Whether you're embarking on a new-build or painstakingly restoring a listed building, here is our choice of the craftsmen with excellent foundations.
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Widely respected in the design and manufacture of joinery-led rooms for country houses, this Somerset firm takes a keen interest in how best to update period homes for modern families sensitively. Domestic spaces and kitchens are its forte, with recent projects including a Grade I-listed Jacobean manor and a castle on the Isle of Wight.
01934 745270; www.artichoke-ltd.com
A family-run, British natural-stone specialist, based in Yeovil, Somerset, the firm produces interior flagstone flooring, external paving and architectural detailing. All products are bespoke, created and crafted from scratch in the company’s workshops, often with stone from its own quarry. Projects include Georgian townhouses and country estates, as well as significant heritage buildings.
01935 847333; www.artoriusfaber.co.uk
This esteemed specialist has been designing and making timber-frame buildings since 1987, with a portfolio that spans commercial and public projects, such as an oak pergola, larch trellising and 22 oak benches for the British Normandy Memorial, officially opened in 2021, to residential oak-frame new-builds, cabins and extensions.
01803 732900; www.carpenteroak.com
Distinctive Country Furniture
Owner Brian Purnell has more than 35 years of experience in crafting handmade period-style furniture and architectural joinery, with expertise in 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century interiors. His firm can turn its hand to oak panelling, staircases and fire surrounds, as well as complete libraries and wine rooms.
01935 825800; www.distinctivecountryfurniture.co.uk
This luxury bespoke cabinetmaking company celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, having recently expanded its production facility in Halstock, Somerset. Known for attention to detail and top-end craftsmanship, the firm offers a full interiors furniture and joinery service, including design, manufacture and installation.
It counts more than 500 years of cabinetmaking experience among its staff, which includes designers, project managers, veneerers, polishers and fitters. Undertaking projects across the UK and internationally, currently including Portugal and the south of France, Halstock is particularly well known for bespoke fitted furniture in kitchens, wine cellars, libraries, studies, home cinemas and dressing rooms.
Sister company Little Halstock, situated five miles down the road, produces freestanding pieces, such as dining tables, luxury safes and jewellery boxes.
01935 891762; www.halstock.com
Locker & Riley
A plasterwork specialist, from design to installation, this family firm recently restored the lime plaster at the Grade I-listed Buxton Crescent thermal spa, Derbyshire, which was built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire in the 1780s.
01245 322022; www.lockerandriley.com
This award-winning firm creates oak-frame homes and extensions, garden buildings and garages. It uses renewable green oak and can advise on energy efficiency. In 2018, the company built the first oak-frame Passivhaus in the UK, using its own encapsulation panels.
01432 353353; www.oakwrights.co.uk
The market leader in the manufacture and construction of oak-frame garden rooms, orangeries and annexes in the UK, Prime Oak also produces timber-frame garages and stables, with sustainable oak air-dried in its own yards.
01384 296611; www.primeoak.co.uk
R. Moulding & Co
Two of the directors of this family-owned building company, Bill and Tim Moulding, are part of the family who started the business, which will celebrate its 225th anniversary next year. The firm specialises in construction, restoration, maintenance and landscaping, operating within a 50-mile radius of its home in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
01722 742228; www.rmoulding.co.uk
R. W. Armstrong
This Hampshire-based, family-owned residential builder was founded in 1957. It specialises in refurbishment and renovation of country homes and listed properties, as well as construction of bespoke new houses, both contemporary and traditional in style. The firm also offers an in-house bespoke-joinery service.
01256 850177; www.rwarmstrong.co.uk
Rose of Jericho
Known for the manufacture and supply of traditional paints and lime mortars, there is little that this Dorset-based team doesn’t know about the materials used in the conservation, repair and decoration of traditional and historic buildings. The firm can also advise on and provide materials tailored to the needs of individual projects.
01935 83676; www.roseofjericho.co.uk
Stevensons of Norwich
With work ranging from a bespoke decorative plaster ceiling for a ballroom to handmade cornices and ceiling roses, Stevensons of Norwich is considered an expert in creating, installing and restoring all kinds of plasterwork. The firm, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, recently restored the original Georgian and neo-Classical architectural features of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, W1.
01603 400824; www.stevensons-of-norwich.co.uk
Established more than 40 years ago, this family-run bespoke joinery firm can produce traditional timber panelling, ceilings, doors, staircases and furniture. The company also offers historic research and consultancy services, plus expert advice on period details.
01935 826659; www.stuartinteriors.com
W. G. Carter
Specialising largely in the restoration and renovation of country and town houses, half of which are listed, this full-service company operates across Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and the surrounding counties. Two family members remain involved in the company that was founded by William George Carter in 1947, only 50 yards away from where it is now based.
01865 864626; www.wgcarter.co.uk
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