Creating luxury homes

A day in the life of a house builder


As we continue to mark New Homes Week 2017 (#NHW17, running 15-21 May), today we speak to Henry Fordham at Bellis Homes, a regional developer that builds a variety of new homes across Essex, Hertfordshire and north London. Director Henry talks about what the company team does in a typical day, ranging from planning and technical issues to all-important customer care…

We at Bellis Homes always focus foremost on quality. How attractive looking is the scheme? Are the unit sizes and layouts good? Is the location prominent and is there ample amenity space? These are just some of the many things we consider when assessing the desirability of a potential development.

Once our homework is done and if the scheme ticks all the boxes, we enter the negotiation period. This can be the most exciting part of the job (if the vendor wants a quick sale), or the most tedious, with a past scheme having taken two years to agree - patience is a virtue, you remind yourself.

Once all planning and legal permissions have been granted we are finally ready to get underway and start building homes!

Mondays mornings always start with coffee and croissants in our in-house weekly meeting where all senior members of the team meet to review our ongoing projects and agree actions for the upcoming week. Being quite a tight-knit team, we all like to know exactly what is going on even beyond the scope of our own work – and always have an opinion on everything!

Bellis Homes staircase​Our project managers provide an overview of developments during construction and the directors will be there to oversee and pick up any complications along the way. We have definitely adopted the scouting motto – “be prepared” – as this is property, and rest assured there are ALWAYS complications.

To ensure everything is on track and completed to our exacting standards site visits are a regular occurrence from the very beginning through to the very end, when the keys are handed over. Throughout construction we have fortnightly meetings on site with all of the design team including lighting, interiors, architects, electrical, engineers etc; it can become quite a squeeze in the site cabins, but on the plus side it keeps it warm in winter!

When we are in the office we focus our time going through plans, developments and paperwork. On a typical day our in-house interior design team, Darsah Interiors, will be working alongside our land and acquisitions manager to re-jig interior layouts of a new scheme to ensure we have considered all the finer details. Too often we see homes where furniture layouts haven’t been given proper consideration and the TV point is on the wrong wall so your sofa won’t look right, or bedrooms come without enough space for a proper wardrobe.

Our project managers will be ensuring the paperwork for all our developments are all in order and meetings with the relevant parties from the local council to surveyors. Members of our in-house construction team, Bellis Construction, will be working hard to procure every element from the concrete in the ground to the mastic in the bathrooms for our projects onsite.

Our sales and marketing team work hard throughout the day with local agents to market and sell our properties. The appeal factor to buying a Bellis Home is quality, and thus we take great pride in the way our company and homes are presented with images that allude to this. The material which the marketing team produce is very important, from the development brochures through to the hoarding, advertisements, CGIs, videos and the like – it all has to be perfect.

With seven sites currently on the go across London, Essex and Hertfordshire, all at various stages, it’s always busy here at Bellis Homes. There’s never a dull day I assure you!

From the very first viewing to receiving the keys the Bellis Homes service was second to none. They guided us through the whole process in a professional, friendly and efficient manner.

Mrs L Amorelli

I just wanted to let you know how impressed we were when we took possession from you, to three years later, with the quality and lack of maintenance, thank you.

Daniel Goldberg

Every time I open the door on my new home I feel  serenity and comfort. I can’t wait to come home each evening!

Mrs J Phillips.

The entertainment basement with games room, cinema, steam room and hydro pool is massive hit with my teenage children!

Mrs C Pavalovski

The quality of the Bellis build is truly outstanding. This is a dream home for the whole family.

Mr D Nicholson.

Bellis have designed a property that is perfect for large family living. From the cinema room to the study everyone has their own favorite area!

The bathrooms are out of this world! Every night feels like I’m staying in a 5 star hotel.

Miss M Hibbert.

Absolutely fell in love with the show unit at Brook Mews I thought it was a sensational home, it just felt like home from the moment we opened the door.

Neil Robins

My apartment is the epitome of luxury modern living. Controlling the heating, lights, sound and security all from my smart-phone is quick and very easy.

Mr T Hussain.

The kitchen is sleek and stylish with everything you could ever wish for. It really is the heart of our home.

Mr G Monachello