February 2018

Roof now complete, project milestone achieved and family celebrate with bubbles!


There is always something very satisfying about completing the roof of a house, no matter how many of these we complete it always feels very special when the property owners join in the celebrations.

The bubbles (Prosecco for Mum and Dad, pink lemonade for the children) really do signify a special stage in the construction of this project. The roof itself can only be described as magnificent, its scale and complexity have meant that it has had to be completely hand made by a team of dedicated craftsmen, each keen to prove their abilities and working to exacting standards, right from the first length of timber being laid down to form the roof plate, right through to affixing the last roof tile.

Now that the roof is complete its all hands to the pumps as our team start the internal construction and fit out works. Watch this space for more news on this exciting and rewarding bespoke house construction project.


If you are considering enlarging or modernising your home or even contemplating the prospect of having a bespoke new home built for you, why not call Vanilla – Properties of Distinction on 0808 1000 882. Solving project complexity is our speciality.


February 2018 

New Computer Generated Image (CGI) service now fully operational

Our clients tell us that one of the hardest things for them to do when embarking on a project, is to visualise the end result. Sometimes a client will know exactly what they want, but cannot describe it; other clients simply do not know where to start, which causes project delays and anxiety. Our new CGI visualisation service means that we can produce images long before it is necessary for our clients to commit to a particular style, design or layout. This will simplify the process of design and it will also speed up the decision making process for our clients, smoothing the pathway to a worry free and successful project.

An example of a barn conversion using CGI

An example of a prestige kitchen using CGI

This service and facility is now available to our clients for every stage of the project, from the initial concept and design right through to the choice of kitchens, bathrooms, bedroom fit out and even décor! In short our clients are now able to see exactly what their finished home will look like , before we even lay a brick or dig for a foundation trench.

If you are thinking of embarking upon a construction, enlargement, modernisation or refurbishment of a property and you are unsure how to start that process, why not contact Vanilla-Properties of Distinction .  Letting you see the finished result before the project even begins. Contact us on 0808 1000 882.


February 2018 


Substantial detached house construction, roof now taking shape.


Having been engaged to construct a significant detached residential dwelling in Leatherhead we have now advanced to the roof tiling stage.  The entire structure will be dry by mid February with all tiling and lead flashing completed. This is a significant and complicated roof covering a near 7000 sq ft family home.

For all residential enlargements, improvements and modernisations, no matter how large make Vanilla-Properties of distinction your first port of call. Contact us on Tel. 0808 1000 882


January 2018  

New barn conversation project under way starting with underpinning.


Our clients have engaged us to convert an agricultural barn into a residential dwelling. The barn is located within a significant farm adjacent to Woking in Surrey. The foundations to the barn, which was originally constructed in the 1960’s, are presently only 200mm deep. In order to comply with the building regulations these foundations have had to be removed and new foundation pads approximately 1m deep and 1.2m  x 2m have been set beneath the steel frame legs which themselves needed extending and bolting to the new foundation pads. There are 12 steel frame legs requiring underpinning and in order to maintain stability of the structure these works are being carried out one steel leg at a time.

These works are painstaking but essential, they are also extremely specialised works requiring constant attendance by our structural engineer and architect. Each excavation hole is individually inspected by the building control inspector prior to concrete pouring and then re inspected once the concrete has set and the new steel legs are bolted into position.


If you own a property that requires underpinning, new structural foundations or other specialised construction services then call Vanilla-Properties of distinction Tel. 0808 1000 882

January 2017

Another completed project with a faultless building regulation sign off.

Having been engaged to substantially enlarge our client’s unique period residence on the outskirts of Normandy in Surrey, the project is now fully complete. This particular property, having been constructed during the Victorian era. was built on a flood plain and in an area with a very high water table. With significant urban development in the major towns nearby, the burden on the water table has increased over time and the whole area is now prone to flooding. When the foundation trenches were originally excavated by us at some 1.8m in depth, they were full of water within 24 hours, and that was during summer!! It became necessary to operate a water pumping system around the clock in order to create sufficiently dry trenches so that the high strength foundations could be poured. A ventilated block and beam system was used to construct the base of the extension and water diverting channels and drainage solutions were constructed around the perimeter of the property so that future high water levels would not harm the structure. A close and positive working cooperation with Guildford Council Building regulations and Control department has led to a completed structure which our clients are delighted with and building control has signed off without comment or any advisor observations.



If you own a property in an area liable to flooding or simply where you have a high water table beneath and around your property and want to know if enlarging, modernising or improving your property is possible, then why not call Vanilla-Properties of Distinction on Tel. 0808 1000 882




December 2017

No rest at Christmas

Vanilla – Properties of distinction made significant progress on the construction of a large prestige residential dwelling located near Dorking during the festive period.

Having been engaged to construct a near 6,000 square foot luxury detached residence with a tight deadline, it was necessary to continue with the work throughout the Christmas period to make up for time lost during the early December snow fall. Our clients are planning to move into this property during May 2018. The team at Vanilla-properties of distinction have had to postpone Christmas!!!

The pictures below show some detail of the very complex roof structure which will soon become part of a very beautiful home. 

If you own a property that you would like to enlarge then contact Vanilla-Properties of Distinction for a free initial consultation on 0808 1000 882


December 2017

An evening in the company of perhaps the best Rugby Union referee in the world.


We were delighted to support our friends at the Rugby Club of London with their recent fund raising evening, raising money for the Matt Hampson Foundation.

Nigel has become a household name and the face of equality and equal opportunity in the sport of Rugby Union and the much wider  sporting arena. His authority, sharp wit and some would say daunting persona on the pitch belies his totally humble, warm and humorous face to face demeanour. As an after dinner speaker, Nigel is second to none and last week at this marvellous event hosted in the Montcalm Hotel adjacent to Marble Arch London W1, Nigel did not disappoint.  A veritable treat was on offer, with everything from childhood memories, early officiating experiences, through to stories surrounding many premiership, European and even a Rugby World Cup final in 2015, all combined to make an evening to remember. 

Items such as a boxing glove autographed by the world heavy weight champion Antony Joshua, dinner at Gordon Ramsey, a helicopter tour of London and even a spa break in Tuscany, were all auctioned with the money  raised going to fantastic causes including the Matt Hampson Foundation, our chosen charity for 2017.

We would like to thank Simon and everyone at the Rugby Club of London for all his efforts in putting together a fabulous evening of fun, laughter and fund raising.

Vanilla-Properties of Distinction proud to serve the local community tel. 0808 1000 882

November 2017

Faultless sign off and completion.

Vanilla- Properties  of Distinction have successfully completed a complex enlargement of our clients residential property in North West London. The Barnet borough council building control inspector has issued a faultless sign off and issued  a construction completion certificate. The project involved removing an existing rear extension which was constructed in the 1990s. The property is an end of terrace situated at the beginning of a cul -de- sac adjacent to a busy commuter road leading down to the A406 (North circular road). To make the logistics even trickier our clients property has a London bus stop located along the length of its garden on the busy main road side and all roads in the area are either double yellow lines or resident parking only. Despite these restrictions all demolition and waste materials, as well as all materials required for the construction, were delivered to site with the cooperation of Transport for London and Barnet Borough council. 

The roof pitch on the structure was required to  be extremely shallow being only 14 degrees running from the rear of the existing house to the eaves and gutter, traditional roof tiles and Velux windows cannot be used at such shallow pitches and this was resolved by using specialist bespoke Forticrete roof tiles and roof window systems.

The extension has provided a modern, light and airy addition to the main living area at the property and has significantly increased the value of the property and it is estimated that the increase in value is more than double the cost of the project!

If you own property with what might be termed difficult access or logistics, perhaps a terrace or property with little or no rear access, make Vanilla-Properties of distinction your first call. Solving difficult logistics and access issues is all part of our holistic service. Call us on 0808 1000 882.

November 2017

A new home and beginning in the United Arab Emirates. (U.A.E)

We are delighted to be opening for business in one of the fastest growing and vibrant cities in the world. Located in down town Dubai city in the impressive Emirates Towers, other notable occupants within Emirates Towers are HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum- Prime Minister of the U.A.E and ruler of Dubai along with The Executive Council of Dubai, Tiffany and Co and BMW Middle East. We will be open for business for clients both within the U.A.E and for clients from the middle east looking for or owning property in the United Kingdom for which they require a full services construction business to assist them.

With all services from acquisition of a target property through to completion and, if desired, complete furnishing and finishing. We at Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, believe we are truly well positioned to guide and assist potential clients through the whole process. Post Brexit, the UK has been identified as an even more important and vital link in being able to engage in both social and commercial activities close to Europe. We have every reason to believe that the UK will continue to be the most attractive location within geographical Europe. We are poised to ensure that we do our part to encourage and nurture overseas investment and prosperity here in the UK for our middle eastern clients as well as with the resulting financial benefits to the UK economy as a whole.

If you are looking to purchase, enlarge or improve a property within the U.A.E  or you are a middle eastern citizen looking to do so in the UK, do not hesitate to call us, a member of our team is available to meet you either within the U.A.E or in the UK.

If you require assistance with any property located within the UAE or you are an overseas resident wanting to do so within the UK, make your first call Vanilla-Properties of Distinction on 0808 1000 882.

November 2017

Supporting a great cause with a truly enjoyable event.


We were proud to have been able to support our friends at the NFU Mutual Insurance along with Romans International Prestige cars at their Gala evening in aid of Dream Flight at the magnificent Romans International motor showroom in Banstead, Surrey.

Surrounded by Ferrari’s, Aston Martin’s, Lamborghini’s and even a pair of Bugatti’s, one of which was a brand spanking new ‘Chiron’.  G. Collins and Sons, jewellers to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the II, had a fine display of magnificent jewellery, Armin Strom watches were also on show. 

G. Collins and Sons jewellers donated a white gold and diamond necklace, Armin Strom watches donated a watch and Max Chilton the Indy’ car racing driver donated one of his competition worn racing helmets.  Natasha Baker gave a stirring speech about her illustrious career as a Paralympic Equestrian competitor and winner of 5 gold Paralympic medals and a total of £20,000 was raised for the charity ‘Dream Flight’.        

Overall, a very successful evening raising money for a wonderful and worthy cause, for more about Dream Flight go to the charity website It was great to meet with so many friends and former/ future clients at this event and we would like to thank you all for attending and supporting this deserving cause.

November 2017

Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA)

Habitats and species regulations 2010.

We have obtained planning consent to redevelop a plot of land within an agricultural farm on the outskirts of Woking. As a special condition to the planning consent, there is a strict requirement to satisfy article 75 of the Habitats and species regulations 2010 (as amended in 2012), this is in order to be able to convert the use of the land from agricultural use to land for residential dwelling houses.

Many land owners situated within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) believe that it is impossible to redevelop their land for other purposes such as residential development. Many are aware that it may be possible but simply feel that it is too complicated, time consuming or costly to do this.

