COVID-19 UPDATE: Please visit this page for information on how the current lockdown is affecting our display sites and installations
Like all other retail businesses, we understand the current situation with Covid-19 is causing concern and anxiety amongst the population.
Our key focus is the welfare and health of all our customers and staff. We will be closely following government guidance and act accordingly based on advice from the NHS, Public Health England and Public Health Scotland.
So that you can understand how we are operating during these times, we have created some FAQ’s below to help answer any questions you may have. These are unprecedented times and we will be constantly reviewing and updating our FAQ’s and guidance on a regular basis.
If there are any questions you have that are not listed below, please email us by using the contact us page or by giving us a quick call.
Do your display sites remain open currently?
On the evening of 4th January the third national lockdown was announced in England meaning that we have had to close our two sales offices for retail purposes. As garden centres are permitted to remain open, our display sites are still accessible and many buildings are available for viewing if you are based locally (although please be aware that some buildings remain locked for security and/or health and safety reasons.) We will operate from behind closed doors at our Sutton Green display site and, whilst we are not permitted to invite you in to our office, we will be happy to speak on the telephone if you give us a call whilst you are on site.
Both sites have have been configured to be Covid-Safe with hand sanitiser – available both as you enter the site and within the office – one way systems, an enhanced cleaning regime, screens, etc. in place.
Am I still able to place a new order or talk to someone about an existing order?
You can order online as usual and our telephone and email will be operating as usual from 9am – 5pm seven days a week. Please feel free to contact us with any queries but please be aware that we are still experiencing high levels of interest so our lines may sometimes be busy and we apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.
What are your current delivery times?
|Supplier||Current Delivery Times||Delivery Areas|
|Trentan Log Cabins||Approximately 12-18 weeks||Trentan Delivery Area|
|Platinum Garden Buildings||Approximately 16-20 weeks (+up to 2 weeks for painted or insulated buildings)||Platinum Delivery Area|
|Diamond Garden Buildings||Approximately 16-18 weeks (+up to 2 weeks for painted buildings)||Diamond Delivery Area|
|Royal Garden Rooms||Approximately 20-24 weeks||Royal Delivery Area|
|Lidget Concrete Garages||Approximately 12-16 weeks||Lidget Delivery Area|
|Capital Steel Buildings||4 weeks or 6 weeks if delivery required on a smaller lorry||Capital Delivery Area|
|SafeStore Silver Steel Sheds||Approximately 12-16 weeks||SafeStore Silver Sheds Delivery Area|
|SafeStore Gold Secure Sheds||Approximately 12-16 weeks||SafeStore Gold Delivery Area|
|These are approximated delivery times.
Please check at time of ordering if timing is crucial.
Are deliveries restricted in any way?
As a construction based business we are permitted to continue to operate and all installations will continue using our established ‘Contact Free’ system in accordance with government guidance. After you have ordered you will be emailed a risk assessment document which we ask you to complete and return prior to a delivery date being agreed (except Trentan log cabins whose customers will receive a telephone call instead.)
Whilst the install teams usually love chatting (they have even been known to partake of the occasional cup of tea or a biscuit!) we must do things a little differently currently and ask that you remain within the property for the duration of the works. You will not be asked to sign anything upon completion and any invoices will be emailed or posted.
Whilst we are under lockdown we will not be undertaking any ‘through the house’ deliveries. If your only access is through the house and you have already received a delivery date then our office will be in touch shortly to defer delivery and again once restrictions have changed.
What exactly are the challenges currently?
No matter where we live or what we do, we will all agree that 2020 was a challenge. Certain industries were shuttered whilst others – including our own – saw unprecedented demand placed upon us. For the period between our re-opening at the end of April and the middle of October we were seeing four to five times the usual volume of sales which, coupled with staff suddenly having to self-isolate and massive shortages of materials within the supply chain, caused huge challenges to our ability to meet our quoted lead times. No matter how robust our preparedness, there is not one company anywhere in the UK which could cope with that month after month after month and, whilst our factories and installation teams worked tirelessly to keep things on track, there were inevitably ‘those days’ where were everything seemed to be going against us. We would be promised faithfully that we would receive certain materials on a given date for the lorries to pull in to our yard short of what we were promised, containing different materials or, more often than was ideal, simply not arrive at all.
Whilst these challenges were outside of our control we hate letting our valued customers down and so we changed our strategy on advising delivery dates to ensure that the number of people who were disappointed were minimised (most people were understanding of the constantly shifting rules and challenges but we hated every one of those phone calls.) We soon had to change from arranging a delivery date soon after order to arranging a delivery date shortly prior to the intended day of delivery.
