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Home > About > Build

Building our premises

"The most stressful thing you can do is move house"

I'd beg to differ.

How about:

"The most stressful thing you can do in life is build premises and then move your business into them"

Ok, not quite as eloquent, but I think it sums it up pretty well.

It started a couple of years before, realising that we had outgrown our original town centre location we poured over particulars but we just couldn't find the right combination of factors - space, parking to free us from the curse of traffic wardens, and the ability to bring all the elements of our business (that had grown to include repairs, mail orders, distribution & manufacturing) back under one roof.

Every interesting premises we spied was spoken for, but just before we gave up hope it appeared (pictured above) - an industrial unit on a comparatively quiet Close less than a mile from our old premises, which apart from a mezzanine and three rooms at the back was a temptingly blank canvas. We phoned the agent and said we'd take it - no need to see it, which rather flummoxed the them, but it worked, we'd secured it and with a certain degree of naivety were delighted with the challenge that lay ahead of us.

Our plan revolved us tackling as much as we could ourselves, with Mark (the other half of Deco Audio) being rather more practical than I but still no builder by trade. What followed was a very steep learning curve, naturally we farmed out those things that could best be done by experts - electricians, architects, plumbers, mezzanine installers and a very patient carpenter who tackled the jobs we knew we'd struggle with.

As anyone who has watched Grand Designs will know, like all ambitious plans things can go rather over budget and over time scales and we spent 14 months with every conceivable spare hour spent putting up walls, swearing, fitting plasterboard, swearing some more and then finally preparing for the big move (which when it involves many thousands of LPs and a huge amount of hi-fi equipment) which was no small undertaking in itself!

Whilst the exact figures allude me, we used many miles of timber, well over 12 tonnes of plasterboard, over a mile of jointing jointing tape and quarter of a mile of skirting boards.

Here’s some pics of the process for anyone who’s curious:


Above: A big early step forward in the build, the mezzanine arrives and is installed

Above: The result with the first floor complete, the hole in the middle is for the spiral staircase.

Above: How does this go together?

Above: We got there in the end, the spiral staircase is installed. This seriously over engineered steel staircase came out of a University. It required a bit of modification for our uses before being painted. Like most things on this job is was much heavier than expected, weighing in at about 2 tonnes.

Above: Dubbed the great wall of Deco, I was delighted that our carpenter built this as it was terrifying me (you can just see him on the far right which gives you an idea of scale)

Above: The wall after being covered with two layers of plasterboard on both sides - that was another job that didn’t seem to end!


Above: The Showcase demonstration room taking shape (left) and almost from the same angle after completion on the right

Above: The ground floor showroom almost completed

Above and below: So there we have it, a new custom designed home for Deco Audio, with three demonstration rooms, showrooms over two floors, a four metre long coffee bar (nicknamed ‘Cafe Deco’), space for records and large service facilities.


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