This is an area in which we are experienced, not only do we understand these often unheard of regulations but we have also successfully navigated a route through these regulations and negotiated for and obtained the necessary Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) avoidance protocols to enable our clients to develop their land.


If you own land, property, outbuildings or barns in an area designated as being within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) why not contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction for a free initial consultation and discussion with a view to find a suitable strategy to unlock the capital in your assets.


November 2017

Green light given to barn conversion- Planning conditions satisfied.


Asbestos removed, hazardous chemicals and pesticides removed and site certified as free from contamination. Planning consent was granted on the strict condition that all asbestos , hazardous chemicals and pesticides were removed from this old disused barn. Additionally it was necessary to engage specialist ground condition inspectors to carry out a full and thorough examination of the entire site including the surrounding agricultural land. A full and thorough site clearance and decontamination exercise was carried out and we are pleased to report that the site has been classified as thoroughly fit for redevelopment and residential habitation.

These photographs show some of the stages of the removal of the asbestos sheeting covering the barn. Another of the strict planning consent stipulations is that the existing steel frame of the barn must remain in-situ and be re used as part of the barn conversion works.

If you have contaminated land or outbuildings or property that have fallen into disrepair and are no longer fit for purpose, why not ask us to carry out a detailed survey to establish whether there is the potential to unlock your asset and maximise its financial potential to you. Tel. 0808 1000 882



October 2017

More progress in Dorking


Now that the steels are all in place at our project involving the significant enlargement of a prestigious detached residence in Dorking, the timber floor joists are now being fitted and the project is progressing rapidly. This step allows us to continue with the brick and block laying to roof level which we are scheduled to achieve by mid November.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why not contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residential property enlargements and refurbishments. Tel. 0808 1000 882.



October 2017

Project update

Yet more steels arrive on site at our project in the Dorking area. Brick and block laying is about to commence at first floor level and the remaining steels are due today , being craned into position. It is expected that all brick and block laying on these 5000 sq ft extensions will be completed by 27th October 2017.

Watch this space for further exciting updates on this project.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why not contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residential property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.


October 2017


Great progress in Guildford


The recent unseasonal  balmy weather has allowed us to ramp up progress at our client’s period property on the outskirts of Guildford. Our Client’s period property is, like so many period character properties, located on a busy road with very challenging access. The property was originally constructed in a mellow orange clay brick and due to the historic character of the property the planning consent conditions were very strict in relation to the materials used and the end appearance of the significant enlargement at the property.

These images show the red oxide coated steel beams that have just been sited on top of the freshly laid handmade orange clay bricks.


Watch this space for further details of this interesting project.


If you own a period, character or listed building and feel it maybe simply too challenging to obtain local authority planning approval, simply think Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in making such planning applications and working closely with local planning authorities with a great track record of success.

tel. 0808 1000 882

September 2017

Ahead of schedule.

Having been engaged to significantly  enlarge a substantial residence in the Dorking area,we are pleased to report that construction is ahead of schedule. The steels have arrived on site and are presently being erected in readiness for the brick layers to complete the near 2500 sq.ft,  2 storey extension. The design at the rear of the property incorporates a 6 metre wide bi-folding door system. To support the significant first floor and roof loads, the structural engineers have asked for a substantial amount of steel to be inserted within the brick and block work. The largest of the steels required weighs around 650kgs. Access to the rear of the property is restricted and the only way to place those steels in position was to use a crane with a 70 foot high boom. The pictures below show these steels being craned into position. Watch this space for further details of this exciting property.


 If you are thinking of embarking on a construction project but concerned that it may be too complex or difficult to arrange, why not  contact Vanilla – Properties of Distinction on 0808 1000 882. 

September 2017

Flattening the Surrey hills

We are currently trebling the size of our client’s residential property.  Our client’s property is a substantial detached home set within a significant plot of land. The construction scheme has used the full width of our clients plot leaving only a 1.1m strip to one side in order to provide rear garden access. The construction project is expected to last about 8 months, we are presently at the half way stage. Our client’s tell us they were attracted to the area by the magnificent undulating countryside around them.

However, as the construction project has progressed they have become increasingly concerned about the levels of the existing very mature rear garden and lawn. The lawn slopes left to right across the width of the house by circa 1.5m (across a 25m width) with a further slope from the house to the rear boundary of circa 1.7m (over a length of 100m). Our clients posed the question, can you make our garden flat? The answer was “yes” but doing so presented a massive logistical challenge.


A retaining wall was created on the low side of our clients garden using railway sleepers bolted together to a total height of 1.5m and again 2/3 of the way down the garden across the width. The next step was to bring 560 cubic metres of soil round to the rear of the house and depositing this within the newly created raised railway sleeper  area. The limited access along the side of our client’s property (which was reduced to 1.1 metres following the enlargement works), meant the entire quantity of material had to be wheel barrowed around by hand.


New high grade densely grown turf was acquired from Norfolk and this was then hand laid and rolled over the entire area. The result, a beautiful new completely flat lawn set within an undulating landscape. Next, we are creating a sunken path with a Pergola, a sunken seating area for 24 adults incorporating a fire pit,  along with a bark covered play area for our client’s children with a wild flower meadow,  all seemingly taking our clients land into the horizon beyond their boundary.

 If you would like your garden landscaped, whether part of an overall enlargement and modernisation scheme, or simply as a standalone landscaping project,  contact Vanilla – Properties of Distinction on 0808 1000 882

August 2017

Foundations laid for six bedroom, detached house in Leatherhead

Vanilla –Properties of Distinction have started work on a substantial six bedroom, near 5000 square feet, prestige property build in Leatherhead, adjacent to the Surrey Hills.   After careful excavation under the supervision of a historical archaeologist due to the fact that our client’s property is being constructed on the site of a former mediaeval burial ground, we are now hand laying the concrete foundations.


This house is going to be built to a ten month time scale, it will feature architectural glazing, extensive use of reclaimed materials, handmade clay bricks and oak cladding but despite the use of these traditional materials, it will have a contemporary appearance. Internally there will be high technology facilities with the latest in electronic lighting, audio-visual and security equipment.


We will be posting more images of this project as it progress between now and the summer of 2018.



If you own a plot of land and you are looking to create your dream home, why not call Vanilla-Properties of Distinction on:-

0808 1000 882.




August 2017

On the move in London!

Our London Projects Office has now relocated to Number 4, Old Park Lane, Mayfair, one of the most prestigious zones of the West End.   These impressive and attractive new premises provide us with all the resources and facilities required  to provide a first class customer experience for our London projects.   If meeting in one of the most attractive  period properties in London  is not enough….. we are nestled between some of London’s most prestigious hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs.  A great place to do business in a relaxing, progressive and totally motivating environment.

Contact Vanilla – Properties of Distinction on 0808 1000 882

July 2017

Taking care of hidden issues and defects, all part of the “Holistic” home approach!

Having been engaged to significantly extend and modernise a substantial detached family home located near to the magnificent landmark known as “Box Hill”, it soon became clear that alterations made to the property more than two decades ago , had led to a potentially very unsafe home.

When we were initially engaged our clients informed us that a large crack regularly appeared within the decorated plaster covering the opening between their lounge and dining room. By all accounts this crack needed to be filled and painted twice a year. It had become part of our clients routine maintenance list and considered by them to be “characterful”.

Once uncovering work began it became apparent why this crack in the decoration continued to re-emerge almost immediately after decorating.

The pictures below evidence what we discovered;

This view shows our client’s lounge ceiling fully removed and part of the plaster covering the opening between the lounge and dinning room removed also. We discovered a row of old roof tiles had been inserted and cemented together under which a rough sawn 8″x 1″ timber had been affixed to hold these tiles in place whist the cement was setting. It had been intended by whomever had removed the original wall that these materials would adequately support the first floor and roof above the opening. No building control inspector would ever have approved of this.

This close up view of the old roof tiles cemented into the opening shows just how inappropriate this solution was , there had not even been the slightest attempt to support the load being placed upon it.

This further close up view showing the corner of the opening gives a real sense just how dangerous this opening had become since the removal of the structural support wall more that 2 decades earlier.

Although our clients had imagined that something was potentially untoward in the opening between their lounge and dining room, they had absolutely no idea how dangerously they had been living in their home! They were relieved when our structural engineer proposed a replacement solution with appropriate structural integrity, meeting with approval of the building control inspector. Watch this space for further news on this project.

This issue demonstrated the importance in taking a holistic approach to any alterations that are to be  made to a property. Our approach is to consider the entire house , to examine earlier works and to make sure that both the existing house as well as any proposed additions meet with current regulations and building control approval. This example also highlights the importance of engaging a contractor to thoroughly examine all of the house not just the areas involved with your current ideas. No one wants to face unexpected expenditure but ignoring potential structural issues can lead to serious consequences.

If you are thinking of modernising and enlarging your home why not contact Vanilla-Properties of Distinction who can arrange for a complete and thorough inspection of your property and provide you with solutions in a fully comprehensive  manner, this is what we call a “Holistic” home approach.

0808 1000 882 or email


July 2017

Unexpected find, project now back on track.

Our clients engaged us to construct a significant enlargement at the rear of their prestigious country house. Having lived there for more than two decades , our clients thought they knew everything there was to know about their home. As soon as we obtained local authority planning consent the construction works were started in earnest. Once we started the ground works, forming the foundation trenches in readiness for the new footings, we came across an unexpected clay pipe running across the width of the rear of our clients property, just two metres from the rear wall at 1.1 metres depth. Our clients property is surrounded by large mature trees , due to the proximity of these trees the building control inspector demanded an increase in the foundation depth to 1.5 metres. What we discovered was a main sewerage pipe serving several of our clients neighbouring properties , the pipe was not shown on our clients property deeds and they were blissfully unware of its existence. Had the building control inspector not have demanded the increase in depth of the foundations, the sewerage pipe would never have been discovered. The sewerage pipe is the property of Thames Water. Thames Water had no record or knowledge of the existence of this sewerage pipe.

The discovery meant close liaison with Thames Water and close cooperation with our clients neighbouring property owners. An engineering design solution was produced , submitted to Thames Water and approved by them. The sewerage pipe had to be extracted , diverted, re-laid and connected back to the main sewerage system before work on our clients new extension could continue.

The foundation works are now back underway, our construction efforts have been ramped up in order to ensure minimal impact on the project completion schedule.

If you believe your property may have a communal sewerage pipe , or if you are aware of a sewer or main drain serving you and your neighbours properties and you think this maybe an obstacle stopping you enlarging your property, there is no need to worry. Make your first call Vanilla- Properties of Distinction who will be only too happy to help you.

0808 1000 882 or email

July 2017

Maximizing our clients investment.

