Category: Project News

Our 10-step Project Breakdown

When starting a project, and choosing a contractor, it is important to take some key things into consideration to make sure that the partnership is going to be right for you. 

To make this easier for you, we have outlined a 10-step breakdown of what you can expect by working the team at GS Contracts to ensure we are right for you, your team and your project. 

Firstly, there are some key things about GS Contracts that might put your mind at ease. 

  • All joinery is completed in house at our premises for speed, precision- and custom-made items – nothing is outsourced.
  • We have a in house CAD team to prepare drawings for manufacturing. 
  • You will have a consistent Project Manager through to completion.

We work closely with every one of our clients to understand their requirements and expectations and ensure the client is happy every step of the way.

Our team provide the highest quality work in a timely and efficient manner. Whether you need a small project completed or a large-scale fit-out, we have the expertise and resources to get the job done.

To make things as straightforward as possible, we have streamlined our processes to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays or complications along the way.


Here is a 10 step breakdown of what to expect when you work with us.

  1. Landlord Information Gathering – To begin, we will engage with you, whether you are the client or the designer, to gather all the relevant information about the premises. This includes understanding the fit-out requirements, as well as the dos and don’ts specified by the landlord. We will also explain our cost estimation process, ensuring complete transparency from the outset.

  2. Costing the Full Design Pack – Once we have received the full fit-out guide and design pack, our commercial team can begin costing all elements of the project.
    Click here to meet our Costing Team

  3. Order Secured – Once you approve the design and costing, we will proceed to place the order. This step allows us to procure all the required materials and schedule the necessary subcontractors for the project.

  4. Joinery Drawings and Workshop Preparation – For any custom joinery items in the project, our CAD team will prepare detailed manufacturing drawings for the in house workshop. These drawings will undergo a thorough review and be signed off by either the designer or the client.

    Click here to meet our CAD Team

  5. Construction Phase Plans – As the project progresses, our Project Manager will take charge of creating detailed construction phase plans. These plans outline the timeline and specific steps involved in the fit-out process. They will also be shared with the landlord to keep them informed about the project’s progress.

  6. Engaging Building Control – During this phase, we will engage with the relevant building control authorities. We will submit the necessary drawings and arrange the first site visit with them. Maintaining close communication with the building control authorities ensures that the project adheres to all the required regulations and standards, with regular updates provided until completion.

  7. Procurement and Scheduling – At this stage, all the required products, materials, and tradespeople for the project will be procured. Our team will handle all the orders, making sure that everything is in place and ready to commence work on-site.

  8. Commencement of Work – The start date for the fit-out will be subject to the approval from the landlord and the completion of necessary paperwork and drawings. We take into account our workloads to ensure we can dedicate the required attention and resources to your project.

  9. Site Duration and Process – The duration of the project on-site will be determined based on the landlord’s fit-out guide and the specific requirements of the project. For example, if there are intricate processes like applying micro-cement on walls, we will allocate the necessary time for its installation. Throughout the on-site work, our team will handle all tasks professionally and efficiently.

  10.  Project Handover – On the specified handover date, we will present the completed project to you, ensuring it meets all requirements and standards. We take pride in delivering snag-free results. Additionally, we will provide you with an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual, offering guidance on how to maintain and care for your new space.

We are here to make the process as easy as possible for you with desired results and in the timeframe. 

Need help with your next project? Get in touch today!

Our GS Contracts Success Stories in 2022

Once again, another year has flown past.

2022 has been a very successful year for GS Contracts; we have been fortunate to secure some fantastic new clients providing us with a wealth of opportunities.

With 2022 coming to a close, we thought- what better time to share and celebrate some of our favourite projects and events throughout the year?

Completed Projects

We kicked off 2022 with the completion of both One Crown Place and Ottolenghi in Chelsea.

GS Contracts fitted-out this residential and commercial marketing suite for the new One Crown Place housing development in London back in early January 2022.

This 7-week project soon came to life, creating something visually spectacular to set the tone for the rest of the complex.

One Crown Place
One Crown Place
Ottolenghi Chelsea Interior
Ottolenghi Chelsea
Ottolenghi Chelsea solid surfaces
One Crown Place
Ottolenghi Chelsea Interior

Ottolenghi opened their new Chelsea branch in January of this year, one of their largest delis to date.

