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Spotlight on Olivers Contracts

Spotlight on a Contractor: Steve Lampkin, Olivers Contracts

Karndean Designflooring

Olivers Contracts is a family run business and Steve Lampkin was invited to join in 2005 by his Father, who was the owner at the time. In this Spotlight interview, Steve talks about the benefits of asking customers the right questions and why he regards Karndean products as the "best materials" to use.

1) How long have you been in this profession and what led you to it?

I had been working in the marketing department for Weight Watchers, but then in 2005 my Father, who was edging towards retirement, offered me the chance to join him with a view for me to take over the business in the future. 

2) What sets you apart from your competitors?

We always set out to offer the best service and overall experience for the customer. From using the very best materials to the best floor layers, we are always aiming at perfection. As we’re a smaller contractor we can offer a personal service and build up relationships with our customers, whilst also having the organisational skills to manage the larger projects.

3) Why did you choose to partner with Karndean?

Because we try to use the best materials, we naturally enjoy working closely with Karndean. Their products are consistent and reliable, aesthetically very good, the lead times are short, and it all comes with great service.

4) Could you tell us about a few of your recent projects that have involved Karndean?

We have completed a number of Pets Corner stores around the country, and the most recent stores have Knight Tile Lime Washed Oak fitted on a 45-degree angle. We have also just completed the first phase of a local rugby club where we installed Van Gogh White Washed Oak.

Spotlight on Olivers Contracts

Pictured above: Pets Corner, Peacehaven store - Opus Niveus

5) What flooring questions are you asked most often by customers and how do you respond?

The most common questions we are asked are about how hardwearing the floor is and how it needs to be cleaned. We walk them through contract ratings, guarantees, and also offer up examples of where the products have been installed before and how well they have stood up to the wear and tear. We tend to provide manufacturers’ cleaning and maintenance instructions, like Karndean's, and offer the accompanying cleaning and maintenance kits.

6) What are the most important questions you need to ask your customers at the beginning of a project?

I am mainly concerned with finding out if there are going to be any practical or logistical issues at first, for example, we like to know if there’s parking nearby and decent access and we ask about the history of the subfloor so we can detect any hidden problems. Once we move onto the floorcovering specification, I will try to gauge usage and the wear and tear of the area, as well as the customer’s expectations and budget.

7) Have you come across any unusual complications and if so how did you overcome them?

We have had to deal with some horrible subfloors, occasionally with an awkward mix of asbestos, bitumen, and moisture. Versilay has come to our rescue on several occasions. Korlok could be another option, as it can be installed over most existing hard floors and hides subfloor imperfections.

8) What floor trends are you currently seeing?

We are finding a greater trend for LVT and a greater acceptance that LVT is a better option when the customer has initially asked for something different.

Spotlight on Olivers Contracts

 Pictured above: Pets Corner, Peacehaven store - Opus Niveus

9) What’s been your favourite project to date?

The Pets Corner projects have to be our favourite. We have built up a good relationship with the Pets Corner team and go from one project to the next with the same tried and tested formula.

10) How would you describe Karndean to your colleagues?

I describe Karndean as vinyl planks and tiles that are made to look like real wood or stone, but are so much more practical. I tell them that it’s easy to clean, hard wearing, stays in good condition for a long time, it’s warmer underfoot than other flooring products, and there’s also the fact that you can find the look you want from somewhere within the Karndean ranges.

For more information on Olivers Contracts and their projects, visit their website here.

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