Our clients are farm owners with a significant area of  agricultural land located just outside Guildford in Surrey. The property is sited within the green belt and as an additional complication and hurdle to obtaining planning consent it is also within the “Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area”. Our clients have made many planning applications over the past two decades in a bid to try and maximize the potential locked into their farm, to no avail.

Our brief was a simple one;…..what scheme will achieve both the maximum capital value return to our clients and also receive the all important local authority planning consent?

After much consultation with the local authority planning department, consideration of the site, its environment, the previous failed applications and the local authority’s strategic development plan, we concluded that it would be possible to construct three residential properties.

Working in complete cooperation with the local planning authority case officer, a design scheme was created by us and proposed to the local authority planning department. The scheme received local authority planning consent in just 46 days!!

Work has already begun on site, watch this space.

If you are a land owner or a farm owner and want to maximize the potential locked into your land or farm then why not contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction for an entirely no obligation consultation and discussion.

 0808 1000 882 or email

 June 2017


Planning consent gained, against all odds in leafy Surrey.

Vanilla- Properties of Distinction are absolutely delighted to have been able to have obtained full planning consent for our client’s significant property enlargement.

We were initially engaged to thoroughly examine the existing house structure and advise on how best to maximise the usage of the existing accommodation and additionally as to how their home could be enlarged. Our clients were aware that a number of other properties in the immediate vicinity had been declined planning consent for various construction schemes but were keen to explore all possibilities. To make matters worse our clients property was located in a RASC area which effectively meant any revision  to its current design had to conform to the general appearance of the street, sympathetic to the neighbouring  properties, all whilst being significantly larger and more imposing. A tough ask. 

A complete redesign of the existing property lay out as well as a fully worked up design scheme almost doubling the size of the existing house was produced, along with a fully considered and particularised planning statement. These were submitted to the local planning committee for consideration.

Almost immediately our client’s neighbours, the local parish council, residents association and other interest groups raised objections to the proposed scheme.

Working closely with the local planning authority, carefully considering all of the objections raised, making adjustments to the proposal and proactively cooperating with the local authority has resulted in our clients obtaining full consent to modernise and enlarge their home which will now result in a magnificent property.

What our client had to say:

I can’t thank the team at “Vanilla” enough for their professional approach to achieving our planning consent, it was an extremely complex application and not once did we doubt that we wouldn’t get it approved such was our confidence in them.

The expertise involved and commitment to hit the ever moving deadlines imposed by the local authority was outstanding, meaning we could get on with leading our lives as normal without any of the stress that would have been involved for us otherwise.

Miss M . Leatherhead.

If you are considering the modernisation and enlargement of your property and you believe you will have or perhaps you have already experienced objections, obstacles or have even had an application declined why not contact Vanilla -properties of distinction, carefully considered strategies , sympathetic design schemes and a cooperative approach to the local planning authority are all part of the service.

 0808 1000 882 or email




May 2017

We are now fully fledged members of the Federation of Master Builders

 Having been approached by the Federation of Master Builders, we were persuaded to consider becoming full members.

 As part of the federation’s checking and vetting process, we provided one of their senior construction inspectors with full and unfettered access to one of our recently completed projects, a £5m development located in the green belt, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

The inspection passed with flying colours, and as members, not only are we beneficiaries of the support and services they provide but our clients will also obtain significant benefits.

Among these benefits is a fully comprehensive construction project warranty scheme option. If you’re considering a project it’s always worth checking to see who the contractor is affiliated to. Speak with us today and discover the benefits you’d receive through a project with us.

 0808 1000 882 or email

Agricultural Barn Conversion – Under Way!

Conversion of an Agricultural Barn into Three Residential Dwellings

Having been consulted following a number of failed planning applications, to construct a residential dwelling on land situated in the green-belt, we were facing a significant challenge. Not only had our clients made several planning applications, they had even appealed a planning application refusal…

 Having been consulted following a number of failed planning applications, to construct a residential dwelling on land situated in the green-belt, we were facing a significant challenge. Not only had our clients made several planning applications, they had even appealed a planning application refusal.

 We fully evaluated both the site and the complete planning history and navigated our way to a satisfactory conclusion for our client. Following careful consultation with the local planning authority, we are now in the process of converting an existing asbestos steel framed agricultural store, into three separate residential units.

 Our design is for a contemporary appearance, with the barn being externally part-natural oak, part-brick.

 Work is now well underway and will include the creation of garden curtilage and full landscaping as well as the provision of an access road. The existing structure being remote, has no mains services and these are also being provided by us as part of our complete service package.

 Watch this space as the project unfolds…!

 If you have land or outbuildings and want to discover their full potential, contact us today

 0808 1000 882 or email

April – 2017

Adding More Capacity and Capability to our Design Offering

We are pleased to announce that we now have, working ‘in-house’, a fully qualified RIBA accredited chartered architect, who is also an associate member of the Association of Project Managers.

This will give us the ability to respond even more swiftly to enquiries from potential clients who have not yet engaged any design services elsewhere, or where they have done so but those designs are either inappropriate or cannot be built. Our aim, is to continually expand our complete Design to Completion service.

Contact us today without obligation and tell us what you want to do with your property. Let’s see if we can make it a reality.

08081000882 or email


Esher Office Now Fully Open!
As part of our rapid expansion programme, our  new office in Esher, Surrey, is fully operational.
Located in one of the most attractive period buildings in the centre of Esher, we now have the perfect base from which to service our growing number of clients in the area. The office is primarily focusing on a 15-mile radius from Esher, but is able to service potential clients at greater distances using the very convenient local road network, with the M25, M3 and M4, all being less than 10 minutes away from the office.
If you are considering a project and want to discuss with us the options for unlocking your property’s potential, then simply contact with us today without any obligation.
08081000882 or email



December – 2016

Elmbridge Building Control Services introduce Vanilla – Properties of Distinction to CRL insurance backed warranty scheme.  

We are proud to announce a new service initiative that we are launching .   Following recent liaison with Elmbridge Building Control Services Ltd (EBCS), who carried out the building control inspection regime on a prestigious property which Vanilla – Properties of Distinction recently completed, we are now able to provide a 10-Year insurance backed guarantee* against our work through CRL Insurance Services when the work has been rigorously inspected by building control.  We have been invited to take part in this initiative as a contractor offering this scheme.  

We can therefore now offer, subject to approval and agreement,  to provide all clients with the option of a local authority recognised building regulations inspection regime combined with a warranty with insurance backing through CRL ( following project sign-off and the issuing of a  completion certificate .

This is a superb opportunity for our clients to ensure their project is not only being scrutinised to the highest standards,  but also peace of mind that our work is thoroughly inspected by building control and  is backed up  by a comprehensive warranty.

*Subject to approval, contract and agreement.

If you are looking to enlarge, modernise or improve your home, why not engage Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, the option of  a 10 year guarantee  could make all the difference!



0808 1000 882 or email



December – 2016

Esher, Surrey.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction complete the substantial enlargement of a prestigious residence, well in time for Christmas entertaining!

Having been engaged to provide the total package of services; from concept, design and engineering, through to planning, construction phase and even carpeting and hanging their clients curtains for them, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have completed the project in a timely manner and for the exact price of the original estimate.

Elmbridge Building Control Services (EBCS) have carried out their final inspection, issued the completion certificate and the client has a beautifully extended home ready to entertain family and friends.

If you are thinking of extending, modernising or remodelling your home and need a simple, efficient and complete service with a reliable estimate, call us first… our total service offering and a fixed price estimate make budgeting and planning your project so much more relaxing and certain.

0808 1000 882 or email




November – 2016

Planning consent obtained in conservation zone with high flood risk..

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is delighted to have obtained full planning consent to extend their client’s prestigious residence in the Esher conservation zone. 

Obtaining full planning consent within a conservation zone can be among the most complicated applications; in this case the position was made more complex due to the fact that the house is also in a street considered at risk of flooding and where development affecting ground water levels must also be considered. The application was considered by the conservation zone Advisory Committee and the Planning Conservation group.

After navigating these hurdles and producing an acceptable design and flood risk management solution, consent has been granted thus clearing the path for our client to extend their home yet further with us (this is our second successful planning application for the property this year).






If your home is in a conservation area or in an area considered a flood risk and you are thinking of enlarging or modernising, perhaps you’ve already had an application turned down or been advised not to make an application – why not contact us now for a no obligation meeting and discussion to see what we can do for you.

0808 1000 882 or email

November – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction selected to re-design a significant family home in Leatherhead, Surrey.

We are delighted to have been chosen to create a complete enlargement, modernisation and redevelopment scheme, of a substantial detached private dwelling at one of Leatherhead’s most prestigious addresses.

The scheme will more than double the existing internal space and will include the complete redesign of the external facades and replacing the entire roof in order to facilitate a massive loft conversion. Once the design work is completed, this will be a near 9-month construction project.

If you are considering an enlargement or modernisation of your home, why not consider our holistic approach by using our entire array of services. This is the simplest way to ensure a smooth running, easy communication project engagement with one firm, from start to finish.We can take care of every aspect of the project; from reaching an agreed design and engineering solution, to fitting and putting the finishing touches to flooring, bathrooms, kitchens, external landscaping, all down the finest details of any area’s specification.

0808 1000 882 or email

October – 2016

Sedum Roof – finishing touches to prestigious Esher residence…

Our clients in Esher have chosen a very modern, stylish and Eco-centric Sedum roof finish to complete their extension.

At just over 8m in width, this single storey rear extension is perhaps wider the average single storey project and effectively forms the extension from two separate internal rooms (dining room and lounge). However, these spaces have been redesigned to a more open-plan environment whilst still retaining the option of closing one from the other in the newly created space. Each extended area has also been enhanced by the addition of a roof lantern and now the flat roof membrane has been finished and complemented with a Sedum plant eco-system.

The Sedum was installed this week, in conjunction with two sets of high quality aluminium framed bi-folding doors – a very stylish result all-round!

Our client is delighted with the finished result – Sedum is a fantastic method for finishing a flat roof system and we are being asked more and more for this product, not only for its Eco-efficiencies and drainage credentials but also its aesthetics. See the images below – over time, the new Sedum installation trays will mature and blend in together, much like a new lawn, to form a seamless effect across the entire flat roof and around the roof lanterns.

Sedum has helped countless extensions blend into the surrounding environment and provide many other ‘Eco’ related benefits besides.

If you are considering an extension, talk to us about our turnkey design & build service – we’ll take care of everything from start to finish!
















0808 1000 882 or email


October – 2016

Thinking of extending, modernising or restoring your home but looking for inspiration?

It’s one thing to conclude that it is time to give your home a makeover, enlarge it or simply bring it up to date, it’s entirely another working out how you should  go about this – who to engage to help you through the process and to work out what it might cost.