Ottolenghi’s Chelsea deli has a unique design that doesn’t follow the ‘typical’ Ottolenghi look, but still incorporates their distinctive Corian counters and displays throughout the restaurant.

The GS team carried out works from an empty shell unit, to deliver this bright and stylish deli.

The Thin White Duke

Later, at the start of 2022 we also welcomed The Thin White Duke, a unique bar and recording studio in Soho.

Inspired by David Bowie’s persona, The Thin White Duke, we worked with Caffeina Consulting to transform an existing recording studio unit into something truly spectacular.

The recording studios and bar are full of life and character, from glass-stained artwork to hand-painted murals- The Thin White Duke isn’t a spot to miss!

The Thin White Duke recording studio

Martello Café Felixstowe

Later in May of 2022, we delivered Martello Cafe in Felixstowe. Working with Plaice Design, we delivered this brand new 1.5 million-pound cafe on the seafront of Felixstowe.

The opening of this café has been hugely successful for Felixstowe, attracting both local people and new visitors.

Unsurprisingly, this spectacular space has been awarded a RIBA Suffolk design award, with thanks to Plaice Architecture, Barnes Construction, East Suffolk Council and GS Contracts!

The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Exterior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Interior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Interior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Joinery

Other Project News

This year, we’ve ventured back to our roots, working on fast rollouts for some chain businesses. We are excited to reveal these projects in due course.

More recently we’ve completed the fit-out for ‘Pacific Wine Bar’ in Islington. Pacific Wines is both a store and an events space for wine tasting. Stay tuned for our case study and completion photos on this project!

New Starters

This 2022, we have welcomed many new faces to the GS Contracts team. Due to our continued expansion, we needed to take on some new team members to help support the successful growth of the business.

We have many new Site managers, Contracts Managers, Estimators and Workshop Staff to introduce you to in the New Year. Make sure you’re following us on social media to keep in the loop with company updates and new news!

Celebrating our 30-year Anniversary!

This year we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary!

Founded in 1992 by Gary Smith, we have grown from humble beginnings to the strong team we are today.

We’d like to thank you all for your continued support over the last 30 years and we look forward to what the future holds.

As you can see, 2022 has been an extremely productive year, and we can only see a progression from here onwards. With the positive growth and development of the business, we can’t wait for what 2023 has to offer!

Start your 2023 off right by getting in touch with us today.

Why join a GS Contracts Apprenticeship Scheme?

We are proud to offer a range of apprenticeship schemes here at GS Contracts. Many staff members that make up the GS Contracts team originally began working with us as an apprentice and have since worked their way up within the business.

Not only are apprentice schemes a fantastic way for us to train new staff members, but they are also a great opportunity for staff to develop the skills needed for more senior and more complex roles

Contributions in the Workplace

All apprentices we’ve taken on in the workplace have made great contributions to our team whilst learning and gaining the necessary skills on the job.

Many people think that apprenticeship schemes are primarily taken advantage of by those who have recently left school/college, but- research has shown that the age profile of those starting apprenticeships has changed, with a higher proportion of apprentices starting over the age of 24.

One example is one of our talented workshop employees, Martyn Rhodes. Martyn joined us at age 31 and began a bench joinery apprenticeship; today, he is valued as one of the most essential members of our workshop team.

Apprenticeship Joinery
Martyn - Bench Joiner
Manufacturing a counter
Martyn- Bench Joiner

We understand apprenticeships aren’t just for young individuals looking to grow and develop, which is why we welcome those from different backgrounds taking the opportunity to join our team.

Similarly, we value the continued progression of our apprentice’s. If presented with a permanent job offer, we will consider future training and education for our team to progress into new areas.

Liam Saunders is a great example of one of our long-term employees here at GS Contracts who has worked his way up from an apprenticeship scheme to becoming one of our committed contracts managers.

GS Contracts Apprentice
Liam's work as an apprentice- Taken in 2003!

Current Apprenticeship Schemes

Here at GS Contracts, we currently have two apprenticeship schemes running within the business- one in the workshop and the other in the office environment- providing both with an opportunity for continued growth and development.

