We only really like working in wild and remote areas – not only for the added challenge – but it gives you something to look at while you hang about the site waiting for the inevitable lost Jewson’s driver. Most of our rural work is in the Western Highlands: Trossachs, Breadalbane, Argyll etc but this month we are really branching out. Isle of Harris and the Borders! Must make sure our site visits are pretty well spaced apart…the photo below is our Harris site, where the weather is apparently always like this.
We have been blessed with unseasonably good weather for what seems like weeks now. As we are trying to develop a site with some of the worst ground conditions I have ever encountered – a prolonged period of dry weather has been a real blessing. We have supervised the moving, placing and shaping of hundreds of tons of concrete, stone and drainage to prepare the site at Dualt House for the next stage of building. Sticking to the maxim of “every day’s a school day”: No matter how much crushed stone that you calculate you need – double it!
Now that winter is upon us and we’re back to being knee deep in mud (but free of midges!) it’s the all too familiar “get it finished by Christmas” self-imposed deadline bearing down upon us. The prevailing conditions in the construction industry are some of the strangest I have ever encountered – a glut of work, no shortage of projects in the pipeline yet dire economic predictions and rampant inflation surround us. Its extremely hard to judge where this will land but one thing that seems to be constant: there is a critical labour shortage everywhere. Linearchitecture is currently short-handed, all our currently engaged contractors are struggling for workers, deliveries are taking longer, lead times are extending and don’t get me started on the lack of people in statutory authorities! With no end in sight to the poor political leadership afflicting this country or any end in sight to the wilding fluctuating material pricing I suspect we just have to accept it and get the heads down and carry on.
So in that vein it’s a good time to review what’s coming up. Arcadia House in Dryen has been approved for planning, our cycling bothies in Aberfoyle are still labouring though planning but we expect to get these delivered in the first phase for summer 2023, our trio of big houses will be finished by mid-February with one more starting in January. We are having a go at a large housing scheme in the Highlands and Achara House is inching towards the home straight. So as ever, it’s a very mixed bag…our unwritten corporate motto: Never be Boring.