Tips on finding work?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Neil 14, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. Neil 14

    Neil 14 New Member

    There's probably been a ton of posts on this type of thing so I apologise if this is painful to read.

    I'm an office guy, I'm done with staring at a computer screen all day and so I have decided to take a leap for a career change into something that has always interested me.

    I will be starting a Bricklaying Course next month. Rather than waiting for the studies to complete I'm eager to get my foot in the door and get some experience right away. I'd appreciate some tips or advice on how best to go about this.

    I understand I'll have to start from the bottom and it will be real graft all day, in a way that's the part I'm looking forward to.

    Is it realistic to find work without any qualifications?
     
  2. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    You would probably be able to find work(depending on your area and how busy it is), but as a labourer at first perhaps. Maybe ask friends and family if they know any builders, and ask them to speak to them, to see if they have any work or know anyone who does. Apart from that I suppose online job searches, and asking about.
     
  3. Proforce1

    Proforce1 New Member

    Honestly, just go and do a plastering course and then find work on MyBuilder or Rated People. Loads of work about and you could be doing a decent enough job within a month of practicing it. Don’t need many tools either and can charge £200 a day easily at least.
     
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    And devalue the entire construction industry by thinking himself on a par with blokes of decades of experience after a month, balls up the customers job and possibly house, and gain a bad reputation before his new vocation is even off the ground.
     
    ginger tuffs, stevie22, Max22 and 4 others like this.
  5. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    Or he could prove to be a natural, build up his skills by taking on small jobs first and have a great little business going within 6 months...

    Lets be honest, plastering is tricky at first, but it's not rocket science, particularly when sticking to work on newer houses
     
  6. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    He was on about bricklaying rather than plastering, do you think the OP should charge at least £200 a day after a month of practicing as the person I quoted suggested?
     
  7. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    My post was in response to yours, which was responding to the person who suggested a plastering course!

    If he does the job to the required standard, what does it matter if he's been doing it two weeks or twenty years?
     
  8. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    It matters in my opinion because I don't believe there's a job within the construction industry whereby you can be competent, have learned the necessary dexterity, 'feel', and tricks of the trade to allow you to be unleashed on someone's home after a month in the hope that your work is comparable with time served tradesmen and expect similar payment as such. Except loft insulation installers, pretty sure you could pick that up within a month. :rolleyes:
     
    Abrickie and pppmacca43 like this.
  9. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    Wouldn't you be complaining if he was charging less because of his inexperience?

    I assume you'd say he was undercutting people and driving industry wages down
     
  10. Proforce1

    Proforce1 New Member

    Within a month of solid plastering practice you can 100% be good enough to start taking on work. As stated above, plastering is not rocket science. How exactly can you “balls it up” as you said? Very easy to rectify plaster to get it to look how you want, should you not get the desired finish first time. We aren’t talking about gas work or building an extension that are a lot more specialist and can cause big problems if done wrong.
     
    BiancoTheGiraffe likes this.
  11. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    Wouldn’t you be unhappy if someone come to your property with only a months experience and didn’t know how to get over the many problems that pop up but was still charging you the same as someone who did know and was quicker and more experienced?
     
  12. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    What a load of tosh. I’m sure it’s easy enough if you have the knack, on a flat boarded wall, but what about curved edges, funny angles, 100 year old walls that need cement/hardwall/bonding. What about when the plaster dries to quick or it won’t take to the surface below and peels off? No one with a months experience will know how to get over this.
     
    chillimonster likes this.
  13. Proforce1

    Proforce1 New Member

    You’re highlighting difficult problems you can come across in plastering. I’m pretty sure that most plasterers if they come across the issues you mentioned actually just don’t bother quoting for the work. OP will be quoting for work and can pick and choose the jobs, as all tradesmen do.
     
  14. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    Not at all, as I don't really care anyway in this hypothetical scenario. I'd feel more for the homeowner who writes in to the Screwfix forum asking for advice on how to salvage a wall or two covered in trowel marks, dents, dips and bumps then says they feel ripped off as the person who did it quoted them over £200 and it'll now need doing again.

    Would you be happy with someone rewiring houses and trading as a qualified electrician after going on a course for a month? And charging similar to you, despite the obvious shortcomings of only thirty days of 'course training?'
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Are you a plasterer then? What's your trade if you don't mind? If you don't know how you can balls up plastering then you clearly have done very little of it. What about bricklaying, as that is the vocation the OP wanted to get into?
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  16. Proforce1

    Proforce1 New Member

    Are you saying trowel marks is ballsing up a plastering job? If so it’s very easy to rectify. One way is with an orbital sander like a Mirka and some Easyfill plaster. Again, it’s not rocket science. Bricklaying is a bit more involved and not something you can go out and do after a month. Plastering and painting I would say you can though.
     
  17. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    No I'm saying that this whole argument is nonsense and that if anyone with half a brain cell thinks that after a months worth of course training they'll be fit to go into people's homes to undertake work to the same standard as people who have been doing it for decades and also charge the same, then I'm afraid they are in for a rude awakening, and better get themselves some good liability insurance because that's exactly what they would be, a liability.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  18. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    Anyway, can anyone actually give the original poster some tips on how to start in the trade he actually wants to break into… Bricklaying
     
  19. gadget man

    gadget man Screwfix Select

    Good point..:)
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  20. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    A big factor is the guys age and commitments/dependants, but the local pub between 4-6pm, builders hour, ask for any labouring work and to go on the hod to start, then offer to work 7 days a week to gain as much experience as possible and show willing, then ask for a go on the trowel and keep practicing and laying at every opportunity until it becomes second nature. Then assess the money situation, and assess your perceived worth against your realistic worth and decide whether it's the vocation for you. If so, then better invest in tools and a van.
     

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