Comments from Michael Sullivan, Director

“Freddy has recently enrolled on bench joinery NVQ levels 1 & 2

The apprenticeship will assist Freddy with his theoretical knowledge and basic practical skills before implementing this into all aspects of manufacturing and joinery.

His weekly attendance at college has given Freddy relevant basic skills to assist with his development at GS Contracts. In his short time at GS Contracts, Freddy has shown a great attitude to his work and day to day activities within the business”.

Bench Joiner Apprenticeship GS Contracts
Freddy Level 2 Bench Joinery Apprenticeship
Digital Marketing Apprenticeship GS Contracts
Hannah Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Comments from Lewis Elsey, Director

 “Hannah has recently enrolled on the Digital Marketer Level 3 course which I believe has played a key role in her development.

 The apprenticeship has given Hannah the ability to develop her theoretical knowledge before implementing this into practice. Not only has the apprenticeship given Hannah relevant and up to date digital marketing knowledge, but it has also given her the confidence to lead our digital marketing strategy.

Within the last 12 months Hannah has grown from strength to strength and the combination of her apprenticeship coupled with her on the job experience has facilitated this”.


At GS Contracts we are always on the lookout for motivated individuals interested in a career in our sector, either as a site apprentice, a workshop apprentice, or an office apprentice. If you are interested in discussing a potential apprenticeship contact enquiries@gscontracts.com.

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The best bits from GS Contracts 2021

2021 has been a busy year full of new opportunities, and with it swiftly coming to an end we wanted to share and celebrate some of our favourite projects and events along the way.

Throughout the year we have worked on some incredible fit-out projects encompassing  some impressive bespoke joinery work, manufactured by our in-house team. Take a look at some of the work we have provided within each quarter.

Quarter 1

We kicked off the first quarter of 2021 to a fantastic start, working with many new clients in various different sectors.

In early February, our team successfully helped bring a first-time shop owner’s vision to reality with men’s retail store, Seven Layer.

Seven Layer Retail Interior
Seven Layer
Acacia Green Room Interior
Acacia Training Offices
Maido Sushi Interior
Maido Sushi
Frescobaldi Interior

We later worked in partnership with Gaysha to provide another valued member of the MBH Corporation, Acacia Training, with a brand-new multi-zoned collaborative office space.

Undoubtedly, we have continued strongly in the hospitality sector, carrying out two impressive restaurant fit outs within the first quarter for Maido Sushi and Frescobaldi.

Q1 Joinery

Maido Sushi Interior
Seven Layer Retail Interior
Frescobaldi Interior

Quarter 2

Quarter 2 turned out to be a successful few months with many new concepts and ideas from new and existing clients.

In June we fitted our first ever HIIT Pilates studio for Tempo 301, a unique project we loved watching piece together for our client.

The second quarter also brought us another hospitality fit-out for Colicci located in Chiswick Park, a beautiful project delivered with help from the Article Design team.

Tempo 301 Interior
Tempo 301
Chiswick House Cafe Interior
Colicci Chiswick House Cafe

Located at 325 Upper Street, we successfully provided first-time beauty salon owner Mimi Gaston Kennedy with her very own Pre-Salons.

In June GS Contracts and the Gaysha team completed a luxury, high-end residential fit-out for a client in Sugar Quay, full of bespoke joinery items and overlooking beautiful cityscape views.

To wrap up the end of quarter two- we were lucky enough to fit out Ottolenghi’s latest venture deli in Marylebone.

Sugar Quay
Sugar Quay
Ottolenghi Marylebone Exterior
Ottolenghi Marylebone

Q2 Joinery

Chiswick House Cafe Interior
Ottolenghi Marylebone

Quarter 3

In Quarter 3, we had two new members join the GS Contracts team.

Steve joined us as an experienced Contracts Manager, managing the general running of live projects. Freddy also joined us as an apprentice in L2 Bench joinery in our workshop.

Gaysha delivered another commercial refurbishment project in Bloomsbury, directly next to the building refurbished back in 2020. Once again, we were able to supply and install the joinery and metalwork for this spectacular project.

New Team Member: Steve Curley
Joined the NAS

Towards the end of quarter 3, we fitted out our clients’ second premises, a Scandinavian wellness store & Café located in the Seven dials food market court.

