Tag Archives: chelmsford builders

A Quacking New Duck House

Bakers of Danbury's in-house joinery workshop recently built and donated a new duck house to the village. Bakers of Danbury takes pride in supporting both our local community and the communities in which we work - sometimes through sponsorship or even offering a helping hand. We thought our ducks needed a new home!

On Friday 1st February representatives of Danbury Parish Council, Bakers of Danbury Ltd, children from the ECO Council for St John’s C of E Primary School, children from Heathcote Preparatory School and some local residents all braved the cold, wet and snowy weather and met on Eves Corner Friday morning to watch the ducks officially take up residence in their new home.

Stuart Berlyn, Chairman of Danbury Parish Council said;

“Once again Bakers of Danbury has supported the village and Parish Council with this fantastic donation to celebrate their 140th Anniversary. So much thought and hard work has gone into this duck house. It's the poshest duck house we've ever seen, but only the best for our ducks!”

The duck house design has taken inspiration from the The Parish Church of St John the Baptist. St John’s stands high on Danbury ridge, as a landmark whose spire is visible from the A12 and from many local vantage-points.

Peter Smyth, Managing Director of Bakers of Danbury Ltd said;

“The guys in our church department, who overlook Eves Corner, felt sorry for the ducks in their wonky house with holes in it.

So, we decided to ask our in-house joinery workshop to build a new duck house. We asked our Bench Joiner Robin Palmer to build the duck house, because he has taken his lunch by the pond almost every day, since he joined Bakers over 14 years ago!”

The church duck house design seems very fitting for Bakers, as they are well known for their conservation work to churches, ancient monuments and cathedrals, as well as work to listed buildings and private homes. Bakers have recently carried out conservation works to both St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey amongst other ecclesiastical buildings.

Bakers’ in-house joinery workshop handcraft bespoke joinery and furniture. The joinery shop meets all the joinery requirements of the company, as well as taking orders directly from clients for projects such as bespoke kitchens, dressing rooms, furniture for business reception areas and bespoke ecclesiastical items. The duck house is something a little out of the ordinary them!

Bakers took advice from The Essex Wildlife Trust who suggested the duck house should be installed in time for early spring as the Ducks will be looking for nesting sites then. The duck house has two nesting boxes – a door for each box can be found at either end of the house. Each nesting box has a floating ramp leading from the house into the water.

Bakers joinery shop made the duck house from weatherproof ply with a felt roof and a spire covered in Cedar shingles. Over time the Cedar will go a dark grey, more like the colour of St John’s Spire. The tower has been thoughtfully designed to capture the rain water on a felt roof within the tower and redirect it back out from under where the tower meets the church.

The duck house sits on metal stilts with the wooden legs sitting above the water level to prevent the wood from sitting in the water and rotting. It took a whole day to paint the duck house which includes details such as a mallard duck, flowers and detailed stone quoins, very much like those on St Johns. Peter Smyth said;

“We've been trying to give a bit back to the village, as we've just celebrated our 140th anniversary last year. Bakers have always been on Eves Corner, so we bought the Christmas tree to go on Eves Corner last year, as a thank you to the village too.”

Hand Carved Village Signs

Bakers of Danbury have hand carved and restored village signs going back many years now. The earliest village sign on our records dates back to 1960, for the of village Pebmarsh in Essex.

Bakers of Danbury’s Joinery Workshop still regularly undertake village sign projects - from refurbishment and redecoration; to a full design service for brand new village signs.

Village Sign Refurbishment:

Village sign refurbishment works involve collecting the sign from its village location, cleaning, sanding and repairing any defects using hardwood timber. We will hand carve where necessary, then carry out a full re-decoration which will include hand painting the village sign. When the refurbished village sign is returned to its former glory, we will reinstate the refurbished village sign back at its village location.

Design of New Village Signs:

For brand new village signs, our full design service includes sitting down with the client to bring their thought’s to life. We will produce detailed drawings of the village sign. The design will be to scale (life sized) to give the client a real feel of what the final sign will look like.

Once the detailed drawings are approved, Bakers of Danbury’s specialist joinery department will hand carve the new design out of hardwood. Hand carving a village sign can take some time depending on its detail.

Once we have a completed hand carved village sign, it will be hand painted using special exterior paint to give the highest quality finish. Finally, the installation will take place at the village sign location.

Recent projects:

We have recently refurbished, repaired and decorated a National Beacon for the village of Purfleet. The beacon itself was refurbished and it's post repaired. We carried out a full decoration of the sign and installed a new concrete base.

We have recently refurbished signs for Halstead, Woodford Green, Roxwell and East Bergholt.

 

Shop Display Units

Summary: Shop display units handcrafted from MDF and Oak with a sprayed paint finish and stained oak edge

Location: Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, London

Architect: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Interior Design, Decoration and Antiques

Challenge: Short lead time

Solution: Bakers of Danburys’ Specialist Joinery Workshop handcrafted eight display units for Colefax & Fowler’s new Interior Design Shop which is located in Chelsea Harbour, London.

The display units were constructed from 30mm MDF with a lino top covering and an oak edging applied to the unit tops.

