21st Century Living Awards: Best Small Builder

Winning the best small builder category meant a double celebration for McCarrick Construction, of Durham, as the company is also celebrating its 50th year.

Winning the best small builder category meant a double celebration for McCarrick Construction, of Durham, as the company is also celebrating its 50th year.

McCarrick Homes is a relatively new part of the company and director Lynn McCarrick was delighted to pick up the award for its Ashwood development of two- and three-storey townhouses in Gilesgate, Durham.

She said: "We're thrilled about this award - all 47 of us! From the youngest apprentice to the oldest member of staff, we are all equally proud.

"We have never sought to compete with national or volume builders. We build only in prime locations and our product is always high specification.

"We commission original drawings from our preferred architect, Dixon Dawson of Chester-le-Street, and between us we modify them to suit a particular site and its requirements.

"Because the McCarrick team has been together for up to 29 years, we are able to offer a consistent and high standard of workmanship which we are determined to maintain.

"Many of our earliest young apprentices now hold senior positions within the company and they, in turn, are passing on their skills and work ethic to the next generation."

The homes at Ashwood, priced from £270,000, have bay windows, large garages, off-road parking and gardens with decking.

Later this year, McCarrick Homes will be starting work on the conversion of the former mansion house at Whickham into 11 luxury apartments. The small builder category was open to those who completed fewer than 50 properties in the entry period for the award scheme.

* The runners-up were Carlton Developments for Aycliffe Gates, Aycliffe village, Durham, and Anvil Homes for South-East Farm in Horsley, Northumberland, and Priory Close, near Shotley Bridge, County Durham.

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