We were also delighted to have joined the National Association of Shopfitters in September, the UK’s dedicated professional association for shopfitters, fit-out and interior contractors- and are so proud to have featured in their shopfitting excellence week 2021! We are looking forward to working with the association and its fellow members.

Gaysha Bloomsbury Residential Refurb
White Pine Interior
White Pine

Q3 Joinery

White Pine Bespoke Joinery

Quarter 4

Towards the end of the year, we were joined by Peter, another fantastic new team member who can be found in our estimating office.

Within the last quarter of the year, the team successfully delivered one of our continued clients with their third restaurant, El Norte. This Spanish restaurant and bar is certainly a spectacular project to wrap up 2021.

New Team Member: Peter Kelleher
El Norte

With the year drawing to a close, our team and subcontractors are currently on-site delivering a new wine bar in an affluent Kent town, a quirky David Bowie themed bar and recording studio. Ottolenghi’s newest branch in Chelsea, and a marketing suite in the heart of the City of London.

We look forward to sharing the success of these fantastic projects in the New Year

Q4 Joinery

El Norte Interior
El Norte Interior

Looking Forward into 2022

Despite an unsettling start to 2021 due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 virus, we progressed through the year very positively, getting multiple fantastic jobs over the line.

We want to thank all our clients, subcontractors, designers, and our incredible team for their continued support and hard work this past year.

We are looking forward to 2022 and what it holds, with many exciting new projects on the horizon.

Can our team help you? Give us a call or drop us a line and make our team your team.

An eye for detail brings luxurious results

Occasionally a project comes along which allows us to showcase exactly what GS Contracts can achieve – and Latin American restaurant Zuaya in South Kensington really is one of those. 


Although this impressive fit-out was carried out a while ago, we couldn’t resist taking the chance to revisit what turned out to be a really stunning end result. 

Zuaya Interior

With sumptuous décor and a range of luxurious finishes, customers are transported to what feels like a terraced garden in sunnier climes the second they step through the door. 


Designed by Harp Interiors, the independent family-owned restaurant is pretty unique. Lush planting features throughout while a sumptuous marble bar is hugged by striking black and white chevron tiling. Ambient lighting and exposed brickwork finish the look. 


Venture downstairs to the basement, past a sign in gold neon lettering saying, ‘Welcome to the jungle’ and you will find further seating plus an elegant private dining area.  

Zuaya Interior
Zuaya Interior

Air conditioning, kitchen fitting, bar installation, flooring, and electrics – GS Contracts did the lot, showing just how versatile our team really is.  


Luxurious finishes such as the brass trim used between the wallpaper joins bring a high-end feel to the space, while detail such as moss-covered brickwork really make this restaurant stand out from the crowd. 


As often happens with the refurbishment of an old building, some hidden issues were discovered while onsite, such as complications with wiring. However, the team quickly and effectively rose to the challenge to get the project back on track. Access was also a quandary that the team had to overcome particularly when getting bespoke joinery work down to the basement area. Fittings had to made and transported in flat pack form or as components to be built on site to tackle this issue. 

Zuaya Interior
Zuaya Interior

Although the fit-out was carried out a while ago the restaurant still looks just as good today as you can see from this recent short film, showing you around.

Alberto and Arian Zandi, the brothers behind Zuaya, came up with the concept as their first step into the restaurant trade. The project was very personal to them and they were keen to ensure every detail was spot on. They were in fact so pleased with the results they invited us back to work on their next venture, Como Garden, which has recently opened next-door! You can read more about Como Garden here

Can our team help you? Give us a call or drop us a line and make our team your team. 

17 February 2021 by dom_admin 0 Comments

Bespoke joinery to take your project to the next level

At GS Contracts our joinery team never fails to amaze, creating spectacular bespoke fixtures and fittings to ensure our customers can turn their design vision into a reality.
Based at Moorside in Colchester, our in-house team love a challenge.

From the delivery of raw materials to the final installation, they combine traditional skills and an innovative approach to achieve a high-quality finish.

Full fit-outs

Sometimes a project arrives at our door that really allows the skills of the joinery team to shine.

