A Tees Business Q&A with Jonathan Carter, operations manager of Teesside-based commercial construction firm 186 Property Solutions…
Tell us about 186 Property Solutions – when did you start, where are you based and what do you do?
Our services range from industrial and office remodelling, new builds, dilapidations works, and both planned and reactive maintenance.
Based in Stockton, we started trading in April 2016. I’m joined on the team by head contracts manager Chris Lakey, contracts manager Tony Gilholm, office manager Susan Woodmansey and a dedicated in-house site team that supports the delivery of all projects and small works.
What have been your major commercial property projects to date?
We’re proud to have won some major instructions in our first two years of business including the major refurbishment of Level Q, a critically acclaimed office building in Stockton.
We’ve also completed the refurbishment of three heavily dilapidated rail repair buildings in Ferrybridge for Davis Wagons, which recently won the Best Project award at the National Freight Awards, while it’s also made the top two at the Rail Business Awards within the Asset Management & Maintenance Excellence category.
Over the summer, we had success supporting local schools with classroom refurbishments and we’re highly experienced in assisting surveyors and business executives with mitigating dilapidation claims prior to a lease end.
And the business is moving forward?
Yes, we’ve doubled the size of our fleet of vehicles, more than doubled our directly employed site team and implemented more advanced work processes. We’ve also created three specific service lines which utilise three teams – major projects, small works and maintenance.
Level Q has been dubbed Teesside’s most luxurious offices. Your work there resulted in developer Andy Preston describing 186 Property Solutions as “the best of the best” and that you’re “full of hard work, pride and no nonsense”. Tell us about your work on Level Q.
Andy’s comment is very flattering, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t mean it. Level Q is a high end office fit-out which, when complete, will be based over three floors. The finishes from floor to ceiling have the wow factor.
The offices provide a forward-thinking space, providing tenants with something more than just a workspace. I believe it will set the blueprint for offices in the North-East going forward and hopefully – given our track record – we’ll be the first people other owners call to implement their vision.
So what makes 186 different from other commercial construction companies?
I think there are many things that set us apart including our process-driven approach which ensures a high level of communication, our employees and our passion to deliver the best product possible.
The contracting “game” isn’t something we can change, even though we feel many parts of it are archaic and slow, but we believe there are better ways to play it and we’ll always strive to ensure 186 are ahead of the market.
What does the future hold for 186 Property Solutions?
The future looks bright. We have a clear growth strategy and target audience, we will continue to invest back into the business and we’ll continue to grow our client base, both locally and nationally. We’re looking to recruit trades and build our head count but we’ll only recruit the most highly skilled workers and those who embrace our ethos.
What do you hope 186 Property Solutions looks like in three years at its fifth anniversary?
My personal goal is for 186 to win a minimum of one award each year, as we’ve done in our first two years. We are committed to our staff and we’d like to offer more benefits so that we can attract the most skilled people. Many contractors rely solely on freelance workers so they can cut the wage bill as required. I don’t think that’s the correct way to go, as it doesn’t promote our core values. We want a team that speaks highly of the company and will recommend us to others.