Skill Builder’s ‘Day in the life’ feature takes a look at a typical day in the life of different tradespeople. In this installment, we talk to Richie Maxwell, the winner of Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson 2016, who shares his winning attitude to work and life and tells us that bricklaying is in his blood.
Name: Richie Maxwell
Company: RDM ELITE BUILDERS LTD
What time does your day start?
I wake up at 6:00 and begin by looking over my quotes and diary for the day to focus on the tasks ahead. My day varies based on what is scheduled in my diary, but I jump in my new Toyota Hilux and head to the office by 7:30 to brief the crew on the day’s projects. My site hours are generally 8:00-16:30 but vary based on the task that day.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I come from a family of bricklayers, both my father and grandfather were extremely good bricklayers and tradesmen, and they taught me, especially my dad how to be the tradesman that I am today.
What does a typical day entail for you?
No two days are ever the same. Since winning the Screwfix Britain’s Top Tradesperson competition my workflow has increased significantly. I have been able to hire more staff which helps with all the new projects we are being asked to work on.
If I were to summarise I would say I arrive on site at 7:30 to check over the diary and drawings/details for the jobs on for the day. Brief the guys at 7:45 and then start work at 8:00. I have a passionate team behind me who are focused on providing high quality work every day.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I have done this my whole life and truly have a passion for all aspects of the trade. I’ve never been unhappy with my career choice and I go to work every day thinking today will be the best day yet. I started out in the trade because of my father, who has passed away since I won Britain’s Top Tradesperson, so it makes going to work that much more enjoyable because I think of everything he has done for me, taught me and inspired me to do to get me to where I am today. It made us have a special bond, so every day when I go on a job I get to think of him and our special relationship.
There are a lot of people in the trade who have negative outlooks, but you just have to stay positive and try to encourage people and show them all the opportunities that can come through hard work and dedication.
What’s the worst thing about your job?
There are a lot of people in the trade who have negative outlooks, but you just have to stay positive and try to encourage people and show them all the opportunities that can come through hard work and dedication. When you have someone in your staff that is unmotivated it can be hard to train them but you cannot give up on them, you must try to encourage them to keep trying and then you will see a shift in their outlook and work.
What qualifications do you have?
NVQ Level 5 Bricklaying, NVQ Construction studies & Technical drawing, Various Onsite Certificates first aid, scaffold inspection etc.
Are you a member of any professional alliances/associations?
Currently I am undergoing my application to the Federation of Master Builders, which will be a huge achievement once completed.
What tool couldn’t you live without?
My Marshaltown trowel!!
What do you drive?
My Toyota Hilux, which I won through the competition, I’ve also just bought a new van to help cope with the increased workload.
What do you do to unwind?
Spend time with my wife Paula and little boy Corey, play Ice Hockey for my local team and keep up to date with the construction industry.
What piece of advice would you give to an up and coming apprentice?
Never say no to a task and try to take as much on as you can. This is the best way to continue learning. As an apprentice you need to try everything out to make sure you join the right trade and then you can know how to do a bit of everything which makes you more sought after as a tradesperson.
Twitter: @RDM_ELITE @RICHIE_RDM