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About Skill Builder

Welcome to Skill Builder, the resource for everyone involved in a building or renovation project. We provide practical guidance for all aspects of building renovation. We aim to give you plenty of hard information, as well as a good deal of inspiration. We recognise that the learning curve in the building industry can be steep and relentless.

As regular viewers of programmes such as Grand Designs will know, when it comes to cutting edge technology there is a lot that can go wrong. In the building industry, Murphy’s Law (if it can go wrong, it will go wrong) sometimes seems endemic, but often it is self-inflicted and unnecessary. In many aspects, the novice is better equipped than the professional to succeed because they tend to seek help at every turn. To use a navigation analogy, it is usually when you think you know where you are going that you get lost. If you know that you don’t know, you are more likely to look at a map.

Do we have all the answers? Certainly not but we aim to provide some of them, and to draw on the experience of industry experts to help you. We also provide product evaluations, practical demonstrations and case histories that will help you source the right products and materials for your project, and more importantly avoid some of the common pitfalls encountered in applying them to your projects. We also aim to help you with the running of your business with our podcast which looks at marketing, pricing jobs, software, mental health and much more.

Skill Builder was co-founded by Roger Bisby who entered the building industry as an apprentice plumber. In those days they still wiped lead joints with a blowlamp and moleskin so you can tell he is no spring chicken. He went on to train as a college lecturer and has also run his own building company for nearly 30 years. He specialises in troubleshooting and has a dogged determination to get to the bottom of difficult problems. He put these talents to good use as the regular expert on London Broadcasting Company’s (LBC) Fix-It Phone In which remained one of their most popular shows throughout its 15-year run. His television work includes appearances as the resident expert on The Terrace (BBC) Watchdog Home Improvement Series (BBC) Rogue Traders (BBC) and House of Horrors (ITV). He currently works for trade publications including Professional Builder, Professional Electrician, Professional Heating and Plumbing Installer, and Professional Housebuilder and Property Developer.

One comment

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    Hi Roger,
    First of all I would like to thank you and Robin for all your videos and tutorials, they’re great and have helped me no end. Now a bit about me. Myself and family have started a project to renovate our bungalow in Cornwall, with the majority of work being planned as self build. Now I know alarm bells are probably ringing as soon as I mention self build but I am a serving Royal Engineer and have a appetite to learn with a good grasp of most practical skills I take on (like I said your videos have helped no end so far). Now the project itself is three extensions, two currently and a third to follow once this lots cracked. We have just today got our oversight poured (all checked off by building regs to this stage). Now for the question; living in Cornwall we have needed to fit a radon barrier but I could do with some advice of how to fit the cavity tray and weep holes (position and best materials) over this in relation to DPC?
    We are on instagram @renovatingnumber79

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