Rylance Limitedspacer
Working together.

Once the seed has been sown, the first significant stage is getting together on site to discuss the possibilities, review some of the problems that may be encountered along the way and to agree a provisional approach. It also helps if we can begin to understand the sort of things you like.

Pre site meeting

Before this first face to face meeting, we prefer to do a certain amount of preparatory thinking. So it’s useful if we’ve seen a few photographs. If you’re able, and have access to a digital camera and email, sending two or three pictures to office@rylanceltd.com can help to speed the decision making process.

In the meantime it’s a good idea for you to give a fair amount of thought to the point of it all: the setting, functionality, style, materials, finish, the likely Planning response, the scope of your budget and a realistic timeline. We obviously need to gauge what is going to constitute a successful project and a successful working relationship.

Preparing an estimate

We can’t always promise to start on your work straight away. Unless it’s a very small job or an emergency.  If we are working on a complex design for you, it may take a while to create an approach that we are totally happy with. Otherwise, within a week of meeting we will have prepared an estimate and a rough schedule; by now you should have enough information and gut feeling about Rylance as a company to make a choice on whether to proceed or not. 

Of course if your decision takes months (and it can) the provisional completion date will have slipped and the estimated costs may have risen. But that’s a later discussion.

Estimating is an art not a science. It is grounded in our experience and the data we keep on previous, similar jobs completed. But occasionally there will be some elements in the estimate that are a bit finger in the wind. We point those out at the time.

During the fabrication process

As the job progresses we try to be fair and focussed. If we sense that it’s going to overrun its budget or timeline, then we let you know at the earliest possible opportunity and discuss the alternatives. We don’t like surprises any more than you do. And if the finished job comes out cheaper than the estimate then that is what we charge. On average our estimates are accurate.

If you want a fixed quote then we carry more of the risk, so we add to our estimate.

We keep track of all the hours spent to the nearest quarter of an hour. Naturally we charge different rates for different skill sets. We strive to ensure that in all our work we make the most effective and efficient use of time and materials. That is part and parcel of our expertise. But there are occasions when we can’t avoid using two people where you might suspect one would do. For instance if we use an oxy-acetylene torch on site then we have to have a spotter whose sole responsibility is to be close to an extinguisher and to make sure that none of the sparks set fire to something you’d like to preserve. We also have to wait for an hour after the welding is finished to ensure that the site is safe.

Delays and hiccups are not always avoidable. We are dependent on the weather if we have to work outdoors. Materials sourced without problem a month before suddenly disappear off the face of the earth. Consignments go missing for a few days in transit. And sometimes our progress will be determined by another supplier’s workload. These things happen, and there isn’t always a ready alternative course.

Choosing sub-contractors

We don’t like to compromise on quality. Over the years we have narrowed the possibilities down to a small group of suppliers whose work we admire. Carpenters, stone-masons and cast-iron foundries. Choosing the best; the best are often busy. So we monitor progress, co-ordinate aspects of the task in hand, provide frequent updates and generally do what we can. But at any one time we can have upwards of 40 jobs passing through the workshop in parallel. Some huge and some tiny.  And all clamouring for attention.