The prestigious Rovi Ottolenghi restaurant in London is one of those. The opulent style and mix of materials create a stunning showcase for what the team can achieve, using specialist joinery and metalwork to complete the look.

The client was delighted: “GS Contracts are exceedingly conscientious, and even though our design specs were quite demanding, nothing seemed to be a problem.

Rising to the challenge

Led both by the design and the need to make sure the finished product is functional, the team works with a wide range of materials from timber and solid surfaces, to metals, glass, acrylics and plastics.

And if you want to create something which is really out of the box then look no further!

Bird Street in London was a brilliant example of innovative thinking which put our team to the test. The project’s aim was to create the world’s first sustainable ‘smart street’ – a tech-friendly, traffic-free thoroughfare which took advantage of next-generation technology from around the globe.

Our brief was to create the retail pods and street furniture for the project. Designed by architect Harry Dobbs Design, the brightly coloured, multi-faceted pods conjured up images of origami birds as a nod to the street’s name. Clever design meant they could either stand alone or link together to create larger units. We also created a truly unique bench, designed by a team of atmospheric chemists to allow visitors to enjoy fresh, filtered air while resting their legs.

Never a dull moment!

Working with restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars and shops means that the variety of projects which come through our joinery workshop is really varied. This was certainly true when we were asked to help create a piece of installation art at the spectacular Atoll in Finsbury Avenue.

The concept bar incorporates a bold 7.5-metre-high installation by artist Morag Myerscough. We used cladding and the exotic wood, iroko, to create the structure for this fairground-like centrepiece and the final result is simply stunning.

Standalone commissions

As much as our joinery team works to support full fit-outs, they can also help when a client wants to commission a bespoke standalone item to update their look.

A recent example saw the team create a truly unique cage seat from scratch and they are happy to work on other such projects.

If you have a bespoke joinery project you would like to discuss, get in touch today.

Call us on 01206 793053.

28 December 2020 by dom_admin 0 Comments

Celebrating Success in 2020

Creating amazing spaces is what we do at GS Contracts, and despite the huge challenges 2020 has thrown at us all, we haven’t been deterred! 

So, with the year now coming to an end we wanted to celebrate just some of our success stories, before we move forward with the exciting projects that are in store for 2021. 

Queens of Mayfair

We loved working on the fit-out of this sumptuous coffee bar by day and cocktail bar at night. Everything about it screams luxury from the floor to ceiling mirrors, hand-painted wallpaper in chinoiserie blues and golds, and high-end brass finishes. Despite our unwavering attention to detail, it only tool five weeks to complete. 

All projects have their tricky parts, and with Queens of Mayfair this proved to be the corrugated blue counter which runs the length of the front room. 

Despite being crafted to spec in our Colchester workshop, once installed in the London venue the height proved to be a bit too imposing. This certainly didn’t faze our team. They set straight to work sketching out alterations, before bringing it back to the workshop for a redesign. The final result is simply stunning. 

Spread Eagle

Our team really does love a challenge. So, when we were asked to convert a Grade II* Listed pub – part of which dates from the 1300s – into a beautiful Chinese restaurant, we couldn’t wait to get started! 

The Spread Eagle in Witham had been empty for some time and posed lots of challenges buildings of this age so often present.  

But at GS Contracts we have years of experience making the very most of original details, and there was so much to celebrate in this building including exposed herringbone brickwork and stunning wooden floors.  

Working with the vision of the designers at Harp Interiors, there was plenty of original, bespoke detail involved too, and we are particularly proud of the feature bar we created. The resulting AKA Restaurant & Lounge is a beautiful mix of old and new. 

The Athenian

The Athenian in London Bridge posed many a quandary for our team.  

As the unit is actually part of the station, there were extra restrictions and protocols we had to follow. On top of that some sections of the unit were made entirely of concrete. And if that wasn’t enough, just two weeks before we completed the project the country was plunged into its first lockdown. 

After a pause we returned to complete the project, with altered designs to allow for new rules for distancing and food retail. Additional Covid-safe rules also meant we were limited in how many people we could have onsite. 

The result is really something to be proud of, especially when you take into consideration the many challenges the team faced along the way. 

If you have a retail, leisure, residential or hospitality project you could use our team’s help with then don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01206 793053.