This is a common dilemma. We frequently meet potential clients, often when we are exhibiting at county shows or other outdoor events, who are completely frustrated, not knowing how to get started with their project.   Here at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction we offer a complete package service. We are able to guide you through every step of the process, concept and design through to completion.  We have been engaged on a myriad of projects ranging from the simplest single storey ground floor extension, with partial refurbishment of an existing house, through to major reconstruction and enlargement and we have even added indoor leisure complexes and all-weather sports courts along the way.

One of the most frequently asked questions is; ‘can we see something you have already completed, could we speak to the owners?’…….

At Vanilla – Properties of Distinction the answer is YES! We regularly accompany potential clients on pre-engagement visits to our current construction sites, properties nearing completion stages and finished homes where they can meet our clients and hear what they have to say about our services.

Here’s what one client had to say this week…

“Just landed back to earth after yesterday!  What an amazing place – your skills and work are beautiful.  Thank you for taking the time and trouble to take us there safely and for showing us around…” (Mrs H, Hindhead, Surrey).

So, if you are ready to start exploring the potential in your home, and looking for guidance and inspiration, make Vanilla – Properties of Dstinction your first port of call.

0808 1000 882 or email

September – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are proud to announce the launch of the V-POD, an ecologically motivated home extension system.

You want to enlarge your property, you need extra space, but you want to do so in an ecologically and environmentally friendly way. It sounds easy, but who can help you and where do you begin?

Energy efficiency, impact on the environment, running costs, all things to consider. It’s a very challenging task and every time a new structure is built, there is an impact on the environment. Carbon emissions, natural resource depletion, light pollution, water run-off and flood risk increase.

Here at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction we have been actively researching the issues, scouring the globe looking for sustainable materials, seeking inspiration to create structures that have superior ecological credentials, a lower carbon footprint and offer an attractive and modern appearance to compliment or enhance any existing structure.

We are seeing an increasing number of planning applications being refused, or at least subjected to very stringent conditions in order to comply with policy and flood impact legislation. In some areas, such as highly developed and densely populated inner cities, it can be all but impossible to obtain consent to extend a property using more traditional construction and design technologies.

We may now have the solution for you!

We have created a construction design and method of building that takes care of many of these issues and so much more. Our revolutionary bespoke V-POD system should be at the top of your list of options when considering enlarging your home, when mitigating its impact matters to you.

If you’ve been thinking of enlarging your home and you live an area where doing so may impact on the environment or place you at loggerheads with your local authority or other interest groups, or you simply want to explore the possibility of engaging in a project in a very environmentally and ecological way, then make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first port of call.

0808 1000 882 or email

September – 2016

Project Updates – our varied mix of projects ensures that there’s always something interesting to report. Below are some highlights from just a few of our current and recent engagements…

Barn conversion project completed!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is proud to have completed the transformation and modernisation of our client’s former “pole” barn. Our client’s very substantial agricultural property situated in rolling Kent countryside, near to the highly regarded beauty spot of Ide Hill had the benefit of a large former hay barn that had begun to fall into decline.

We were engaged to create a design and construction strategy to maximise the potential use of this building, whilst ensuring it remained in keeping with the main residence and other outbuildings.

The finished design incorporates a cloister on the southern elevation allowing natural light to flood into the building. Original oak beams were restored, reclaimed period oak beams were added, a beautiful natural solid oak floor was fitted and handmade oak bi-fold doors were inserted, allowing the building to be opened up on pleasant days giving the building an inside/outside feel.

Our client is yet to decide on some internal fitments; they are considering a garden kitchen and a games area among other uses in the future but for now they have a substantial amount of additional ancillary space to enjoy – the perfect place for entertaining friends and extended family in all weathers.

More pictures to follow….previous work in progress shot below: side of barn removed to form cloister and internal spaces being insulated.


Sympathetic restoration well underway!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are engaged in the restoration and modernisation of a former Edwardian stable block on the outskirts of Farnham.

The stable block will be totally transformed! A collection of completely derelict outbuildings that had fallen into such disrepair that they had become unsafe and dangerous, are now in the process of having new life breathed into them. With very strict planning conditions set and the need to use reclaimed period materials to ensure the structure remains in keeping with the main residence, the project has involved very careful sourcing of hard to find materials and the use of a number of very traditional craft skills. The entire roof has been hand made on site and is now almost complete.









Watch this space for further news on this exciting project..!

Period Property Loft Conversion…internal fit-out begins!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is pleased to report progress on a very large loft conversion..

Our engagement to convert the entire loft area of a very substantial Victorian mansion in the Surrey Hills, is coming along beautifully. Almost every inch of the loft has become valuable and usable accommodation and storage space. The entire construction has had to be carried out in a way that respects the architecture and history of this impressive 1866 built property.

This week has seen the installation of the Velux Windows on the south eastern elevation, whilst the internal works have moved on swiftly.

(New Velux Installed)






















Watch this space for more news on this fantastic project as it unfolds and nears completion.

If you would like to explore with us the potential your property has to offer, call us today for an informal conversation. We offer a period of free, no obligation consultation and will happily discuss any ideas you may have that could be potentially developed. 

0808 1000 882 or email

An all-round service makes a home to be ‘proud’ of!

Our client recalls how Vanilla – Properties of Distinction managed their project from start to finish.

“We purchased an undersized residential dwelling on 16 acres, set in the so called ‘green belt’. Our intention was to create a more appropriately sized abode for our large family in keeping with the rural setting and the age of the original property, together with an indoor swimming pool and tennis court.  However, we completely underestimated the complexities of navigating through local authority planning consent and permitted development rights required to develop the plot.  At one point we feared that we had made an expensive mistake buying the place but Vanilla – Properties of Distinction helped steer our project through this minefield and created a spectacular end product which was beyond our expectations.  In essence, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction performed the role of architect, project manager, builder and interior designer plus provided all the skilled trades to deliver a quality solution.  We now have a very special, bespoke family house that we are proud to call home.” (Mr & Mrs P, Home Counties)


Whether your property is in a rural, semi-rural or urban area, we have the experience and skills to design, engineer and construct your dream home or alterations. Our complete one-stop service, takes care of these aspects as well as any necessary Planning Authority processes and all other regulatory requirements. Call us today and let us manage your project from concept to completion.

0808 1000 882 or email

August – 2016

Charities Update (continued)

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is proud to announce its support of The Lake Mutanda Island Development Project.

Our client’s upcoming NGO project, in support of one of Africa’s most isolated communities, is a very worthy cause indeed. Upon hearing of their mission, we wanted to provide our immediate support, not just financially but through whatever awareness we can provide to them. If you would like to know more or donate, please contact us and we will gladly pass your details on.

What our client says: “Amazing things can happen when you get exercised by your border collie in Esher. Not only is it possible that you meet a competent and reliable home creator, you may also find that he has a heart larger than bricks and mortar. Vanilla- Properties of Distinction pledged to contribute £ 2,500 to my Ugandan NGO to help uplifting a forgotten community on Lake Mutanda Island by providing basic education and health care facilities to these destitute people. Well done, Vanilla, and many thanks.”

The Story…

Mutanda Island is the biggest of all the Islands on Lake Mutanda, in Kisoro District near Kisoro Town Council, 10 km away from the town centre. Kisoro is the coldest region in Uganda and with the highest population density not only in Uganda but in the whole of Africa. The mountain peaks in this area are protected by Uganda Wildlife Authority since they are a home to a 300 strong population of the only 700 remaining mountain gorillas left on earth, among other wildlife.

Mutanda Island Development Project is a Community Based Project intended to uplift the economic wellbeing of Mutanda Island community. Survey results reveal that this community is completely forgotten and side-lined by both Government and NGOs. With no chance of the community benefiting from any government programs like free education or free health Care and any other programs government extends to its nationals like poverty eradication intervention programs like a Savings and Credit Cooperatives. As a result it has the lowest education, poor health and living in absolute poverty.

The community is deficient in almost all immunities of life; have no school and thus rely on riding their traditional but risky dugout canoes to the mainland, risking the lives of their children. Equally there is no health centre and no established market for their produce. As result the island has one of lowest literacy levels in the District; they equally suffer poor health and maternity services.

Mutanda Island has a human population of 156 people, in 33 homesteads with four single mothers and one single father and four disabled people.

It also has one church of the Church Of Uganda (Anglican Protestant Church), one pre-primary community school; it however has no shop or a store to buy supplies. They ride a canoe across the lake, to the main land to shop for their supplies.

The Mission: To improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Mutanda Island community.

Empower the people of Lake Mutanda Island to have a Self-Sustaining community with improved literacy & education, health, and income for their general community wellbeing, through improved agricultural output and the resulting income through marketing of their community produce.

Raise the literacy and health levels of the Mutanda Island Community as well as improve lake transport system and agriculture for an economically empowered community.

Establish learning centers for Lake Mutanda Island children and vocational institution for the older people.

Establish health centre that can sit a Clinical Officer to provide basic health and maternity services.

Mobilize the community on health education and HIV AIDS, HB, Malaria; the major killer diseases.

Mobilize the community to have Kitchen gardens to cater for their basic food requirements without having to buy them, basing on the balanced diet principle.

Empower the community to improving their home stead housing structures.

Mobilize the community on good environmental practices; like energy saving cooking areas, planting trees, waste disposal, and organic manure among others.

Mobilizing the community to a savings scheme for lending and borrowing.

If you would like to know more or donate, please contact us and we will gladly pass your details on.

Survey Group Church Canoe









August – 2016

Charities Update:

Here at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, we are always keen to support the charities we are involved with. In this case, it was in support of our friends at trade supplier, Lawsons, who were raising money for their chosen charity: ‘Spread a Smile’ (

‘A team from Lawsons, the largest independent timber, building and fencing suppliers in London and the South East, trekked to the peak of Snowdon on Saturday 30th July to raise money for Spread a Smile.’

Spread a Smile is dedicated to improving the time spent by seriously ill children in hospital. They provide entertainers for seriously ill children and teenagers who are in hospital, often for prolonged periods of time, with life limiting conditions including cancer and heart, lung and kidney-related illnesses. Read more about their work and the efforts of the team at Lawsons here:

IMG_0569 IMG_0567 IMG_0565 IMG_0560


July – 2016

Going the extra mile…nsidering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.

If you’re thinking of buying a house with a view to modernising, extending or even demolishing it and building a new one – how far in advance should you engage a contractor and what does that cost? Here at VP this initial service is without charge or obligation.

So you’ve found a house and you’re sure that it’s got potential. The initial purchase price is within your budget but you need to test your ideas, get some suggestions and obtain full costings for any potential project in order to know if it makes sense to proceed.

Here at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction we regularly accompany potential clients on property viewings; we research the area, the planning history, examine the structure and provide potential clients with our opinion on what would be feasible for their intended budget. This way our client can proceed with far more clarity, a lot more certainty, confidence and the comfort of knowing that if their purchase is successful, they have a contractor that they’ve already begun to know.

