Why are no decent tradespeople in England?

It used to be that people left school looking for a trade to go into, even the better off middle class would look to do this. And a fair amount of trade the was, because those people took some pride in their work. Of course, this was a time when your average upwardly mobility would be first to get a living to cover the bills, perhaps a TV, then on to buying a car. Very few even had buying their own house as an objective, why would they? The council had houses and the rents were fair, even in the 1980s, when we were looking to set up home, our only thought was the council but by then the waiting list had already grown to about 3 years. That was do-able to a young couple, god knows what it is now. Anyway, trades people could earn a living and do a decent job and because the was plenty of work if they didn’t they didn’t get work.

Anyway, what all this leading to? Well, for the last 3 years I’ve been renovating a cottage. I’m handy but can’t do everything, so I’ve had to look for tradespeople, and it’s a bloody nightmare. I don’t look for the cheapest but funds are limited, and my own past employment has given me the skills to estimate, so I won’t be ripped off. But even when they turn up to see a job some of them are living in cloud cuckooland when it comes to prices. I’m prepared to pay the going rate but when you get clowns turning up and looking for a job which is basically a ladder, a hammer and an hour of work, and they come back with £600 plus VAT you get the idea of the problem. That almost as much as I paid to have a new door opening up and a door frame inserted 🙂

The latest was a company incapable of even the most simple of customer service. I won’t name them, I’m not looking to deprive people of a living. What I ordered had to be made to size and cost around £400. I could have ordered from a few places and got this within a week but this took 4 weeks. 4 Weeks of pain, I wasn’t too bothered about the time to be honest, I wasn’t in any hurry but I did need to know when it was coming. Emails, phones, promises came and went. Vans had flat tyres and drivers went of sick but all that pales to the events of the delivery.

This was glass and the second promise of delivery say 6 sheets of glass left leaning against my garden gate before 7am in the morning. Luckily enough I got up earlier than normal and when I looked out the window there was my partner desperately holding the gate. She had mistakenly decided to try and open the gate, and of course the sheet of glass were a lot heavier than she thought. I had to quickly run out and lift the sheets of glass one by one over the gate, which is a cattle gate about four foot high. What is wrong with people?

I’m currently in need of a roofer, can you imagine the trouble ahead.


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