These photos show Richard and his twin brother in 1965, already ‘on the tools’ in the back garden. His excitement for building and construction had been passed down from generations before, with Richard’s father having established a successful prefabricated home extension product named the “Doric”.
If you look closely you can see Richard and his brother again, sitting inside the extension built by their father. This particular photo was taken on March 28th, 1970, exactly 50 years ago at time of writing!
Following in his fathers footsteps, Richard spent his life learning the trade. His passions lie in creating beautiful and functional living space.
With a huge increase in property prices over the past couple of decades, more and more people were opting to extend their current homes, rather than selling up and moving.
In 2004, Richard decided to set up his own business and before he knew it, Contemporary Structures was born. His own business dedicated to creating and maintaining extended living space.
We have since built and maintained thousands of structures for our wonderful customers in London and Kent. Check out some of our case studies at www.contemporarystructures.co.uk!
Every business needs young blood to sustain itself. In 2019, Richard’s son joined the team, helping to modernise the business and simplify the business model.
As the world continues to advance from the rapid diffusion of technology, we noticed a huge demand for increased home office space. Many of our customers had spent their lives commuting into London and were keen to spend more time working from home.
Fun fact: the average daily commute in London is 1 hour and 21 minutes!
The ability to work from home is now possible for a significant proportion of the workforce, however, the importance of this trend wasn’t apparent to us just yet.
Between January and March 2020, we were working for a lovely customer in Sevenoaks on a project to extend part of their house to make way for a home office.
Despite awful conditions over the winter and unforeseen rainfall (Feb 2020 was the UK’s wettest February on record in a series dating back to 1862), our team mustered through and completed the job.
The result is a lovely home office! You can read the full case study on the Contemporary Structures website.
2 weeks into our next job, COVID-19 cases started cropping up in the UK.
Our current job was put on hold. Customer’s self-isolated. The phone stopped ringing.
Builder’s merchants shut their doors, granting monopoly power to garden centres over building materials.
Like every small business, we panicked. In times of crisis, you have to be proactive.
It is estimated that some 8 million people are now working from home. Of course, some will return to their office eventually, but some businesses will realise that they can cut overheads and actually keep their employees working remotely.
Many self-employed that were previously renting will realise they can offer an sufficient service from home, boosting profits, reducing commute time and be closer to their families.
There is a problem that needs to be solved. Most people that work from home are forced to work from the kitchen table (most popular room for working in absence of dedicated office/study). With kids and pets roaming the area and food an arm’s reach away, there needs to be a solution.
With our vast experience of constructing buildings over the past 55 years, we decided it was best to setup a dedicated division of our business offering contemporary, self-contained garden rooms and offices.
Since 2020, we have constructed hundreds of garden rooms and garden offices, and have since started offering granny annexe buildings too.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading our story. We hope that you can join us on an ambitious journey to change the way that people work from home and use their gardens for work/leisure!