We don’t charge for these services, they are without obligation and we offer total discretion and confidentiality. Here’s what one of our clients had to say recently…

“During the process of purchasing our property Vanilla – Properties of Distinction spent a considerable amount of time with us discussing potential plans and giving valuable advice on works that we’re hoping to carry out in the near future. They took time out regardless of us signing up to work with them, which we found very refreshing compared to other companies. Vanilla – Properties of Distinction were very thorough in their advice which would give us every confidence in working with them.” (Mrs W, Edenbridge)

If you are looking to purchase a property with a view to embarking on a project, then call Vanilla – Properties of Distinction

‘Your one-stop solution, for all things construction’

0808 1000 882 or email

July – 2016

Another great show…n considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.

Thanks to all who stopped by our stand last weekend at The Garden Show, Loseley Park, Guildford.

We heard about a variety of interesting potential projects that property and land owners are now considering, as well as some clients who have already achieved planning consent and are looking for a contractor to undertake their works.

We are excited to have already booked appointments to visit many potential new clients from the show, over the coming weeks, to review these projects in more detail.

Come and visit us at the next show we are exhibiting at – The Chertsey Agricultural Show

Chertsey Show



Chertsey Show 2

If you own a property in a large plot of land, or have a plot of land that you’d like to develop but don’t know where to begin, call us first. We will come and meet you, we will listen to you and discuss what we might be able to do to help maximise the potential of your property. Why not call us in the strictest of confidence and let’s see what we can do to help you.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction‘your one stop solution, for all things construction’.

0808 1000 882 or email

July – 2016

‘Brexit’ – Now Fix-It!n considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.

If you have been considering a project recently, you may have decided to wait until the outcome regarding Britain’s decision to leave or remain in the European Union was known.

Within hours of Britain’s vote to leave the EU being announced, we began to see the construction sector’s core European material suppliers to the UK react to any perceived uncertainty, by way of blanket increases to trade supply costs, regardless of stock market activity, currency fluctuations, proposed interest rate changes or any other reactions or measures that may be taken in the coming months and years following the referendum.

The one thing anyone planning a project craves, is certainty!

At Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, we are always one step ahead and we hedged against these predicted increases by working with our partners and supply chains in the run-up to the referendum, pre-securing significant volumes of core construction materials at pre-‘Brexit’ costs, thus ensuring our clients can continue to benefit from our fixed cost project option at the most competitive price, that we’re now calling, FIX-IT!

Secure your project’s cost with FIX-IT! …how does it work?

We are offering our clients the opportunity to literally fix the price of their project*, for the life of the project. By formally engaging with us this summer, we are guaranteeing that the cost of the project, as set out alongside an agreed works specification, will not be affected by any labour, material or other professional service cost increases which may arise as a consequence of ‘Brexit’.

This means the project cost is fixed*, it’s certain and it’s no longer an aspect to worry about. We believe that our FIX-IT! initiative is a total game-changer for the industry and it’s comforting for our clients to know that they can at least be certain of something.

There’s never been a better time to take advantage of a fixed-cost project!

So, if you are wondering whether this is the right time to start your project but have been concerned about how to achieve certainty regarding cost, then now is the time to call Vanilla – Properties of Distinction!

‘Your one-stop solution, for all things construction’

* Terms & conditions apply, available on request.

0808 1000 882 or email

July – 2016

Visit us this month at Loseley Park, Guildford.

July 22nd – 24th

We will be exhibiting at this year’s Garden Show in Surrey, at the wonderful Loseley Park, Guildford.

Amongst the various garden attractions, shows, retailers, food & refreshment stalls, we will be there to promote our services and would warmly welcome anyone who would like to discuss a project they may be considering.

Whether you already have planning consent to build or need to get an idea off the ground but don’t know where to begin, simply contact us at any time before, during or after he show and we’ll be happy to assist.

Since the EU referendum, there’s actually never been a better time to engage in a fixed-cost project with us and with the launch of our FIX-IT! campaign, we’ll explain how we can secure project cost certainty for you.

We look forward to seeing you at Loseley!

July 22nd – 24th, Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1HS

Loseley Leaflet

Loseley Leaflet 3








0808 1000 882 or email




June – 2016

Exciting new joint venture announced!!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is delighted to announce that we are going to be building a number of prestigious new homes in a significant plot of land in the Surrey countryside, close to East Grinstead.

Having been approached by the owner of a large detached 1930’s property, set amid beautiful mature gardens and surrounded by magnificent plain and oak trees, the path has now been cleared to develop the site giving the land owner a very healthy return in the process.

Our joint venture partner says: “It took me quite a while to come to the conclusion that the home I’d loved and lived in for more than 35 years had become too much for me to manage, with repairs and maintenance becoming a big part of my life and I was struggling to keep the grounds manicured to the standards I set myself more than three decades ago. Once I made the difficult decision to dispose of my home, the decision as to whom I should go into partnership with was a simple one, there’s only one organisation that understood what I was going through and who could  guide me through the whole process sympathetically and professionally. Vanilla – Properties of Distinction were the outstanding favourites and my first choice”.

If you own a property in a large plot of land, or have a plot of land that you’d like to develop but don’t know where to begin, call us first. We will come and meet you, we will listen to you and discuss what we might be able to do to help maximise the potential of your property. Why not call us in the strictest of confidence and let’s see what we can do to help you.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction‘your one stop solution, for all things construction’.

0808 1000 882 or email

June – 2016

Cranleigh Show – Sunny and Successful!

Thank you to all who stopped by our stand last Sunday, it was great to hear all the exciting and interesting ideas for potential projects, we are looking forward to following up with you over the coming days to assist you further.

We spoke with many people about a wide range of project types such as period home extensions, barn conversions and rural area bespoke new builds to include landscaping and swimming pool.

If you didn’t see us at the Cranleigh Show but have a potential project in mind, we would be delighted to hear from you. Call Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, your one-stop solution for all things construction!


web 4







web 3







web 1









0808 1000 882 or email



June – 2016

It’s a steel!

As part of an ongoing project, we have taken delivery of no less than 84 structural steel members, at one residential site this week. We are in the process of converting a loft, in a substantial Victorian manor house set amidst the beautiful Surrey countryside.

Our client’s brief to us is to make usable space in almost every nook and cranny of their loft and we are creating around 110sqm of additional space. Before the steels could be off-loaded and craned up into the loft it was necessary for us to make a large opening in the gable end wall on the south facing side of the property, the wall itself is of brick construction but is decorated in beautiful carved stone detailing and features and sits above a parapet balcony. Creating the opening had to be done with extreme caution in order to preserve the integrity of the gable wall itself and ensuing that no damage was caused to any of the period features.

All the steels were lifted up an into the loft in just 4 hours. This was no mean feat, given that this particular loft is at 47ft above ground level due to the very high ceilings with period features, that each of the existing floors are comprised of  We are now in the process of cutting, welding and installing the steels which have to be placed into position with pinpoint laser accuracy to ensure that as each of the substantial original ‘ships timbers’ is cut and removed, that the loading of the roof transfers to the newly installed steels and down through the outer brick skin of the building to the foundations.

Next step will be carpentry fit-out… watch this space for further news.

If you are considering adding a further level at your property, converting your attic or making substantial alterations that will involve large structural steel fabrication and installation then make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first call. We take care of everything!

crane 2

steel in

Steels cut












0808 1000 882 or email

June – 2016

Another successful planning application!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are delighted to announce that we have obtained full planning consent to construct a full width “double infill ” extension at our clients prestige detached home in a gated community within the conservation zone in the much sought after Surrey town of Esher.

Our clients were hoping to add a more contemporary look to a very traditional property, to significantly enlarge their living space, add considerable light to the existing ground floor rooms and open up the rear to the garden giving it an inside/outside feel.

Due to the current layout and design of the house, it’s very traditional appearance, the “leafy” street scene, the private gated nature of the road and being within the protected “conservation are zone”, it was necessary to work very closely with Elmbridge council planning department, the conservation officer, the tree preservation officer and the parish council. Of significant importance, it was also necessary to liaise closely with our client’s neighbours and the local resident’s committee.

Permission was granted at around midnight on the 13th of June. We are now immediately taking steps to commence construction works onsite to create our clients dream home.

If you live in a conversation area, a gated community or have a dream to enlarge your home but think you might face opposition to your proposed project, then call Vanilla-properties of distinction. Our carefully considered approach to the design and planning process, might just make the difference!

frank approved

0808 1000 882 or email

June – 2016

Thanks to all who visited Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, at the Surrey County Show, Guildford.


Held at the famous Stoke Park, Guildford, May 30th, a huge turn-out and no rain (just!) made for a fantastic day with many attractions, food stalls, retail stands and competing events, meant there was something for everyone. We were particularly inspired by our neighbouring stall holder, ‘A Soldiers Journey’, raising funds for injured soldiers and their families and we wish them all the best with their charity efforts going forward.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction enjoyed a packed stand throughout the day, with many dozens of attendees making enquiries of our services in respect of extensions and renovations. We are delighted to say that the first of these project engagements has just been confirmed!

Our clients’ impressive Victorian property is to be extended and will provide the much needed replacement of an existing and older style small lean-to. A larger, modern extension structure will result in not only more space but also significantly better heat & light efficiencies, as well as improved internal re-configurations that better suit the client’s needs.

The client is also using Vanilla – Properties of Distinction for the full service, from concept and design to completion. With all services under one roof, they will experience a project that is carefully considered by just one organisation and is therefore joined-up. Our client says: ‘We are really excited about this project and are looking forward to working with you and your team’.

Watch this space as the project unfolds..!

0808 1000 882 or email

June – 2016

New south coast office and client meeting facilities.

We are pleased to announce our new, prestige client relations and meeting facility with a stunning waterside backdrop – the Hamble River.

Located at a Marina on The Hamble, just off the M27, we now boast a tranquil and inspiring location to meet with our clients and potential clients, to discuss their projects and their plans for properties in the West Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset areas. This exclusive “by appointment only” facility offers a unique venue at which we can really get to know our clients and fully appreciate what they wish to achieve.

If you are thinking of embarking on a modernisation, refurbishment or enlargement of your property along the beautiful south coast, make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first port of call.

We are specialists in properties within woodlands, wetlands, flood plains and areas of outstanding natural beauty. See the ‘about’ and ‘services’ areas of our website for further details.





0808 1000 882 or email


June – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, introduces the ‘Straight-Line Payment’ scheme.

One of the most crucial aspects to establish in relation to a project is agreeing on how to set up a payment structure between the client and the contractor. What constitutes as fair for both parties? How do you make sure that you are getting value for money during the course of the project? How do you establish the value of work done at vital stages and how do you keep control of any “extras” that accrue and deal with payments for those at the right time?

The contractor will always be working to commercial realities, ensuring cash flow is present to fund the client’s project and the client will usually feel uncomfortable in making larger, staged payments whilst trying to understand how to hold back enough money for any extras and still get the project completed.

