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Project at children’s home ‘beats the clock’

WHEN Designer Contracts embarked on a project which is helping transform a former Liverpool children’s home into a bustling urban village, supply issues threatened to derail the tight deadline for fitting hundreds of square metres of carpet tiles and safety flooring.

But owing to a lot of chasing, some lucky deliveries and a dedicated team of just two floorlayers, the entire project – which included screeding of the ground floor tile areas and fitting 96 stair-nosings – was completed in two-and-a-half weeks and came in bang on deadline.

From initial inspection to final sign off, the project at the former Fazakerley Cottage Homes, built in 1888, took Designer Contracts about five months after being commissioned to undertake the work by building contractor, Next Big Thing. The work was carried out between 31 October 2022 and 18 November 2022.

Now known as The Clocktower offices, it’s part of a wider redevelopment scheme by Urban Splash to bring new life to an old site, transforming the historic building into one fit for commercial use.
Luke Ryan, Designer Contract’s project manager for the installation said: ‘This was a great project to be part of and involved laying some 1300sq m of carpet tiles and 125sq m of safety flooring. During the fitting stage of the project we discussed changing the original plan of fitting carpet tiles throughout the ground floor communal corridor and decided to leave some of the original floorboards exposed. Keeping some of the authentic character of the building really enhanced the finished look.

‘To meet the brief we installed Select Carpet Tiles (Anthracite) in a linear pattern to three floors and Altro Wood Safety (Walkway – Manor Oak) in wet areas and kitchens. The site manager made this extremely easy to plan with constant communication of where the renovation was and was going to be at certain points.

‘We were also in constant touch with the guy running the site about the subfloors to ensure a perfect finish.

‘Hitting deadline dates at a time of stock issues was the main challenge but with a little luck and a lot of persistence we got there – and the client is extremely pleased with the finished result.’

Said John Grugel of Next Big Thing Developments: ‘The fitting team did a great job on the Grade 2 listed building at The Clocktower. The two-man team fitting the carpets and vinyl throughout the office, toilet and kitchen areas were very efficient and the quality of work was to a good standard.’
Added Miles Pearson, co-owner of Jordan Street Studios at the Clocktower Park Offices: ‘The Clock Tower building is the centre piece of this 1890 listed estate and required both good design solutions and the highest quality of work along with a high level of durability. We’ve worked with Designer Contracts on this and other commercial schemes and have always found their product specification and installation to be of the highest quality. Both ourselves as developers and our tenants are extremely happy with the results and we look forward to working with them again on our future developments. I would have no hesitation recommending them and the completion photos demonstrate the high-end finish we were looking for.’

From a development that once consisted of 24 cottages that were used as homes for children, The Clocktower now houses the NHS, Liverpool City Council, Fazakerley Special Needs and a private nursery the Clocktower. Redevelopment at the site is ongoing.

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