Scottish building company breathes award winning life into derelict croft buildings

  • Aberdeenshire-based Coldwells Building Company Ltd celebrates win at the  FMB’s 2021 National Master Builder Awards 
  • Building firm praised for their project’s effective integration of the old and the  new 
  • They take home Medium Renovation Project prize, sponsored by Derek Gough  Associates 

Coldwells Building Company Ltd, based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, have won the  prestigious Medium Renovation Project category at the Federation of Master Builders’  National Master Builder Awards, held online on September 24th.  

TV presenter and all-round building enthusiast Nick Knowles announced the winners, to the  delight of the Coldwells Building Company team, who were congratulated for transforming a  tumbledown shambles of nineteen century croft buildings into a stunning family home.  

The awards recognise building excellence, quality craftsmanship, and exceptional customer  service, and are run by the Federation of Master Builders, the largest trade association in the  UK construction sector which is this year celebrating its 80th anniversary. 

Coldwells Building Company turned an 1860s granite cottage, neighbouring byre and added  slate-clad extension from the 1970s into a bright and open family home, with a modern  timber and glass extension. The firm salvaged as many materials as they could from the  existing and nearby sites including rafters, slate and granite, and were recognised by the  judges for overcoming the challenge of marrying old and new. 

The 150-year-old property suffered from a lack of light and living space, but clever design  and construction conquered those issues to create a modern home. Outstanding features of 

the renovation include openings being carved into the granite walls to provide space for  expansive glazing to flood the property with light, built-in birch cabinetry and the creation of a  large open plan living space by removing the cottage’s original floors. 

Coldwells had to deal with drainage problems, uneven flooring and even woodworm while  renovating the property, but managed to complete the project on time and to budget so their  clients could celebrate their first Christmas as a family-of-four in their new home. 

Ross Booth, Director of Coldwells Building Company Ltd, said: “This project was a  huge team effort and thanks goes to our supremely talented employees, subcontractors,  architect partners and wonderful clients who poured their heart and soul into it. This is one of  the first major awards we have won, and as a small family business, it certainly means a lot  to us. The trophy will take pride of place on the shelf. We are thrilled and honoured to have  been recognised by the Federation of Master Builders and we are grateful to the award  sponsors for making it happen.” 

Caroline Grumble, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Building, and National  Judge for this category, said: “This project had the edge because of the good use of the  glass and timber, the old and the new, coming together so sympathetically for the  environment in which it was delivered.” 

Lee Jones, Editor of Professional Builder, and also a National Judge, said: “It  impressed me how hard Coldwells had worked with the client to keep the project to  budget…while producing a really impressive finish. It’s a beautiful looking place.”