Here at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction we’ve come up with an answer to this frequent dilemma.

We’ve officially launched our ‘Straight-Line Payment’ scheme. We believe it’s simple, it’s straightforward and it’s fair.

How does it work?

An initial down payment sum is agreed, typically this ranges from 15-25% of the overall project value. The target duration of the project is then also agreed and the remaining value of the project (after deducting the initial payment) is simply divided by the number of target project weeks, this then sets the weekly sum to be paid. The project balance is simply discharged during the course of the project on a ‘Straight-Line’ basis with the final weekly payment being made on completion of the project.

Any additional costs for sundry charges, items such as scope or specification increases, remediation of unforeseen issues or additional specialist services are clearly set out, agreed in writing and invoiced as incurred. Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is TrustWave registered and therefore most forms of card payment are accepted and in a secure environment. This is often the preferred method for our clients when funding any additional costs as they occur, keeping these separate from the ‘Straight-Line Payment’.

We believe this payment method gives our clients the greatest flexibility, certainty, significant cash flow advantages and the comfort of knowing exactly how to plan the financial aspect of their project.

Let’s get going…

After establishing the initial contract value, a full project Scope of Works and also Payment Terms Agreement documents are produced by us, which set out those aspects plus the project’s target time-frame and general terms of engagement. These documents are effectively the clear and concise overview and statements of what has been agreed between ourselves and our client. Within the Payment Terms Agreement document is the schedule of the ‘Straight-Line Payment’ plan. Along with these will be a very helpful document setting out a comprehensive list of “Frequently Asked Questions” which is an excellent guide to exactly the kind of information that will assist the client in understanding the project process.

If you are planning to renovate, modernise or enlarge your property and you want a simple, straightforward and hassle free experience, why not call Vanilla – Properties of Distinction and ask to see someone to discuss your project and the ‘Straight-Line Payment’ option.

0808 1000 882 or email

June – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, now providing “…sanity…” – it’s all part of the service!

We have recently been engaged to carry out a significant enlargement, renovation and modernisation at a prestige property in the commuter favoured town of Dorking, Surrey. Our client had already engaged ‘professionals’ in the form of architects and engineers and had thought that in doing so and only engaging with a construction contractor after achieving local authority planning consent, would be a cost effective and sensible way to proceed. On the face of it, why wouldn’t it be? After all, you can always trust a ‘professional’…

As soon as the works commenced in earnest it became apparent that a considerable amount of technical, structural and engineering detail was either missing, confusing or simply wrong. Given that there is no relationship between ourselves and our client’s chosen ‘professionals’, we naturally had to revert to our client with a list of queries for him to resolve directly. Our client was astounded to discover that the firm he had used was no longer interested in his project, they had not apparently (in their view), been retained to liaise with the contractor, to provide further information regarding their plans and were not prepared to assist our client, even for an additional fee!! Naturally our client was dumfounded and disappointed by this, he felt let down and vulnerable…

Our client emailed us stating the following, as he wanted us to help him to alert others to the potential pit falls of engaging multiple levels of different service providers in the run up to selecting a main contractor.

“I had engaged a firm of architects when my wife and I decided to significantly improve and extend our home. The location of our home was absolutely ideal as I am a commuter to London, all we wanted was to improve our existing property in a great location. We simply assumed that everything on our plans would be accurate, easy to understand and reliable. At worst, we naively believed that at the very least our chosen architect would feel some moral obligation, if not commercial responsibility, to assist us in the event that our chosen contractor might need some guidance, clarification or further details regarding what had been designed. I discussed the predicament with my chosen contractor, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, who were immediately sympathetic and swung into action by engaging their own engineer and architect to help out. I now realise the benefits of a one-stop solution service, which Vanilla – Properties of Distinction provide”.

Our client went on to say…

“We are more than happy to talk to any of your prospective clients, and explain that they should for their sanity be using you guys for the full service, thanks for your help and understanding”. (Mr C, Dorking).


If you are currently considering embarking on a construction, modernisation or enlargement project, whatever the size, make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first call. Whether you opt for a one-stop solution or simply want to understand a little more about the benefits that we could offer you, why not take advantage of a without-obligation meeting and consultation.


0808 1000 882 or email


June – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction obtain planning consent to “infill” our client’s property under GPDO.

Our clients own a charming Victorian property on the outskirts of Horley, close to the rolling Surrey countryside. The configuration and layout of this particular property are such that being an ‘L’ shape, it was possible for the potential enlargement of our clients’ property to be seen as an “infill”. In the eyes of the local authority, there was deliberation as to whether it would be a side extension or a rear extension, or perhaps both, in which case it would be an “infill” and therefore subjected to a full planning application with all the uncertainty which that would bring.

We at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction worked closely with the Reigate & Banstead council planning department and managed to persuade them to accept that the proposal was in fact a side extension, thus achieving consent under the neighbour consultation process set out within the GPDO.

Work is immediately underway and our clients will soon be enjoying the increased space which this extension will provide!

What our client says:
“We chose Vanilla – Properties of Distinction for two main reasons. Firstly, by using them, we were able to plan the project from start to finish with just the one company, who have so far been very flexible with our needs and great to deal with. So much easier than having to juggle multiple contractors throughout the project. Secondly, their helpful and personable approach has suited us perfectly, enabling the project to run as smoothly and stress free as possible.” (Mrs S – Horley, Surrey).

If you want to extend your home and you aren’t sure where to begin make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first port of call.




0808 1000 882 or email



May – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have sponsored the big New Zealand lock forward, Mike Fitzgerald, since he arrived at Leicester Tigers RFC in the summer of 2015… 

Mike has made such a huge impact not only on the field and with the club’s supporters but with his peers in the Tigers playing squad. So much so, that at a recent end of season gala dinner, Mike was voted ‘Players’ player of the year’ by the squad and management of the club.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction were also winners on the night, picking up the ‘Players’ sponsor of the season award’. In addition, we were awarded with a bespoke suit fitting and tailoring prize to be hand crafted by the famous bespoke suit makers, Chester Barrie of Saville Row, London W1.

The last home game of the Leicester Tigers regular season was a charity day, in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation and their ‘Get Busy Living’ campaign.  Vanilla – Properties of Distinction donated the Players’ Sponsor of the Year prize – the bespoke Chester Barrie suit, to the Matt Hampson Foundation. The prize was auctioned in the prestigious 1880 club lounge, just before kick-off, with ex-Tigers Club playing legend Matt Poole acting as auctioneer and raising £2,500.00 in the process. Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are proud to continue to support the Matt Hampson Foundation and their fantastic work and look forward to supporting them further with their incredible endeavors in the future.

Chester Barrie








Up on stage, collecting the prize, at the Leicester Tigers Player’s annual end of year dinner and award ceremony.

“Many thanks for your very kind contribution to the foundation. I think the suit went for £2.5k which is awesome (that’s another wheel chair for somebody!). It would be good to catch up soon, hope you are well, Matt”. (Matt Hampson by email to Vanilla – Properties of Distinction).


0808 1000 882 or email



May – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, offering a service beyond the call of duty!

We were recently contacted by a potential client searching for a substantial family home, in the Surrey area, with a view to modernizing, extending and personalising the property to their own particular tastes and needs. After an initial meeting it was agreed that we would work closely with this client so that when the right house came along the client could be sure it was the ‘right house’. Not only is our client working within to a specified level of initial investment but also needs to ensure that there are no nasty surprises and that what they wish to do at the house is viable and can be achieved with their available resources.

This is what our client has to say about our approach:

“I have been most impressed with the genuine interest and enthusiasm that Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have taken in offering advice on properties on which we were considering placing an offer. They even accompanied us to several viewings and gave very helpful advise on renovation costs so that we could get a clearer idea of what would be involved financially for us if we took the property on.

I found them to be very organised in terms of details and planning. On one occasion an estate agent arrived without any brochures to show us a property, but the staff member from Vanilla – Properties of Distinction had come well prepared and had the floor plans already printed off. They had also done some prior research on the area and had some very useful local knowledge. It is those kind of details that I noticed and I feel I could trust them to project manage renovations so that I could get on with my life!

What also struck me is that because they are a family business they really seem to care about customer satisfaction and their reputation that they work hard to maintain. If we do undertake renovation works, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction will be our first choice.”

Mrs. Mason (house-hunter in Surrey).

 Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are continuing to work with this client to find the perfect property gem. If you are in the process of looking for a property, with a view to arranging for a project to modernize, enlarge or refurbish, then why not engage Vanilla – Properties of Distinction straight away and experience our unique services first-hand.  

0808 1000 882 or email


May – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction obtain planning consent in Farncombe, Surrey, against all the odds!

Our client’s semi-rural property is positioned with a garden that falls away to a degree that meant it was crucial our design proposed the required internal ceiling height, yet not exceeding the external eves height restrictions imposed by the local authority and ensured had the best chance of achieving planning consent within the appropriate legislation constraints.

After much deliberation by the local authority, we’re delighted to report that consent for us to build has now been granted notwithstanding the initial difficulties, which has avoided the need for a protracted planning application with all its uncertainty.

At Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, we can provide a one-stop service from design to construction, to completion. We ensure that a proposed design meets whatever mix of criteria the client wishes to place on it (style, budget, practicality, etc) or any criteria based on stipulations or restrictions based on the building itself or those of the local authority planning department. In short, we know what needs to be done!

We are very experienced in navigating all of these aspects for our clients and developing an overall project scheme that meets the client’s expectations whilst respecting both the individual property and the environment.

0808 1000 882 or email

April – 2016

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction’s sponsored rugby player, Mike Fitzgerald, scores stunning try in European action!


LEICESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Mike Fitzgerald of Leicesters dives over for their fifth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter final match between Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais at Welford Road on April 10, 2016 in Leicester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The big Leicester Tigers lock forward, Mike Fitzgerald, sponsored by Vanilla – Properties of Distinction for the 2015-2016 season, runs in with a stunning try during their epic clash with Stade Francais in the European Champions cup quarter final at Welford Road on Sunday the 10th of April 2016 .

Tigers roared to a 41-13 win in front of a sell out home crowd and now face Racing Metro in a home semi final.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are proud sponsors and supporters of many sporting and charitable organisations both locally and nationally. Helping to build a happier and healthier community is as important to us as building itself.

Below: with Lock Forward Mike Fitzgerald at Leicester Tigers.



0808 1000 882 or email

April – 2016

A chance meeting starts a great friendship!

Yet another client in Esher, Surrey, shares his experience in finding Vanilla – Properties of Distinction…

“Everyone wants to know: How to find a decent and reliable builder? I have the answer: You need a dog, and you need luck, lots of luck. 

Recently I was exercising my Border Collie on Weston Green and got attracted by a Vanilla – Properties of Distinction sign board outside a building site. A few days later I was there again with my dog.

