Midlands constructor Vantage & Co is celebrating after being named best builder in the UK for its transformation of a historic Georgian villa in Birmingham.
The Solihull-based team scooped the title of overall Master Builder of the Year at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles in London last week.
Judges said the renovation of Old Heaton House in the Jewellery Quarter was a superb example of ‘urban renaissance in practice’ and a ‘shining beacon of what can be done to the very highest level’.’
Managing director Stephen Rankin said the national recognition was also for all the sub-contractors and craftsmen and women who had worked on Old Heaton House, with Vantage commissioned for the project by owners city-based Elevate Property Group.
He said: “We have a reputation in our industry for the quality of build and the ability to deliver projects which are both on time and on budget. Old Heaton House is a great example of this and shows what can be achieved working in partnership, in this case with our client, Elevate, D5 Architects and a host of expert trades.
“This project was a labour of love for the whole team and it is testament to them that we’ve been recognised for our skill in carrying out a sympathetic restoration which is now the jewel in the crown of a redeveloped city centre site.”
Judge Brian Berry, of the Federation of Master Builders, said choosing an overall Master Builder had been a difficult challenge given the quality of entries. Almost 7,000 projects were in the running for the national title, with the bi-annual awards scheme seen as the ‘Oscars’ of the building industry.
He added: “But this one really stood out in terms of quality, in terms of what it was serving, in terms of promoting a renaissance of our inner cities.
The award entry detailed how the Vantage & Co team had worked to resurrect a structure that had fallen into almost total ruin, restoring it back to its former glory in magnificent style.
Stephen added: “We are proud to have followed in the footsteps of the skilled tradespeople who built this striking home some 200 years ago and have contributed to its rich history by restoring it as the jewel in the crown of this historic part of the city.
“Rather than abandoning something that was broken, it was a delight to bring it back to life and we feel the end result is both impressive and exquisite.
“We are really grateful to our client, Elevate Property Group, for contracting us to deliver this transformation for them – Old Heaton House is one of only two Georgian villas remaining in the Jewellery Quarter and owner Steve Dodd’s vision is a key part of this award too.”
Many of the original features have been retained and repurposed in the building which is now a luxury five-bedroom city centre home on the market for £1.8m.
The facade features stone and rendered details, including detailed cornicing at the eaves and moulded architraves to the windows. Internally, ornately decorated rooms coalesce around an outstanding stone staircase – hand carved from Bath stone by Vantage’s own master craftspeople, making a stately impression in the entrance hall.