MD, Barry Saunders’ career in building began at the age of 16, as an apprentice to his father. They worked in Drapers Halls and Guild Halls around London, maintaining and restoring these beautiful ornate and lavishly appointed buildings. Early in his apprenticeship he had the good fortune to work with a master craftsman, Bob Woodland. Bob taught Barry a lot about the gilding process and other aspects of maintaining the interiors of these buildings.
Barry also worked with several stonemasons and it was here that he developed his attention to detail and his love for restoration. Later, Barry worked for AMA Austin, doing pub refurbishments, mostly in London, but also around the UK.
Barry then started up his own business in property maintenance and developed numerous contacts with architects and surveyors. His big break came when one recommended him to help out a sub contractor who had fallen behind with some council housing refurbs. From an initial fifty house trial, Thornwood went on to refurbish nine hundred and eighty two properties.
Extensions, Renovations & New Build Construction
Thornwood Construction now undertakes a wide range of building projects, these include:
- House Extensions
- House Renovations
- Barn Restorations
- New build shops, flats & houses
Thornwood’s largest project to date has been the restoration of a three barn complex near Brentwood, Essex. Please see Renovations page for details.
Says Barry “Large scale renovation projects such as barn conversions always throw surprises at you. They are not a standard build and, unlike a new build, situations will arise where you need to think creatively to overcome unforeseen problems. For these reasons many builders will not touch barn conversions, but we enjoy the challenges and get great satisfaction from completing a restoration project.”