By sheer coincidence, I met a chap who turned out to be the founder and owner of Vanilla –Properties of Distinction. This meeting soon developed into a relationship which resulted in me signing a contract with Vanilla – Properties of Distinction for the extension of our house in Esher. A planning application for the project has just been submitted.

The team at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction were outstanding in guiding us through the process of deciding on the extent and style of the extension. They were very responsive, innovative and professional, they produced various layouts and visuals for us to choose from, developed lots of great ideas and, most importantly, were always there to listen to us, the customer, and to make adjustments to the plans to suit us perfectly. I am impressed!

However, this is only Phase One, the Planning application stage. Watch this space for how the construction phase works out!”


Homeowner in Esher


Zara Dog



You can’t always rely on a chance meeting to find exactly what you’re looking for. If your property is listed, is located in a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty or scientific interest and you think it might be difficult for you to obtain planning consent, why not give us a call? We’ll happily visit you at your property and have a confidential discussion, completely without obligation and free of charge.

Let’s see what we can do for you!

0808 1000 882 or email 

April – 2016

Unexpected find in Farnham…

Having been engaged to build a residential annex structure adjacent to our client’s prestigious Edwardian manor house, we were in the process of extracting the ground in readiness to build new foundations, when we unexpectedly uncovered a 12 cubic metre, brick built, underground structure, just 60cm beneath the lawn. Our clients were blissfully unaware of its existence and it did not show on the house plans or title deeds.

Following further investigation, we established that this was in fact an early attempt to create a sceptic tank, long before main sewage was installed at the property. After further exploratory digs, it was established this tank was part of a series of three connected tank, a sort of three stage sceptic cleaning system, perhaps an attempt to create an early period Klargester type bacteria self-cleansing system.

The underground tank was right in the line of the foundations of the proposed new annex and it was necessary to engage our engineer, the building control inspector and some very quick thinking from all involved to devise a system of concrete overbuild thus preserving this original feature, whilst allowing us to continue with the construction project unhindered.



































If you have a potential underground hazard or issue or other obstacle which you feel is stopping you from enlarging your property, have no fear, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is very experienced in overcoming both the expected and the unexpected!

0808 1000 882 or email


March – 2016

Dorking, Surrey…Access all areas!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are engaged to carry out a partial demolition, reconstruction and modernisation of a period family home in the historic market town of beautiful Dorking. Fast becoming renowned for our ability to move swiftly and efficiently from initial consultation to engagement, this is yet another very complex project; a terraced house with very limited access from the road making the removal of waste materials and delivery to site of new construction materials a real challenge.


CMD3DK 21/07/2012 Dorking Surrey UK. A steel sculpture of two cyclists designed and built by artist Heather Burrell newly erected on the A24 London Road, Dorking, on the route of the Olympic Road Race. Road signs showing cycle routes.

If you are considering a construction project, think you may have difficult access issues and maybe you’ve been put off by the thought of how it could be done, why not call us now for a confidential appraisal without obligation. We’ve never yet  found a project that couldn’t be done!!

0808 1000 882 or email


March – 2016

London…Mission Possible!

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction win another London engagement. By solving a number of difficult logistical issues involved in accessing a house located on a very busy London street with little or no vehicular access, we were able to demonstrate not only that we were the right choice to handle the construction itself, but also the demolition and materials handling aspects too. Our engagement involves the total demolition of an existing structure as well as reconstruction and complete fit out too.

D60DEH London Underground sign, London, UK


If you have a London property with access, parking or other tricky issues putting you off, why not give us a call now, we’ll show you how!!

0808 1000 882 or email


March – 2016

Winning in Esher!

In the heart of the beautiful Esher conservation area, our client’s stunning detached residence will undergo a substantial rear enlargement to provide much needed additional living and dining space. Our experience in producing designs for properties in conservation areas and also in areas of outstanding natural beauty, is such that great consideration has been given to the methods that both meets with client expectations and the preferences of the local planning authority. Watch this space as the project unfolds…

CA8KAE Ultimate ridden by Danny Cook takes the last in the Markel Insurance Henry VIII Novices´ Chase at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey - 03/12/2011 - CREDIT: Martin Dalton/TGSPHOTO


If you live in a conservation area, a listed building, or you’ve had planning permission refused, there is still hope. Why not let us look at your property and find out what we may be able to do for you. Call us now for a confidential discussion, completely without obligation. We’ll visit you free of charge and give you an honest and straight forward assessment. 

0808 1000 882 or email


March – 2016

Relocation of our Head Quarters to Priory Country Park, now completed!

We are delighted to announce that we have now relocated our headquarters to a wonderful new propose built premises in the heart of the Priory Country Park development. Our new offices, set amidst lakes, parkland, landscaped gardens and adjacent to the great river Ouse, are proof positive of our commitment to create an enjoyable and productive working environment for our people. Additionally, it demonstrates yet further our commitment to build a long-term legacy business for our next generation management and to continue maintaining and improving our service offering.

Stephenson couirt PIC

February – 2016

Horley, Surrey…Yet another period building conversion!

We are instructed to extend our client’s Victorian family home, creating more living and kitchen space whilst still keeping the desired (and traditional) ground floor bathroom situation, all enlarged and fully refurbished. Period property conversion is fast becoming our most popular service request and we handle everything, from design through to completed construction and sign-off.

If you are in the Horley, Reigate, Gatwick areas – call us today for a no obligation consultation and discover the potential in your property through us!

Call us today! 0808 1000 882 or email

January – 2016

Farncombe, Surrey…Beautiful setting, historic area!

We have been instructed to undertake extension works, enlarging the ground floor of our client’s semi-rural property by around a third. Set in a beautiful residential area of Farncombe, backing onto the historic manor house estate of the magnificent Loseley Park, we can think of worse places to be!

Are you in the Farncombe, Guildford, Farnham areas? Call us today for a no obligation meeting, regarding any extension or renovation works you may be considering or already have designs/planning consent for – we can respond swiftly to start site works whatever the project’s size.

Call us today! 0808 1000 882 or email 



Having recently completed a near £5 million transformation, modernisation and substantial enlargement of a period property located on the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire borders, we have been asked to go back for more!!

We were originally engaged to enlarge and modernise a modest former Bedford estates farm cottage with a living space approaching 1700 square feet…

…the property, located within the greenbelt, next to a significant historical monument and surrounded by stunning countryside, was initially expected to take 12 months to complete. However, navigating a tortuous path through complicated and time consuming planning issues, constant revisions to the design and technical brief meant that this project spanned almost 7 years. The original property was taken apart, brick by brick, timber by timber and put back together. It has been substantially enlarged yet retains all the charm and character of a significant country manor house, with all modern conveniences and operating systems.  The house now stands at some 12,500 square feet of usable space, has an indoor heated swimming pool and spa complex, tennis court and fully restored period outbuildings. Our brief went way beyond construction and involved full interior design, furnishing and landscaping undertakings.

Having only recently completed this beautiful and remarkable prestige family home, we have been invited back to carry out a new round of engagements including the construction of a tractor barn, motor vehicle storage building and the creation of an ancillary domestic annexe within an original agricultural outbuilding.  We view this latest engagement as an endorsement of our capability, not only have we worked tirelessly for almost 7 years to achieve such results at this property, but we have managed to maintain a working relationship at the end of the process and we believe that being invited back is proof positive that we do know how to please a client!

If you have a country residence, with or without outbuildings, why not call us for a no obligation conversation to find out what potential we can help you to unlock.



Farnham, Surrey

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction accept exciting new instructions to convert a group of derelict outbuildings into ancillary domestic accommodation and to bring back to life a once majestic group of period buildings.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have been favoured with instructions by our clients to convert a group of derelict outbuildings into ancillary domestic living accommodation for their parents, to be able to live independently but close at hand.

The buildings, nestled 10 metres from the main substantial period dwelling house, form part of a wonderful Edwardian estate. Over the years these outbuildings have fallen into dereliction but we will be breathing new life into them and bring them back to their former glory for the new owners, with a contemporary twist, and getting them ready for our client’s parents to enjoy.

If you have an outbuilding of any kind why not contact us to discover what you could do with it and add real value to your property and lifestyle.


Dorking, Surrey

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are very excited about a new commission, having been instructed in respect of a substantial period property loft conversion and modernisation!

Our client’s property, located near Dorking in Surrey, forms part of a significant and historic former mansion house which was originally constructed in 1866.  This is just the sort of property that Vanilla – Properties of Distinction excel at working on and are very excited to be embarking upon this challenge at the start of 2016.

As well as the property having some very interesting character  features, our client advises us that during the second world war the property was occupied by the Canadian Air Force who used it as a command and control centre and of course, the obligatory officers accommodation .

Following the end of the Second World War, the property was divided into four separate residential dwellings. It currently benefits from having been unrestored or altered for more than 70 years, meaning that a number of beautiful original period architectural features remain intact.

Our engagement involves the installation of an additional three bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms within the loft area which requires substantial structural alterations to the property’s massive roof. This is a thrilling and challenging proposition for the team at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, which will be carried out during the first half of 2016.  Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have an enviable reputation for restoring, modernising and enlarging period properties and we are privileged to be taking up this mission.

For a free no obligation discussion about any work that you are considering undertaking, period or otherwise, make Vanilla – Properties of Distinction your first point of contact.


News update 04.11.2015

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction (Southern Area Projects) instructed for Barn Conversion project!

Though our new strategic partnership with Platform Property estate agency, we are excited to announce that Vanilla – Properties of Distinction (Southern Projects) has been instructed to undertake a fantastic barn conversion project.

Our client’s substantial barn, set within the beautiful grounds of a former working farm, is currently being used for general goods and equipment storage, with much room to spare. We at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are delighted at being selected to convert a large section of the barn into an area for leisure and hobby pursuits. The structure will involve minimal alterations to the existing barn externally, whilst an internal new area is created that will involve oak beams, oak framed bi-fold doors, large window areas, complete insulation, flooring, heating, plus cooking and WC facilities. The project will certainly regenerate the 100 year old barn, giving it a new lease of life, add considerable value to the property overall and provide immense enjoyment for our clients for many years to come!

Do you live in Surrey, Sussex or Kent and have a barn or other outbuilding that you believe could be regenerated? Vanilla – Properties of Distinction has great experience in conversions of this nature, whatever the structure we are happy to discuss its potential. With recent relaxation of Government legislation relating to agricultural buildings, we have the knowledge and expertise to advise you and carry out the project. Call us today! 0808 1000 882 or email

News update 02.11.2015

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction (Southern Area Projects) is proud to announce a strategic alliance with Platform Property estate agency.



Platform Property – ‘Estate Agency Evolved’.

Platform Property are a newly launched Estate Agency covering the Surrey & Kent areas. They offer unbeatable customer service, fantastic property presentation, extensive market coverage and highly competitive fees. Platform Property believe in being a straightforward, transparent, direct estate agency and have created a brand and business model which both buyers and sellers find simple and effective to use.

