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Recommendations and Compliments


A lightning strike needed a lightning response

From Crawford website Blog:


In the early summer of this year, we saw what’s sometimes referred to in the UK as “changeable” weather – in other words, anything from raging windstorms to sudden deluges and a lot of floods and rainwater runoff in between. As you might expect, many of our customers were affected and needed our help – but few more so than a charming, retired couple whose comfortable Staffordshire home was hit by lightning on Monday 12 June.

On the day of the event, the policyholders were temporarily apart – the husband was in hospital overnight for some routine tests and procedures and the wife was home alone (well, except for the dog!) when she heard a huge clap of thunder closely followed by what she later described as a loud bang which caused the whole house to shake, after which all the power went off.

A direct lightning strike had hit the chimney stack of the policyholder’s substantial 1940s property, causing it to collapse, creating more damage to the slate roof as it did so. Fortunately, and having witnessed the strike, a concerned neighbour not only called the Fire Brigade but also contacted our policyholder in hospital to let him know what had happened and that his wife and dog were shaken – literally – but otherwise safe and well and now in the neighbour’s house.

The Fire Brigade attended with no fewer than three appliances. Having satisfied themselves that there was no immediate risk of fire, they nonetheless turned off the gas and declared the house to be uninhabitable until they could arrange for a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage.

On the next morning, the husband returned home from hospital and he and his wife were advised by the Fire Brigade’s structural engineer that the chimney stack had been impacted to such an extent that there was not enough left of it to give concern for further collapse. The property was otherwise declared to be safe, but it was noted that there was a large amount of loose debris in the guttering and on the roof and that this posed a hazard in itself. Our lovely couple moved back into the house, using a long extension cable to “borrow” electricity from a neighbour so they could at least have a cuppa – and luckily, the ambient temperatures in June meant that the lack of central heating wasn’t an issue.

When our policyholders called the claim in, a quick check of our weather tracking system confirmed that there had been over 3,500 individual lightning strikes within a 50 mile radius of their home – this was clearly a valid claim, and a file was opened on the morning of 13 June; the weather data, plus a detailed description of both the damage and the concerns for the couple’s welfare, triggered the involvement of Crawford Building Consultancy (CBC) on the afternoon of 13 June. The CBC team led by Theresa Tate saw their own instructions arrive on the morning of Wednesday 14 June.

“With the knowledge that this was an elderly couple using an extension cable to get by and living with hazardous rubble on the roof, it was clear that they needed our support as quickly as possible” says Theresa.

So, she enlisted the help of CBC’s senior building surveyor, Omar Khan, who set the wheels in motion to ensure the safety of our customers. Phone contact was immediately made with our policyholders to reassure them that help was on its way. By just after noon on Wednesday 14 June, a representative of Hickenbuild – one of Crawford’s network of approved specialist building contractors – was on site and had carried out a survey. His assessment was not only practical but rapid. By 4 p.m. on the same day, Hickenbuild had brought in an electrician and a Gas Safe engineer to get the utilities safety-checked and reconnected and had arranged for a scaffolding contractor to attend later that evening on an emergency basis to ensure that no further debris could fall – and this also meant that make-safe work to the roof could be started next day. Omar adds “We had additional warnings of imminent heavy rain, so we not only wanted to take care of the customers’ safety, but we also wanted to make sure they didn’t have to deal with any further damage.”

Although we had told the policyholders that we’d happily arrange alternative accommodation, they were adamant they didn’t want to leave their home. But with these measures in place, we knew they were safe and well, giving us time to gather the resources and services needed fully to restore their home and get their lives back on track.

Tony Derbyshire, Network Director Contractor Connection, adds

“This is an outstanding example of Crawford doing what it does best. When the worst happened for these customers, leaving them without power and potentially vulnerable to falling debris, we stepped up and delivered positive action within 48 hours of the event. I could not be prouder of the Crawford Building Consultancy team and our trusted partners at Hickenbuild.”

