, but the summer is still here. I’ve spent the past week at a couple of completed projects, filming and talking to past clients about how much their new homes have transformed their lives. How they really love coming home and drinking Hambledon sparkling wine. We have little […]

Stunning remodelled riverside home

This home by the river Hamble in Hampshire was a fairly typical 1980s box, which the homeowners were keen to enlarge and transform into something original. They wanted to add an extra storey and, being keen sailors, to make the most of the stunning views out over the river and the harbour beyond. The owners […]

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