Tom Gilbert, Managing Director, Platform Property: We at Platform Property are excited to be working alongside Vanilla – Properties of Distinction. It is very common for our buyers to carry out further works to their purchases and we believe Vanilla offer the perfect solution as they are able to consult and advise throughout the purchasing process and can deliver immediately upon the transaction’s completion. Like us at Platform, Vanilla are very approachable, professional and offer excellent value. Our alliance is to ensure that together we can deliver a combined service for our mutual clients that is second to none!”

Contact Platform Property for more information: Tel 01883 460373, email or visit


Vanilla – Properties of Distinction

We offer a range of property related services and one of our core strengths is reacting quickly to any client’s refurbishment or construction needs, whether they are buying or considering selling a property. Platform Property are a new and dynamic agency and in addition to the services we can offer to their clients, they have via the internet, a very broad base and are able to provide us with an interesting portfolio of properties which may indeed be suitable for our clients. As part of our own rapid expansion into the Surrey, Sussex and Kent regions, forming a relationship with Platform Property was a simple choice.

Anna Moloney, Regional Sales Manager: “The property in question may require modernisation to any extent, in order to bring it to market in the best possible condition and therefore create the best potential selling opportunity. Likewise, a client may have recently purchased a property with a view to updating it in their own style, by refurbishing, extending/modifying in any way. Our relationship with the Platform Property team, gives their clients peace of mind that they have already found a reputable and professional construction and refurbishment company in Vanilla, to undertake these works for them as soon as possible”.

Contact us today: Tel 0808 1000 882, email



News update Nov 2015

Vanilla Properties of Distinction have been awarded a contract to carry out a substantial enlargement and modernisation to a prestigious detached property near Arundel, West Sussex. 

The project involves the doubling of the space at the property which is located in a very rural location.  Vanilla – Properties of Distinction were engaged after the client had been “deserted” by their original contractor.


News Update Nov 2015

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction have been engaged to carry out enlargements, modernisation and general improvements to multiple properties in a Victorian terrace of houses facing the village green and golf course in Esher, Surrey.

News Update Aug 2015

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction secure the contract to carry out a substantial enlargement, modernisation and general improvements to a prestige property adjacent to Epsom Downs Race Course.


News Update Aug 2015


Extension in Reigate, Surrey, reveals an unforeseen Victorian artesian well…

Recently, whilst digging out for the foundations of two single story extensions, at a handsome Victorian house in Reigate, Surrey, we discovered an unforeseen artesian well, some 11 metres deep and approximately a metre in diameter.

Unbeknown to the current owners and not documented in their house purchase records or indeed with the local water company, local authority planning department or the National Well Record Archive (British Geological Survey), this was an exceptional find. It was also a stunning example of Victorian craftsmanship, albeit an enormous inconvenience for our client and for the extension project generally, certainly something that we at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, had to act on immediately.

In all my years in construction I have never seen anything remotely like it, when we came across the well and discovered how badly it had been capped in days gone by, my immediate thought was that the ground above it could have collapsed at any time. Thank goodness no one had ever fallen down there”.   Eddie Cobaj, Site Forman.

Unsurprisingly, a well of this kind is not an everyday problem so a technical solution had to be found quickly that ensured it could be filled in, using materials suitable so as not to contaminate the water table, didn’t eat the client’s budget and would allow for a 4 metre extension to be built over it as quickly as possible.

A handful of commercial well engineering companies were contacted but they were not really interested in our relatively small problem and they would only engage in the project for a substantial fee. At Vanilla – Properties of Distinction we ensure our clients receive the best service and advice; we don’t leave them with problems and we consider their challenge ours to solve.

Therefore we set about discussions with the local authority, the environment agency and our own structural engineers, to agree a plan for decommissioning and infilling the well ourselves using the appropriate material layers and finally capping the well off permanently.  We’re delighted to say that we carried this out at minimal cost and with minimal disruption or delay to the construction process, with other project areas being worked on while the well issue was being resolved.

Well 7 (resize 3)

Well 1 new

Well group 1

Well group 2

Well 5

So when we say that Vanilla – Properties of Distinction offers a total one-stop construction service, we really mean it – and all’s well, that ends without a well!

For a free no obligation discussion about any work that you are considering undertaking make Vanilla- properties of Distinction your first point of contact, tel. 0808 1000 882


Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, Southern Area Sales office announce resounding show success at the Surrey Game and Country Fair at Loseley House held on Sunday the 27th September.

SGCF-logo-blackVanilla – Properties of Distinction would like to thank everyone that attended at their stand at this show. The sun shone and the atmosphere was excellent. A stream of visitors to the stand ensured a busy, but enjoyable day for the Vanilla team meeting so many charming and interesting people and enjoying very pleasant discussions throughout the day.

The Vanilla team are really looking forward to visiting you at your properties for a free consultation and making your construction dreams a reality.

Thank you to all those who visited us at our stand.


For a free no obligation discussion about any work that you are considering undertaking make Vanilla- properties of Distinction your first point of contact, tel. 0808 1000 882


Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are proud to announce the sponsorship of Mike Fitzgerald a new signing for Rugby Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

fitzVanilla – Properties of Distinction have always taken a great interest in, and have supported, brilliant young players at Leicester Tigers and this new alliance is a continuation of that patronage.

Michael (Mike) Fitzgerald, at just 28 years old, is one of the best lock forward position players to emerge on to the European stage of rugby having already cut the mustard playing for the New Zealand Super Rugby Chiefs winning two titles whilst with them. Born in Auckland, New Zealand and standing at 6ft 5 inches tall  and at  over 18 stone, it’s no wonder that Mike is renowned for his hard work in the forward pack of the team and is often described as a “grafter”.
This fits in very nicely with life at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, nothing ever gets built without an awful lot of hard work, team work, a strategy and an end goal. We are delighted to be associated with this splendid player in the coming season. See Mike’s profile here


For a free no obligation discussion about any work that you are considering undertaking make Vanilla- properties of Distinction your first point of contact, tel. 0808 1000 882

Following the success at both of this year’s Cowpie Country Show and the Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural show, The Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, southern area sales team will be attending the forthcoming Surrey Game & Country Fair, being held at Loseley House (near Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1HS), 9am – 5pm taking place on the 27th September 2015.

If you are currently considering any kind of construction or renovation project, come and speak with us and discover how Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is currently helping other homeowners in the South East bring their projects to life.

Our proven formula of providing a one-stop service to clients, delivering results from concept to completion, gives you the peace of mind in choosing Vanilla – Properties of Distinction.

So don’t let the bad weather put you off! We’re building all-year round and ready to meet with you and discuss your requirements. Come and see us at the show and claim your free VP stress ball!

What the organisers say about the show:
‘An action packed, rural day out for the whole family. Top class entertainment, a sporting and have-a-go shoot, gun dogs, hounds, fishing and falconry combine with rural crafts, shopping, food and drink and much, much more. Don’t miss it!’


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction would like to thank everyone who visited  their stand  at the Edenbridge and Oxted  show which took place over a wet and windy August bank holiday week-end

Despite the inclement weather, the show proved a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting with some really delightful people. We are looking forward to a reunion with them to discuss their requirements and help them achieve their ambitions for their homes whether that be refurbishment or a complete new structure.


Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are a renowned and professional building firm where quality of service really matters.  From concept to completion, we deal with everything, no hassle, no fuss!!

Vanilla –Properties of Distinction-we think building a relationship is as important as building your new project.

If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are really looking forward to the forthcoming exhibition stand at the Edenbridge and Oxted show taking place over the August Bank holiday weekend


A warm welcome awaits you at Vanilla – Properties of Distinction, so why not come along and visit us at our stand at the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show this forthcoming bank holiday weekend? 

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are a renowned and professional building firm where quality of service really matters. From concept to completion, we deal with everything, no hassle, no fuss!!

Vanilla –Properties of Distinction-we think building a relationship is as important as building your new project.

If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction would like to thank all the visitors who attended their stand at the Brooklands Museum Supercar Sunday in July


BROOKLANDSThe show was a resounding success for Vanilla- Properties of Distinction Southern Area office with new contacts already benefiting from the professional and courteous service offered by Vanilla – Properties of Distinction with new projects already underway in the area.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.

News Flash – Cow Pie Show a great Success

cowpie-logoFollowing the Cow Pie Show on the 10th May earlier this year, Vanilla – Properties of Distinction would like to thank all those who visited our stand at the show. The show was a great success for Vanilla – Properties of Distinction and the newly set up Southern Area Sales office. We have already embarked upon several projects for new clients that were met at the show with construction already underway in both the Surrey and Sussex areas.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.

Cowpie Country Show

cowpie-logoVanilla – Properties of Distinction are pleased to announce that they will be exhibiting at the Cowpie country show, Lingfield, Surrey on Sunday the 10th May.

We will have representatives from our Southern Area Sales Office on our stand that can give you useful help and information regarding any construction project you are considering.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.




Trust-wave-logoWe are pleased to announce that we have recently been accredited with “Trustwave” status by WorldPay, this accreditation is awarded to traders that satisfy the audit criteria of card issuers, this gives an assurance to our clients when making payments to us by credit/debit cards.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.


Heading South

HORLEYVanilla – Properties of Distinction are pleased to welcome Anna Moloney, who will be heading up our new Southern Area Sales office in Horley, Surrey. Taking in the geographical region from the edge of South London, the whole of the south eastern corner of England and across to Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, the new office will provide comprehensive construction services and solutions and enable us to provide a rapid response to our southern England clients.

Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are rapidly becoming the hot topic for those looking for bespoke construction solutions, delivered on time and on budget.

For more information please call 0808 1000 882


London’s calling

YORK-HOUSEVanilla – Properties of Distinction are pleased to announce the opening of their new London office. This facility will mean that we are able to respond more swiftly to our London client’s needs, with full conferencing and meeting facilities, parking close at hand and in the heart of London’s West End. This expansion will facilitate rapid growth of our already comprehensive services on offer in the London area. The new office will allow us to provide a dynamic service and solutions to meet all construction needs.


If you are planning a significant enlargement to your property why on contact Vanilla- Properties of Distinction, we are very experienced in significant residual property enlargements. Tel. 0808 1000 882.


Vanilla – Properties of Distinction and the Matt Hampson Foundation

stock-photo-the-word-community-in-cut-out-magazine-letters-pinned-to-a-cork-notice-board-with-push-pins-66589666Vanilla – Properties of Distinction are pleased to announce that they have decided that The Matt Hampson Foundation as their main charity of choice.

It is now possible for all clients of Vanilla – Properties of Distinction to elect to have 5% * of the value of the work they place with the firm donated to The Matt Hampson Foundation.
*Terms and conditions apply, full written details on request.

For more information please call 0808 1000 882