16th February 2023


Hi Steve,


Just wanted to drop you an email to thank you and all of your team for doing a fantastic job on renovating our home after our fire.


We are both very tough people to please and our standards of workmanship are very high.  If we had issues, we would be the first people letting you know therefore I feel it only fair to express our gratitude and pass on positive feedback for the work carried out.


The communication has been fantastic; running a recruitment business, we understand the importance of communicating regardless of whether it’s good or bad news. We understand that things go wrong but being kept in the loop all of the time has been reassuring.


The workmen who have been present since day 1 have been polite, sensitive to our situation and always put our needs first.


The quality of work is very good and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t concerned before the work started as to whether we would get the same workmanship and finish that we’ve had previously but it has been spot on.


I hope to not have to use you again given you are an insurance contractor however I would advocate the work you have done and thoroughly recommend your services.


Please feel free to use this email as a reference or testimonial but please do pass it on to every person who has worked on our property as it genuinely means a lot to us to have our home restored and back in working order.


Thank you sincerely.


Best Regards


Dave and Charlotte


Dear Steve and staff at Hickenbuild,


We would like to start by thanking you and all the staff members at Hickenbuild for the continuous service, care and support you have given us from the start of our insurance claim.


As soon as the insurance company's claims handler recommended Hickenbuild, the initial contact was made promptly, and a visit to our property happened within two days of the call.  Again, with excellent communication a list of repairs and replacements was drafted and agreed with all parties.  No time was wasted and preparations began.


Due to Covid restrictions laid out by the Government, completion took longer than anticipated but during the whole process Hickenbuild continued to support us and kept us in the loop with works that were planned to be carried out. Your company was able to maintain efficiency and with proper scheduling.


We would personally like to thank all the contractors who came to our property from Hickenbuild, they first arranged suitable times that suited us and were very courteous, careful and always cleaned after they finished for the day. We were very happy and pleased to see a total professional workmanship displayed by these men as they worked through each job, they went above and beyond resulting in a job well done.


We have approached the end of all works to be completed and are left with the staircase carpet to be replaced, even now Hickenbuild recommended the carpet supplier and fitter - who were very quick in giving their support and very pleasant when we went to visit them.


Again, we would like to express our gratitude in providing your 100% for completing all the works at our property. We highly appreciate your team for providing support in all manners and would not hesitate to recommend Hickenbuild to other customers who are in need of quality services with caring staff who look after their clients.


We look forward to a continued relationship with Hickenbuild, who have given reassurance of a guarantee on all the works carried out at our property.

Hagley Fire Sat Letter.png

From Paul - Point of Sale Display Company - Sep 2021


Hickenbuild are one of the most professional building companies I have ever dealt with, although we had one or two snags along the way with outside contractors, they were dealt with professionally and swiftly. Losing the offices at the front of the building was challenging but I couldn’t have asked for a better company to work alongside. 

March 2021 (Medical Centre)


The repairs are progressing well thank you.  I would like to say that the workmen that have been with us since the start are brilliant, they have been really helpful – I would like you to please pass on my personal thanks to them.


Kind regards.



Feb 2021


Many thanks for the call earlier today, good to catch up with you.


As mentioned, I would just like to say, on behalf of me, Diane and of course mum, a very big thank you to you and all at Hickenbuild for everything you have done to complete the work on mum's house. It really looks and feels like her home once again.


No doubt you and your team have been doing a great deal of ball juggling and plate spinning during these extremely challenging times, but we are really grateful for what you have all done for us. Everyone has been friendly, and caring, and we are really pleased with the standard of work.

If I may, I would just like to make a special mention to Sam. He has been there from start to finish. From making the house safe, to applying the final trim. I'm sorry I wasn't there to see him today to say thank you. I hope you can do that for me.


We await the final papers from you to sign off, but until then a final big thank to everyone at Hickenbuild. Stay safe everyone.


Kind regards



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