I have long been of the opinion that builders should tick very much to building work and stay away from windows and doors. Very much in the same way that window and door installers should stay away from building work. They are separate for a reason. Seems someone else agrees with me.
Tweet of agreement
As part of the wider #DoubleGlazingHour discussion freshly relaunched on Tuesday evening, @bigwindowfitter tweeted this:
Builders should keep away from Windows/doors, and stick to bricks #justsaying #DoubleGlazingHour— Dean ™ (@bigwindowfitter) November 3, 2015
I was glad to see someone thinking along my lines. It was at this point well known industry figure Joe Martoccia added his perspective:
@bigwindowfitter or......we take them on with great extension systems like @Ultraframe1 products!— Joe Martoccia (@JoeMartoccia) November 3, 2015
I don’t think it’s unfair to say that each trade should stick to their own line of work. No point being a jack of all trades without being a master of one. There are too many mistakes to make which can cost everyone involved in a project valuable time and money.
I’ll give you one scenario. How often have you had jobs as an installation company where a builder has either got involved at some stage or has said “don’t worry, I can fit these windows” only to later come back on the phone either admitting he/she has made a mistake, or even blaming the “mis-measured” windows on your, despite you ordering said product to the exact specifications given?
Builders are not the best when it comes to windows and doors. But, as Joe hints to in his tweet, should the window and door industry be taking on the builders at their own game?
If you look through that whole thread on Twitter it makes for a great read. It also talks about the idea that the window and door industry might be in a good place to take on building work, thanks to new extension products coming out of companies like Ultraframe.
It’s a fair point. Ultraframe, through themselves and their network of fabricators have been developing and bringing to market products designed specifically to disrupt the extensions market for the past couple of years. These are products designed to remove the builder out of the equation (almost) and leave the majority of the work required down to the window company and their own trades people.
To a point I agree, but only if window and door companies are using products specifically designed to replace certain aspects of building work. I don’t believe that window fitters should go and start building dwarf walls, digging foundations or building brick columns. That sort of work should always be left to a proper builder. Providing you can get one to turn up.
Clearly defined roles
At our place, we use trades people specific to each part of the job required. We use a builder just for building work, a plasterer for plastering, an electrician for all electrical work no matter how small. You get my point. Each of these trades people are good at what they are trained to do, that is their defined role and that it how it should be.
By keeping trades focused solely on their own expert areas, you minimise the risk of poor quality work and mistakes that can ultimately cost you or your company money and a stain on your reputation.
Matters are not helped further when there is a lack of so called experts in each trade. Honesty time, how many of you reading this have either experienced shoddy work from a builder, know someone who has, or has been unfortunate enough to hire a rubbish builder at your company before finding out what they are really like. Bet that’s most of you.
And that’s the problem. Finding a good trades person in any trade seems to be becoming harder and harder these days. Is it because all the good ones are retiring? Are the apprenticeship schemes churning out sub-par trades people? Is it a combination of many things? A post for another day perhaps.
Either way, I am still of the opinion that window and door work should be left to the window and door installers. I would also love to hear from you on this one. As always, please leave your comments via the section below.
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I do a fair bit of work for builders, I probably have about 7-8 builders that I install regular work for. Let’s say they all do 5 jobs a year, that’s a nice amount of work which is passed to me over the year. I also find that they pass my number onto other people that have contacted them direct and I can therefore gain even more work. I find the builders that I work for don’t want to get involved with this part of the build, they can leave it to me, I can talk directly to the home… Read more »
Hi Dan, thanks for your comment
I think your balance is spot on. By having a relationship with builders you are able to receive regular work from them, rather than them buying windows from you and installing them themselves.
Its easy to be confused in this long discussion….conservatory installation co’s need ‘builders’….or should we correctly say time served bricklayers. Where there are usually issues is where proper crafts people are not used eg improvers or someone who can undertake multiple trades ( they are few and far between)….. Conservatory/orangery retailers are already doing 75% of an ‘extension’ just not going the extra mile and adding a solid roof – what Joe Martoccia was doing was encouraging retailers to pick up more of this work.Its never going to be for everyone in the sector but we see good growth coming… Read more »
Really think people should stick in their specific trades, but as with many people in this business it seems to be getting harder and harder to find quality people who have the right attitude to do certain tasks at a reasonable price. Something needs to be done in the education system to bring the next generation of tradesmen through. Or we are all going to be having major installation problems.