Dastardly Delays

Our Glasshouse Restoration is a complicated project. At the start, we asked experts to help us understand what needed fixing. We also asked them how much they thought it would cost. All of us did our best to work this out but some of this was guesswork. Once we actually started the work our plans were always likely to change. The project is now delayed. That’s no reason to worry though, the glasshouses will still reopen in the summer of 2023.

We now know that our restoration is going to take a little longer and cost a little more than we expected. There are a few reasons for this. The biggest one is that a lot more needed to be fixed than we thought. Our glasshouses were being used right up to the point we started fixing them. This meant that there were bits that we could not see. Once we moved the plants and took out the glass we found that lots of wood was more rotten than we thought. We are carefully restoring the glasshouses which means we can’t simply rebuild them. Our experts have to cut out the rot and then join new wood to old wood. This is very difficult and takes some time. Every time we find more rot it adds more time to the restoration. This time all has to be paid for and the project gets more expensive.

These delays with the wood lead to new problems. We had hoped to have finished this woodwork by now. The colder and wetter weather makes this work harder but delays mean that we have to do it. The biggest problem is something called “putty”.  This soft substance helps fill holes and fit windows. When it is wet and cold the “putty” doesn’t dry and this causes more delays. We are now thinking about adding some winter cover to help with this problem. This cover will help keep both “putty” and carpenters warm and dry but will cost more money.

The Glasshouse Restoration Project is also not immune to the cost of living crisis. This project needs lots of materials. The building materials that we use are in short supply in the UK. This short supply means that the cost of the materials has increased a lot since we started this project. We agreed prices with our carpenters and builders before we started. This means that they can’t charge us more for the work we agreed at the start.  Unfortunately, because the rotten wood and cover are new work we will have to pay the new higher prices for these.

Don’t worry, this isn’t all doom and gloom. These sorts of delays and increases in costs, while not welcome, are expected in this sort of project. We have a brilliant team and an expert Project Manager who is working hard to find ways to make up time. We are also working with our partners to find ways to pay for the new costs. Right now we are confident that we are still on track to welcome everyone back into the glasshouses in the summer of 2023.