In September 2013, Chris Daynes from Mainline Mouldings asked for our help after another customer, Sandicliffe Ford, in Loughborough, recommended us.
We were tasked with extending the storage space for the company’s products and linking the new warehouse to the existing building to eliminate the need to rent extra space.
Chris hired an architect to design the project before asking us to take it on as the contractor. We took on all aspects of the works including drainage, footings, concrete floor, dock loader, electrics, concrete walls and internal elements from plastering to fitting doors.
The Drainage Challenge
Drainage of water from the site was an early problem. This issue was twofold; firstly the roadside ditch was heavily blocked, and many attempts to unblock it had been unsuccessful, so it looked as though we’d need to
lay a new pipe under a main road. Secondly, the original plan for a settlement pond to drain the water away wouldn’t work. After digging some trial holes, we realised that the clay would hold the water, so it would not drain away.
The first issue was to investigate the best way of getting the water flowing away from the ditch. After some thorough investigating, we found the outlet pipes and cleared the blockage, saving thousands of pounds.
This also helped with the second problem, since a smaller settlement pond could be built closer to the ditch
so the water could then overflow into it, away from the site.
Improving the Design
When we looked at the original plans for the building, its link section was designed with a flat roof. With the architect, we agreed it would be better to put a pitch roof and a valley gutter, for consistency of materials used and for longer, better weather protection.
The client was also keen to get the best solution for the valley gutter. The building needed downpipes inside the building, but it was important to try and keep these to a minimum. So we considered different options, including a symphonic gutter which was not cost-effective. We
agreed the best solution would be a bigger gutter with larger diameter downpipes to decrease the number of downpipes and inspection chambers required.
Speed of Delivery
In the first meeting that our sales director Peter Lovegrove had with Chris and the architect, Chris said he wanted completion over the next two to three years. But in January 2014, Chris received notice on a unit he was renting, making his deadline became much tighter. At this stage, there were still a lot of details to finalise and the lead times of the building manufacture were also a consideration. We agreed the building could be ready to move in by the first week of August.
We decided to get some of the preliminary work underway on site as soon as the detail was finalised. This did put some pressures on getting designs finalised for the foundations and floor details but it was essential if we were to deliver the project early. It also focused our attention on getting the fabric of the building completed so it was ready to move in. We knew that some of the outside areas could be finished while the building was being used.
We also had to think about some of the materials we were using, especially in the area where the dock loader was going to be. Originally we thought this should be built with shuttering and wet poured concrete to create the walls for the docking area. With time a real issue, we decided that using pre-cast concrete panels and a pre-cast dock loader would save time and money, which it did.
It was important not to disrupt the existing business’s day to day running. We minimised disturbance as the job progressed. For example, there was some concrete that needed breaking near the existing building. It was nearly a meter thick in some places, and the process for breaking it up was very time consuming and noisy. We made sure we only did it at evenings and weekends, when no-one was around.
Mainline Mouldings extended storage space was delivered on schedule. For Chris Daynes this helped him overcome a critical storage issue when his existing storage space became unavailable. The day to day running of the business continued throughout with minimal disruption.
Peter Lovegrove said “despite the challenges of drainage issues and time constraints we delivered. Our goal is to help our customers in any way we can – even when the issues are outside the scope of our brief and this project was a major achievement for the team”.
Mainline Mouldings said:
“Three main considerations led to my appointing DPL to undertake our building project: a personal recommendation, the fact that you were a local company and the cost. It was only when we were some way into the work that I realised you were a family firm – had this been apparent from the start, it would have further influenced my decision.
I’m very glad we did choose you. It was my first commercial build and a daunting proposition at the start as you can’t be sure you’ve made the right decision, but my fears were allayed as we watched Sam commence the groundworks on his JCB. He did a great job. He was competent and ultra-efficient and inspired confidence.
As a company, you are fair and transparent in the way you operate and the quality of the build has certainly met with our expectations. There were always going to be obstacles to overcome in such a project and the confident way in which you tackled any unforeseen issues was both impressive and reassuring.
In fact the scope and ability of your firm far exceeds the impression one gains from your website, which in my opinion doesn’t do justice to the professionalism and integrity of your operation and the overall efficiency of your service.
In hindsight, the desktop exercises carried out in the early stages were a little slow and since I was inexperienced in these matters, I would have appreciated more communication at this stage, but I realise now that much was being achieved behind the scenes.
Initially we thought we’d wanted a shed but what we have acquired is a distribution unit without which we would have struggled to grow to the extent we have in the last 6 months. It has been a huge benefit to us – we’ve been able to completely reorganise our storage operation and the extra space has increased our efficiency.
So we are now looking forward to phase 2 of the project…”
Chris Daynes, Managing Director, Mainline Mouldings – Langar, Nottinghamshire