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We’re such a close-knit team here at Shields Buildings, and I thought it would be nice to share a little of who we are and what we’re about. So, over the coming months I’ll be sharing a series of Q&A’s with the team. Up first, the man himself, the founder, Mr John Shields:
I was fortunate enough to go to Mount House prep school in Tavistock, where Ken Cload, my carpentry master instilled a love of wood in me at the age of ten.
Ever since then I have always taken every opportunity to get my hands on the tools and create something from wood. After a spell as a full-time farmer, I started making garden furniture commercially in 1991. This was followed by animal housing and then sheds and larger buildings. As the business grew, so the range developed to include garages and insulated garden studios.
One of the biggest changes has been the advent of battery tools. For a business carrying out much of the work away from power sockets this has been a godsend.
Another significant change has been meeting and marrying my wife, Jacqueline, who has brought her first-class marketing skills to the business.
For any business like ours, the greatest challenge must be the weather. Trying to have a contingency plan on very wet days can be a real nightmare.
Seeing the end result of a project and the pleasure that it brings to our customers. There is nothing quite like it.
Our buildings are very much bespoke, this is really our niche in the market, being ‘small enough to care and big enough to cope’ sums it up. We care about our customers and giving them a building that it special for them.
It’s important to use quality materials for our products and the team here are trained to deliver a top-class service.
We offer a full service from the initial site visit, design of a bespoke building to the customer’s specification and suggestions as to what may be most suitable.
We give guidance on the location, planning laws and the base. We can make a planning application if required. We keep in touch with the customer throughout the order process, keeping them informed of progress and timescales of when we will be on site to do their installation. Communication is very important as far as we are concerned, as is our after sales service.
We make the buildings here at the farm and take them to site in sections. This means the installation time on site and any potential disruption to the customer is kept to a minimum.
I am always bringing in new designs and materials as the market changes and styles evolve. This year I am looking forward to installing our new display building: a garden room with a store attached. This will have vertical cladding and will be completed in the next couple of months.
Beyond that, I want to continue to develop and train my staff so that they can provide a consistent and professional service of which the company can be proud.
So that’s John! If you’ve got any more questions for him, just fire them in and I’ll make sure I feature the answers in a future missive.