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Marie Thomas Homes - Rural Retreats

Marie Thomas Homes - Two Magnificent Rural Residences with Views Overlooking the Lancashire Countryside

An incredible pair of magnificent rural dwellings that combine modern, designer finishes with the reclusivity and tranquility of countryside surroundings - built with materials from C&W Berry

Mark and Donna Whelan of Marie Thomas Homes bought a plot of land in Cuddy Hill to develop two incredible family homes. We interviewed Donna to find out why they use C&W Berry to source their materials, the products they used, and why they would recommend C&W Berry to other developers or homeowners.

Donna Whelan has been a customer of C&W Berry for over 30 years, going back to when her father owned a wood turning company which was based close to Berry's main site on Golden Hill Lane in Leyland.

After many years in the property rental industry, Donna and Mark Whelan moved into property development and are now managing two separate sites. This - the smaller of the two - is situated in Cuddy Hill and has two incredibly spacious homes with stunning countryside views.

With Donna's history as an interior designer and Mark's corporate background, these unique builds are full of smart, characterful touches, and are planned intelligently to maximise space and offer clever design solutions that simplify family life.

These palacial, white dwellings are a testament to Donna's flair for contemporary design, and look incredible juxtaposed against their rural backdrop.

Around 80% of the materials for this development were sourced from C&W Berry, with our competitive prices, honest lead times, and unrivalled customer service being three of the major reaons that Mark and Donna continue to work with us.

"If we ask them for products to be delivered and they give us a timescale, lead time, it's always there on time. And that can be a big thing for developers because if one thing is late, it sets everything else back as well."

Products Used For This Build

BathsBaths
BricksBricks
Building BlocksBuilding Blocks
CasingsCasings
Door IronmongeryDoor Ironmongery
FasciasFascias
FencingFencing
FixingsFixings
GravelGravel
GutteringGuttering
InsulationInsulation
Internal DoorsInternal Doors
Levelling CompoundLevelling Compound
LintelsLintels
MDPE PipeMDPE Pipe
Path EdgingPath Edging
Plaster & PlasterboardPlaster & Plasterboard
Portland CementPortland Cement
Roof TilesRoof Tiles
Roof WindowsRoof Windows
SandSand
Sheet MaterialsSheet Materials
ShowersShowers
Skirtings & ArchitraveSkirtings & Architrave
SoilSoil
StaircasesStaircases
TimberTimber
Underground DrainageUnderground Drainage

Tell us about Marie Thomas Homes

We started about 15 years ago with rentals. We would buy a property, do it up, rent it out. And we did that for years. We built an odd house in between. And then we got this opportunity about three years ago to go into it in a much bigger way. So we left the rentals behind and decided to built high end properties. It's a family business as well - my husband and my son are also in this business.

Marie Thomas Homes Cuddy Hill Development - 5,000 sq ft HouseMarie Thomas Homes Cuddy Hill Development - 5,000 sq ft House
House #1 - 5,000 sq ft
Marie Thomas Homes Cuddy Hill Development - 6,500 sq ft HouseMarie Thomas Homes Cuddy Hill Development - 6,500 sq ft House
House #2 - 6,500 sq ft

Tell us about this development at Cuddy Hill

This built is two bespoke properties, very high end, large properties. The one we're currently standing in is 5,000 sq ft. The other one is just shy of 6,500 sq ft. 

Countryside location but very handy for the motorway network. Definitely aspirational properties, without a doubt.

Why do Marie Thomas Homes use C&W Berry to supply their materials?

We find them to be very reliable. If we ask for products to be delivered and they give us a timescale, lead time, it's always there on time. And that can be a big thing for developers because if one thing is late, it sets everything else back as well. So that's a major one.

As for cost, we find them to be extremely competitive in the market. Sometimes we've had quotes from somewhere else and then when we go to Berry's, they can do it cheaper.

We also deal with someone who deals with all our orders, Andy Round. I've met him myself at Berry's and he's showed me products. If I wanted to look at doors, flags, anything like that. He takes me around, shows me all the products, explains them to me. So I think it's very good customer service as well.

"Cost - we find them to be extremely competitive in the market. Sometimes we've had quotes from somewhere else and then when we go to Berry's they can do it cheaper."

Kitchen in House #1Kitchen in House #1
Kitchen in House #1
Main Bathroom in House #1Main Bathroom in House #1
Main Bathroom in House #1

How long have you used C&W Berry?

Going right back to when we did our rentals. We used to use Berry's for a lot of our building materials, even to do up properties. In fact, going back further than that, my dad had a wood turning company which was actually only down the road on a small industrial estate from where Berry's are now. And my dad would often say, "just nip to Berry's and pick this up!"

So I've known C&W Berry practically all my life. We've used them right back to my dad's time.

What percentage of your materials come from C&W Berry?

I would say between 70 and 80% of everything that we get, we get from Berry's. The addition of the new bathroom showroom has helped as well because we used to get a lot of bathroom products from elsewhere. But we found that we started to go to Berry's for some of those as well now.

The bath we have in this property upstairs and on the other site we're developing at the moment have all come from Berry's. We did have a different supplier and as we were ordering the baths, Berry's opened the showroom and the baths from there were cheaper and nicer.

How many developments do you complete on average per year?

When we were just renovating properties, we could do maybe 5 or 6 a year. Now we're building with two on the go that we've had on the go for the last 18 months to two years, which are now coming to an end. We'll be ready to start on a new one in the next few months.

"This addition of the new bathroom showroom, Berry Bathrooms, has helped as well because we used to get a lot of bathroom products from elsewhere. But we found that we started to go to Berry's for some of those as well now. We did have a different supplier but as we were ordering the baths, Berry's opened the showroom and the baths from there were cheaper and nicer."

What is your next development?

Well, as well as this, we have a development in Barrowford at the moment for five new builds and the renovation of the existing building. Both these projects, this one at Cuddy Hill and that one at Barrowford, we plan to be finished within the next couple of months.

Then, we have another one coming up a little later in the year in Cockerham which is just outside Lancaster. And that will be our largest to date. There's 22 properties on there, ranging from bungalows, right up to £900,000 detached.

View of Homes at Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford DevelopmentView of Homes at Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford Development
View of Homes at Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford Development
View of the Countryside from Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford DevelopmentView of the Countryside from Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford Development
View of the Countryside from Marie Thomas Homes' Barrowford Development

What sets Marie Thomas Homes developments apart?

Attention to detail. At this end of the market, the attention to detail is absolutely critical. My background is that I was actually an interior designer for years before we started to do property. So I look at every aspect of the design, from the style of the staircase, the doors, I pick all the tiles, all the colours, everything. Right from the start of the build, right from actually the architect's plans where we move walls - if we feel we need to - we start from there.

So they are very bespoke - I'm involved right from the start.

Views of the Surrounding Countryside from House #1Views of the Surrounding Countryside from House #1
Views of the Surrounding Countryside from House #1

Would you recommend C&W Berry?

I would definitely, yes. Every time we order from them we get things on time. The product is always really good. It's a great price.

Also, I find them a really good company to deal with. You get a 'family feel' from them. Everybody's always so friendly, so helpful. I think all those things make a big difference.

If you can pick the telephone up and have a really nice chat with someone that's going to be really helpful, that goes a long way.

"Every time we order from C&W Berry, we get things on time. The product is always really good. It's a great price. And I find them a really good company to deal with. Everybody's always so friendly, so helpful."

Property at Marie Thomas Homes' Cuddy Hill DevelopmentProperty at Marie Thomas Homes' Cuddy Hill Development
Property at Marie Thomas Homes' Cuddy Hill Development