It’s been quite a journey to this point and it all started way back in the day, down on the farm, when we always had to make do and mend, start from scratch and create new however best we could. This could mean a repair to the byre, making and hanging gates or building a new milking parlour, at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which one it was because when your making and creating your learning and advancing and it’s the ability to take that knowledge and use it to adapt and grow and change that finally led us here.
Building houses is a process and it all starts with the land, the very place we were originally from and when choosing sites our initial thoughts are to become you, the buyer, by asking ourselves, would we like to live here, what does this place offer, how will the houses sit in the land, can we create a home our neighbours would be proud to live in? Remember at this point we are often looking at a green field, a patch of mud or a pile of rubble so this is fairly imaginative stuff.
The next part is the house design with the size, shape and location of the houses being driven by the size and shape of the plot. We often brief our architect on what we would like to achieve, then we pull up a stool to the kitchen island, pencil and eraser in hand, actually thats me, we’ve gone all techy now and do it on the computer, and try to figure out the best flow with the most storage that we can possibly give you within the square footage of that house. In short, we try to give you the biggest bang for your buck but what we’re actually doing is creating a design for living.
It gets really exciting when what’s been drawn on paper starts to grow out of the ground. At first it always seems small, then as it grows up it goes tall, then the plaster goes on and it’s dark, the kitchens and bathrooms go in and a home is beginning to emerge, the paint goes on and the house goes bigger and lighter and finally the flooring goes down and its time to get out the bucket and mop ready for the big clean and the final reveal.
Potential buyers who come on board early enough in the build have input into how their house will finally look, choosing their own kitchens, worktops and handles from our pre-determined range, deciding on tiles for the bathrooms and en-suites and picking floor coverings from sumptuous soft carpets to practical hardwearing family durable products. It all adds to the excitement and personalising of your house to your taste because at the end of the day it’s you thats going to live there and its nice to get it how you want it.
It’s almost sad when we get to the end, the houses are all built, the nice new roads and pavements are all down and the landscaping is complete, we take down all the fencing, we move the cabin off site, we do our final sweep then we stand in the entrance and look back.
It looks a lot different to the first time we saw it, that green field, that patch of mud, that pile of rubble it’s all grown now, finished, built, complete, it grew out of the land, and it’s sitting well in it’s new surroundings. It’s no longer ours, it’s all yours, but we’ve enjoyed it, we learned something new again, something we’ll use another day, but for now it’s time to move on, our job is done here.
But before I go, there’s something I’d like to say, from our house to yours, welcome home to your new Willan Home.
Fiona Willan is a director of Willan Homes and Developments, a family business now moving into the second generation of builders and developers.