After building himself a reputation as a ‘go-to’ name for agricultural and industrial building construction, Jez Reddecliffe decided that it was time to make the most of nearly 20 years’ experience and strike out on his own.
With customers of the company he was working at the time for increasingly asking for him by name, he took the plunge and set up JRJ Construction. “My wife Jade, who runs the office side of the business, and I agreed that if I didn’t try working for myself I would regret it later,” he recalled.
The decision to set up on his own is certainly not one he has had cause to regret, with his reputation for attention to detail, problem solving and quality workmanship securing him a full order book, with some clients already lining up jobs for up to a year ahead.
“The good thing is that much of the work is for repeat business from customers who trust JRJ Construction to deliver a great job for them,” he said. “It’s about trust and confidence. They know that I will do exactly what they want and to the high standards that I set myself.”
As well as supplying and erecting steel-framed buildings, JRJ Construction has built up a reputation for refurbishment, repairs and repurposing farm buildings, turning disused sheds into industrial units or offices, for example.
With two decades of experience and an eye for detail, Jez can advise farmers on what might be possible with their under-used buildings and outline the ways in which he can help them achieve their goal. JRJ Construction also offers on-site welding and fabrication, allowing the team to tackle most challenges.
One repeat customer is AA Clifton Ltd, a fourth-generation family farming business with agricultural and industrial interests at Haguelands Farm and at Sycamore Farm on Romney Marsh.
JRJ Construction has carried out a range of repair and refurbishment work on numerous buildings on both sites, with renewing grain walling in a barn at Haguelands one of the more recent projects.
“We looked at replacing the steel walling with concrete panels, but after carefully investigating the structure of the building we decided against that option and renewed the steel walls instead,” Jez explained. “We always work with the farmer and advise them on what will work best for the building concerned.”
Jez and his right-hand man Daniel Vasile, who has been with him since JRJ Construction was founded in 2021, are kept busy six or sometimes seven days a week, but Jez is cautious about growing the business too fast. “At the moment I work on every project,” he explained. “I want to make sure the job is done exactly as the customer wants it and so I am hands-on with everything we do.”
That can cause scheduling headaches, particularly at harvest time. “It makes me chuckle when a farmer who has had a leak in his grain store all year calls two weeks before harvest and asks me to fix it,” he said. “But we never let anyone down and most people are happy to wait a bit to have the job done properly by their first choice company.” Another recent emergency call was to a farm where a driver had upended a grain trailer inside the store and punched a hole in the roof. “We get quite a few of those,” Jez revealed.
JRJ Construction is in demand across the South East, both for new-build projects and for repair, refurbishment and conversion work. The company handles demolition and groundworks and is experienced in installing roller doors and shutters in both new and existing buildings.
Whatever the scale of the project, though, 38 year-old Jez is clear on one aspect of it. “It’s got to be done properly.”
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