Read all about us at 1st Leisure Buildings – our early years,
how we got started and the products and services we can offer.
How Qualified Are We To Offer Advice?
Being a family business, we have been involved in the manufacture of quality garden buildings for sale since 1979 when Robin started his first production unit. Craig, Robin’s son, joined in 1990 and trained at Guildford College in joinery. For over 20 years we ran one of the largest UK shed companies in the south of England. We made the conscious decision to only deal with quality materials which we knew would last the test of time. This ethos probably comes from our upbringing. Robin’s father and grandfather were Master Butchers in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire and Quality and Customer Service was always the keyword behind their businesses.
Craig is a key member of the business and is helping 1st Choice to embrace the challenges of the 21st century. And with his two children, Daniel and Rebecca, the future looks very promising. So as you can see we are not just salespeople selling a range of products who know nothing of little about the products but have the history behind us to ensure that when you choose ‘1st Choice’ then you know your building actually will be ‘1st Choice.
The Early Years
History from 1979 with Titan Garden Buildings until 2019 with 1st Choice Leisure Buildings.
The foundations for Titan Garden Buildings were laid in 1979 by Robin Antill after retailing for another manufacturer – using this term very loosely – as the sheds were made from old packing case sliced into planks and nailed together. He was not very impressed by what he was selling, so he researched the market and decided that he could do a lot better and at a much better price. He left his job at a large haulage company and took out a lease on some farm buildings at Ottershaw in Surrey. Here he made buildings with hammer and nail by day and delivered them on a trailer which he towed behind his Maxi in the evening. Soon he started to advertise in Exchange And Mart and the buildings became very popular. He started to take on staff and got a small flatbed truck for deliveries, adding compressed air nailers and industrial power saws as business increased.
Agents were recruited to sell the buildings to a wider market, many of whom still sell Titan buildings today. After a while, it was apparent that larger, more suitable buildings were required. He was offered Titan’s present factories which he soon snapped up. The business continued to expand and more staff, vehicles and plant were added as the range expanded. Craig Antill, his son, joined the family firm in 1990.
Titan had now been manufacturing for over 21 years and offered a full range of quality sheds, chalets, workshops, playhouses, garages and sectional buildings. These are all made to order and delivered on their large fleet of lorries, most customers taking advantage of our on-site erection service. In this time, Titan had built up an enviable reputation by combining their ability to manufacture sound, quality buildings at most competitive prices, together with a fast, reliable delivery service and excellent after-sales service.
In 1996 Craig Antill designed a web site (www.titan.uk.com) which became the ‘Titan Garden Buildings’ official web site. His responsibilities then included, as part of his job description, running this web site. In January 2001 it was decided it should be independent and was re-branded as 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. This new independent site, to be run by Craig, was then appointed as a fully authorised agent of ‘Titan Garden Buildings’.
Robin Antill joined Craig at this time and it was decided that other ranges of buildings should be offered so that the demand for buildings could be met from all over the country. However, the criteria for these other companies must meet the very high standards which ‘Titan’ had always maintained. After careful vetting we are now able to offer products from Diamond Garden Buildings (with over 33 years experience), Platinum Garden Sheds and Workshops and also to fill the demand for steel and PVC (plastic) sheds, we now offer a range of steel and metal garden buildings.
They are now using their unique knowledge of their experience in manufacturing and retailing to offer an unrivalled service to the public making full use of Robin’s 39 years and Craig’s 26 years in the Timber Buildings industry. All the ‘Titan’ buildings were also designed by them. Robin Antill having started the company in 1979 with Craig joining him in 1990. Craig was also responsible for the main Web design although Robin took over in 2001.
A display site was set up so the quality of the garden buildings offered could be viewed which is a rare thing for internet web sites.
Alongside their experience is their approach to customer service (which harks back to the olden days when it meant something) and this is reflected in the independent feedback they receive on a regular basis.