The units were finished in a factory spray with a stained oak edging. The project had a short lead time. To enable the project to meet its completion deadline the whole team had to work very closely and our joiners worked some overtime.

Colefax & Fowler are a repeat customer of Bakers of Danbury, we look forward to working with Colefax & Fowler again in the future.

 

English Oak Storage & WC

Summary: English Oak bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly toilet, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area

Location: St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden

Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects

Challenge: Attention to detail was important in this project as it was all made of English Oak and stained on site. There was no room for error!

Solution: One of the largest parish churches in Essex, the building dates mainly from the fifteenth century.

Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery department manufactured and installed a bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly toilet, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area. All were crafted by our Joiners from English Oak in our joinery shop, it was then taken apart and wrapped flat pack for transit, before being fitted by our onsite carpenters.

Great attention was paid to the highest spec soundproofing, with all panels either insulated with a solid block board or infilled with bricks to eliminate noise. The WC door alone weighed over 100kg.

Every post included a hand carved crocus detail to the top. The complete project was very detailed and complex with hand carved designs, modern sliding doors and bespoke detailed cornice which ran around the top of the complete project.

To watch a video of our skilled Joiner hand carving a crocus detail Click here.

 

American Oak Panelling

Summary: American Oak panelling measuring 220 m2 for a School of Science on Euston Road, London

Location: Grafton House, Euston Road, London

Client: Forrest Gate Construction

Challenge: The oak panelling was across four floors. Each with a different layout

Solution: Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery Department were asked to supply 220m2 of American White Oak for a refurbishment to Grafton House in London.

The project was a conversion of an existing building to a modern science school.

All of the panels and oak had to be class 0 fire rated. Baker’s Joiners painted and installed over 2000 meters of oak strips which were fixed to painted black 12mm MDF with spacing’s of 20mm to give a shadow gap appearance.

The project was split across four floors and each floor had a different layout, so a full site survey was necessary to ensure each floor was measured correctly.

 

National Trust, Rainham Hall

Summary: Conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall. Conservation and restoration works were carried out to three floors of Rainham Hall and its Coach House. Works included the redevelopment of the Coach House into a tea room.

Value: Approximately £2,000,000

Location: London Borough of Havering

Architect: Julian Harrap Architects LLP

Challenge: Provide wheelchair access to first floor of Coach House whilst retaining the aesthetic look of the building.

Solution: Prior to the conservation and restoration project, the building had been in disrepair and on the Historic England at Risk Register. It had been completely inaccessible to the public.

Constructed in the early eighteenth century, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall included a stable with a hayloft above with a brew house adjacent. When work started, it became clear that the roof had undergone various repairs and rebuilds in its history; leaving it with a poor structural integrity. Bakers of Danbury carried out structural roof repairs and re-tiling.

During the conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall a temporary staircase gave visitors the chance to see the works up close during a number of 'Hard Hat' tours.

Bakers of Danbury’s inhouse Specialist Joinery Shop built and installed a timber-clad vertical lift shaft with a spiral cantilevered staircase. The design of the new lift core, located in the within the Grade II Listed Brew House, echoes the large copper vats used in the 18th century brewing process.

To the Main Hall, Bakers of Danbury undertook a large renovation project including a full M&E overhaul. Bakers of Danbury also installed new w/c and carried out conservator decorating.

Externally Bakers of Danbury carried out re-pointing and brickwork repairs to all elevations.

In October 2015, the Stable Block at Rainham Hall opened to the public as a café and community space.

The conservation and restoration of National Trust Rainham Hall was shortlisted for the RICS Building Conservation Awards 2018.

 

Extension to Grade II Listed Property

Summary = A new build double storey extension which consisted of a garden room, dining room and first floor bedroom with en-suite.

Value = £150,000

Challenge = The extension had to constructed sensitively, to ensure its in keeping with the existing grade II Listed property.

Solution = Bakers worked closely with the property owner throughout the build, to ensure they take part in all decision making. The extension was constructed to a high specification, with cornice designed to match the existing and new box frame sashes and french doors handmade in house by the Bakers’ Joinery workshop. Ashlar lines were applied to the exterior render to match the exterior of the existing property.

The property was occupied whilst all works were carried out. To minimise disruption to the household; the extension was constructed, with the breakthrough to the existing house being carried out towards the end of the project.

The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, they asked Bakers to return to repair their storm damaged barn. Works to the barn are due to complete later this year.

 

Kitchen/ family room extension

Value = £150,000

Location = Woodford, London

Summary = Single storey extension to a Victorian period property consisting of a large kitchen / family room, utility room, downstairs shower and w/c.

Challenge = The property remained occupied whilst all works were carried out.

Solution = As the extension was for a new kitchen / family room; bakers provided the client with a temporary kitchen to use during works, until the new kitchen was installed and final breakthrough into the house completed.

Trusses were supported on steel flitch plates to create a large open plan kitchen and family living area, with vaulted ceilings, exposed truss tie beams and floor to ceiling length windows to the rear, to enjoy views of the large garden. The shower room was tiled with traditional Victorian tiles to the floor and walls. The rest of the kitchen family room extension is tiled with natural stone floor tiles. The terrace is paved, with vertical sleepers to retain ground levels.