As Group Editor of two construction magazines – one for plumbing and heating installers and the other focused on the merchant sector – I get to see both the good and bad sides of the industry.
Each month we hear stories about dangerous installations risking people’s lives, and see the results of research studies showing just how much suspicion there is among the general public when it comes to the trade.
TV programmes that focus on the cowboys who give the construction sector a bad name do little to reassure the public. While they do raise awareness and give advice on the things people can do to protect themselves, and how to minimise their risks of being taken in by these unscrupulous people, they also give the impression that there’s a rogue trader lurking around every corner, waiting to take advantage of vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners.
This simply isn’t the case. The overwhelming majority of tradespeople that I come into contact with are professional, hardworking and incredibly proud of the work they carry out. Nevertheless, they have to fight against the suspicions they face on an almost daily basis because of these small, damaging and often undertrained people.
Recently I came into contact with a construction company as a homeowner as opposed to an Editor, as I was looking to have a fairly major remodel of my own home. I have to admit to being a little apprehensive when starting the project but, after a couple of false starts with companies not turning up for appointments I found a construction firm who were an absolute delight to work with from start to finish.
Polite, professional and incredibly patient, nothing was too much trouble for them and the work was finished to an incredibly high standard, far above even my wildest expectations. Now, every night when I come home from work, the results of their work put a smile on my face, and I’m already recommending the building company to everyone I meet.
So, to every tradesperson who reads this I say take heart: however much you might be sick of hearing that tradespeople aren’t respected and ‘can’t be trusted’, your hard work and professionalism will always speak for itself, and your loyal customers will always, always value the results of what you do.