High quality management underpins Galower Build
We've built our reputation as builders for architects by understanding the vision they've created for their clients, then delivering it without compromise. We're well known for our management by example because it underpins our high quality construction.
Galower's responsibility as a builder of high quality residential and commercial properties, is to establish and achieve buildability - turning 'the dream' into reality. Often that means coming up with ideas and recommendations to ensure the right outcome. For this reason we've earned our place on the design team, alongside the architect and structural engineer, right from the word go.
Armed with the design and vision, we gather together a team of crafts and trades people. We plan and manage in meticulous detail, every single activity and person involved, keeping the project on time, within budget. We also factor in enough flexibility to ensure opportunities are recognised and embraced.
As with all professionals, we are judged on the final build and how it performs 10-12 years later. Galower's craftsmanship is obvious from day one which is why it stands the test of time. In many cases, the client takes out a maintenance package with us which is a great indication of their trust in the quality of our build.
Buildability means staying true to the spirit of the design
“I’ve worked with Galower for the last 6 years. They’re experienced and always very competent. My work concerns a lot of high-end residential properties, where adding a basement is involved. These are high risk jobs - usually older properties with inherent problems, so building a basement adds even more risk. This isn’t any old type of building work, so having an appropriately skilled and experienced contractor is massively important. Galower, having worked out the buildability, will always come up with the “next 6 steps" to get us here.
All the planning and preparation that goes into the building or refurbishment of a property is just as exciting for us as it is for the architect and their client. We work with really inspirational architects whose great visions and designs enable us to build some amazing properties. Properties we're really proud of and often continue to maintain for the owners.
Being sensitive to the architect's and client's vision of the finished home they wish to create is a vital first step. We take very seriously, our part in delivering 'strength, utility and beauty'. We're not simply getting a load of trades together to build an approximate (or 'easier') version. The more familiar we are with the vision the better our planning, and more focused our attention to the detail. Otherwise there's a disconnect and, essentially, neither the architect or client is getting what they envisioned.
To Galower, 'buildability' means staying true to the spirit of a design - not diluting it in any way. This is our approach from start to finish; we deal with issues and challenges head-on whether structural or cosmetic. We're only interested in how to achieve what our clients want by working out the steps we need to get the right result, whatever that might be. That's what we mean by being 'builders for architects'.
Planning the build
Having worked with architects for many years (40+), we understand that they need to trust how we work; the way we go about certain aspects, the route we follow, the time it takes. It's all in the detail, and that detail is never overlooked:
- Managing the relationship with, and expectations of, everyone involved - architect, client, build team, local community
- Input at design level to ensure buildability
- Sound decision-making at every stage
- Professional project management with clear communication at its core
We manage the scheduling of other specialist trades - from kitchen and window fitters to garden designers. We are rightfully respectful of their skills and we work closely with them, as part of the bigger project team. Ensuring they are able to carry out their work within the timescales we've created, is critical to the overall success of a project.
We take pride in approaching every challenge knowing we can come up with a solution – not just a work around but an enterprising response. You won't get a “What now?” from Galower; it'll always be "This is our recommended solution, and these are the steps to get us to this point..."
Selecting the build team
The projects we work on are ‘one offs’ and so is the team we put together to make it all happen - “fastidious” is how one architect describes our approach. The individual nature of each unique build relies on trades functioning harmoniously - from the steel worker to the artisan tiler.
It's critical that we understand how our sub contractors work - their needs, the processes they follow and specialist materials they use. With garden designers, for example, there's a sequence to their work which needs to be factored into our plans to ensure progress is unhindered: hard landscaping, drainage, power, contamination-free irrigation systems, position of the lighting, etc. Planting may be one of the final pieces of work to complete on a residential project but the preparation starts much, much earlier. Even storage needs are anticipated to ensure different teams of people aren't vying for the same space.
A resourceful and safe pair of hands
As high end property builders, we have a reputation for being a safe pair of hands. It comes from knowledge and experience and it's massively important whatever the type or size of project, particularly where conservation and graded buildings are concerned.
Our residential work often involves extending and adding basements to older properties which calls for a different kind of specialist knowledge. This isn't any old building work. These can be complex jobs and a major part of the buildability will be ensuring the existing property is structurally sound enough to support underground excavation. We work with the structural engineer to work out a plan. For example, surveying the water table and geology, and understanding the impact on drainage.
Financial stability is the sign of a high quality builder
The health of our balance sheet really does demonstrate financial stability - the result of a lot of ongoing hard work in the background:
- Careful management of each project's life-cycle. 'Real time' to Galower is more than a report; we rely on site status so we know precisely the progress of work, budget and schedule at any one time
- Efficient and pragmatic procurement so we resource exactly the right products at the right cost
- Scheduling based on 'optimum' timescales which allows for changes as well as phase completion ahead of time
- Managing our supply chain so they are motivated to deliver what's needed, when it's needed
- Not overtrading so we're never too stretched to react to schedule changes in any one project and the stability of our order book is never compromised
Essentially, the key to Galower's financial stability is embracing the concept: "Let's allow for this...".
Getting everyone on board Team Galower
Managing and executing the build properly, first time
The camaraderie between the various trades on a Galower site is something our clients often remark upon. Architects, engineers and surveyors say its refreshing to witness everyone pulling in the same direction. We have a common desire to build a stunning property, and to do so in an efficient and sustainable manner. (And still have a good rapport several months later when the project comes to an end.)
They also know that Galower's high standards across the board are driven from the very top. Essentially it's 'do it properly, first time'.