It was a blow for a couple of reasons, in that, we were in the middle of a very prestigious project with them for Brighton Council on the utterly beautiful Brighton Royal Pavillion. We were ready to provide skylights for the project and were assured that the project will go ahead with another contractor.
What was also extremely sad was that R.Durtnell and Sons, our oldest building firm, some 428 years old, would be no longer. A company older than many countries, that has been in the same family for the whole of its life was the victim of trading conditions.
Our thoughts not only go out to the 130 employees that may have to find alternative employment, but also to some of the companies involved with the projects that are now left unfinished and may now feel the financial impact of such an event.
It is not the first time this year that we have seen large, well established companies in the construction industry going into administration. The industry seems to be having a wobble during these uncertain times and it seems to be happening from top to bottom.
One of the things we have noticed in is companies are trying to cut corners financially, and, unfortunately, rooflights fall into that category.
Unlike R. Durtnell and Sons, who seemingly became a victim of not compromising on quality, many smaller builders who are feeling the pinch are attempting to make savings on products such as Skylights. Whilst we understand that every penny counts for both the client and building company, there are some things that should be considered vital to the safety and security of the property they form part of. Rooflights are something people live and work under, and as such, compromise is not an option in our opinion.
There is nothing that can avoid market and industry trends, but we cannot ignore the obvious when it comes to glass over our families’ heads. We are very proud to have worked with R. Durtnell and Sons on this and previous projects and know that 428 years of history was entirely down to sticking to their guns and always putting quality first.
A great shame indeed, but heads can be held high.