Hello again window enthusiasts I have come once again to share my opinion.
Before I do – I would like to start by saying thank you for the response I got from my first post. I wasn’t sure how a article written by a bricklayer would be received on here but I got some great comments – thank you!
Today I would like to talk to you about – TV Cowboys
In recent years I have really tried to push the boundaries of how builders are perceived within the industry, I’m not and never have been a turn up, get paid and leave kinda chap I pride myself on my work, I strive to get better and better with every job. I personally believe there are so many other people like myself out there but are finding it increasingly harder and harder to get noticed. Why is this? Is it because builders have just become more and more careless with their work and attitude towards their customers?
I don’t think so.
I put a mighty chunk of this down to what the TV bigwigs deem as ‘great TV’.
Over recent years the media has seemed to thrive in making shows that centre around a team of people said to be ‘heroes’ correcting the work of ‘cowboys’ all over the country. The show Cowboy Builder’s for example, is a show that has been running for many years, presented by people who really have no credibility within the trade telling the audience how bad builders are week in week out using over dramatic music to emphasize a brick that’s out of place. It is bound to change people’s opinions! Yes I agree the jobs they feature are nothing short or shocking and the supposed ‘builder’ that did this job needs to made known to everyone. My point is – this has made a massive impact on the generalization of the modern day builder.
I would also like to make a point about shows like DIY SOS and Grand Designs. Can you remember the last time these shows really credited the builders involved? DIY SOS for example relies on the generosity of thousands of passionate, honest and kind builders all over the country to give up their own time to help others for a good cause but can you name any company you have seen help out? Grand Designs goes some way in bettering this but is much the same. Week after week beautiful buildings are created and nothing much is said about the bricklayer who has spent weeks creating the beautiful fireplace or the outside patios for example, it focuses more on the customer and the architect and of cause – the presenter.
I think if we are to change the general perception of the modern day builder we need the help from such shows as I have mentioned. Or maybe a new show that is centred around the great Master Craftsman of our country and the work they do…it’s just a thought.
I agree! These programmes do a lot of damage to the overall perception of our industry and people expect to be ripped off. I’ve even had people tell me as much in our showroom and it takes a lot of work to win them over to the fact that we are a small family company and our reputation is vital. Like you say, “good” company stories are not of interest to the media, people like to watch other people’s misfortune and time and time again it is revealed that the “victims” did not do their homework, check references (or even… Read more »
I once asked a customer, for whom we were fitting windows and doors to a new build, if he had considered asking Grand Designs if they were interested.
Apparently their first and only question was ‘are you employing a professional project manager’. When he said yes they said they weren’t interested as the chances of it going wrong were less. Crap jobs make good telly.
What about a double glazing cheat who keeps escaping through a loophole – Highgrove Windows in Kent:
Unfortunately another person who has been fooled by the ‘competent persons’ scheme. FENSA should be making sure that people realize that the competent person is the specifier in the company, not the craftsmen that install it. The CPS is there only to ensure compliance with building regs not to ensure quality.