In a 120-year family history, the Wates Group has led the industry in a diverse range of sectors as experts in construction, development and property services but the culture for house building has always remained at the heart of the business. Richard Shroll, Managing Director of Wates Residential North, talks house building in the 21st Century and building on Wates’ proud heritage.
“Wates’ first home was built in 1897. It was the foundations on which the Group has built its reputation as a trusted industry leader and while many things have changed over the past 120 years, the one constant in our rich history is that we take great pride in our work. This in my opinion, is the most important value when it comes to building houses.
I’m a big believer that when you take pride in something it shows. As with any task, with a bit of hard work and graft it can be completed from start to finish to a fine standard but it raises your game when you really care. I began my career as an apprentice carpenter and from day one I have understood the importance of quality. It would never do to simply nail a few blocks of wood together. Precision and attention to detail can produce the level of quality that can stand the test of time and this is just the ethos we foster at Wates.
I feel very fortunate to head up Wates Residential North and to be part of a business that creates something so intrinsic to Wates’ history and also to be tasked with upholding quality. The housing industry has had its share of challenges, particularly as pressure mounts on us to address rising demand across the country, but I feel quite passionately that by keeping an eye on quality we can be more efficient in creating much-needed homes.
Having an emphasis on quality when building homes seems obvious. Perhaps this is because it’s a no brainer. That said, my time in the industry has taught me how easily this can slip when you take your eye off the ball. That’s why Wates as a business insists on a shared focus on quality within its supply chain. It’s one thing to take pride in your own work but what good will that do if our supply chain and sub-contracting partners don’t share our values?
“Of course building homes now is a very different game to when Wates began 120 years ago – design trends have changed, innovative partnership models have come to the fore and we are spoilt by the technology available to us. What has remained unchanged throughout the years however is the appetite for high standards. People want things to be the best that they can be and why not, particularly when it comes to where they live. It is our duty to deliver that for them and to do so to the best possible standard.”
Richard Shroll is Managing Director of Wates Residential North