Whilst we hoped that 2021 was a ‘new start’ we have started off with fresh challenges both at home. Currently we are seeing the following major areas of delays:
Shortages of staff throughout the industry with more people than ever being forced to self-isolate and parents being forced to stay home to home-school their children.
Problems with European hauliers being reluctant to commit their vehicles and drivers to the UK following the shambolic scenes at the ports which saw a lot of drivers marooned in the UK for Christmas.
Timber remains in short supply and is anticipated to do so until the latter part of 2021. To compound that, however, we are hearing reports from Sweden that the government there are changing their stance and we anticipate further delays in this area as they are potentially to enter their first lockdown.
We are seeing huge delays and disruption to the supply of PVCu double glazed doors and windows as a result of many of the manufacturers of extrusion enduring a 6-8 week loss of production early in 2020 which was then exacerbated by a massive increase in demand as people spend more time at home.
We are even seeing a worldwide shortage of shipping containers (seriously!) which is hampering imports from Indian and China so we are seeing shortages in ironmongery (such as door handles and hinges) and fixings.
When will I receive a delivery and installation date?
We hope that the issues listed above should ease shortly: vaccines should make a huge difference to our staffing limitations and we expect that availability of raw materials should improve Q3 into Q4. Until that time we will maintain our policy of delivery date notifications which is as follows:
Diamond, Platinum and Royal Timber Buildings: Delivery date offered to customer 2-4 weeks prior to intended delivery date
Trentan Log Cabins (self build kits): Delivery date arranged by haulier as soon as the cabin kit has arrived into the UK (usual lead time from that point usually around 2 weeks depending upon your location)
Trentan Log Cabins (installed): Delivery and installation date arranged by the installer as soon as they are notified by the haulier that the cabin kit has arrived into the UK (usual lead time from that point will usually range from 2-6 weeks depending on their schedule at that point). If you are contacted directly by the haulier please direct them to the installer so that they can combine delivery and installation dates (otherwise the cabin kit may be sitting on your driveway for a period of time before they can come out to you to install)
LidgetCompton Concrete Buildings: A tentative week commencing date will be offered for installation shortly after you return your risk assessment and base completion documents. Closer to the time you will be contacted by the factory to confirm this week and the week prior to the intended delivery date they will be able to confirm the expected date of delivery.
This policy has been implemented so that we do not let anyone down as the situation changes through the year and we will not be able to offer dates outside of this system for the foreseeable future. In order to streamline things as much as possible we ask you to carefully check your email address and phone number on your order confirmation and promptly return your risk assessment documents as soon as these are received. Just because you have not received a definite delivery/installation date does not mean that we are ignoring you; the relevant people will be in touch with you closer to the intended delivery date on the basis outlined above. You are welcome to contact the relevant factory to ensure that everything is correctly in the system if you would like (contact details will be on your order confirmation) but they will be in touch with you as soon as they can offer a date with a degree of certainty. Our apologies if this is outside the usual quoted lead times (again quoted on your order confirmation) but they truly are working as hard as they possibly can under extraordinary circumstances.
What about base construction, building removal, painting, etc?
We work with various local tradespeople to offer various ‘additional services‘ such as building removal, base construction, painting, electrical works, etc. These contractors are independent of ourselves and have their own schedules and commitments but all are currently operating although their lead times do vary. Please be aware that, if you are trying to combine removal of an old building or base construction with delivery of a new building, these tasks will involve different teams and they will, therefore, occur on different days. Due to the shorter notice on delivery-dates currently (see above) it may not always be possible for the contractor to offer a date prior to the initial delivery/installation date offered by the factory therefore this may mean that you need to put the delivery/installation date back slightly to accommodate this. With this in mind we would always recommend allowing the contractor to complete these preparation works as soon as it is possible for them to do so even if it is a week or two prior to the expected delivery/installation date for the new building.
What happens if I need to self-isolate?
If as we approach the day of works, you or anyone in your household shows any symptoms of Covid-19, please notify us without delay. Arrangements can then be made with the delivery/installation team to defer delivery until another time or to undertake your installation in a different manner if suitable access is available.
Thank you for all of the understanding and kind words that we have received over the course of the last year. We really are doing our best to cope with these challenges as best as we can whilst being open and honest with you at all times. Our staff are under huge strain and doing their very best and we appreciate every one of them for their efforts.