Tradesman Member Profile - Blocklayer - Paul Martin Block laying Services
'You’ve got to do more than just move with the times, you’ve got to futureproof your business.'
Paul Martin, Paul Martin Blocklaying
We love promoting our members and hearing about their work. This month, we're profiling Paul Martin, a blocklayer in Co Meath. In this Q&A with Paul, we ask him about his background and experience and how he delivers for his clients. Over to you Paul...
OLT: So tell us Paul, when did you train and how long have you been working for yourself?
PM: My father, uncle and brother are all in the trade so I when I trained back in 1987 it was given I would do a bricklaying apprenticeship. I worked on sites for about 10 years for several companies, including Manor Park Homes. I then spent some time in Germany but when I came back I setup on my own.
OLT: What type of projects do you do? Are there any particular types of jobs you prefer? Or any projects that stand out?
PM: There’s nothing I can’t do that involves a mortar and trowel! I specialise in blockwork and stonework but also do patios, paving and cobblelock. I enjoy doing stonework and I’d say brickwork is my speciality. I completed a chimney job recently on a house in Malahide and was delighted with how my design and the build turned out.
OLT: We saw the photos of the chimney on your website alright - nice work!
PM: Thanks, yes that was one I was really happy with, as was the customer.
OLT: Speaking of customers, how do you approach a job to ensure customer satisfaction?
PM: At this stage, whatever a customer's requirements may be, I know I’ll be able to meet their needs, nothing is a problem. But it’s key to listen to them, address any concerns they may have and of course give them a fair price.
OLT: How did you manage to stay afloat during the recession ?
PM: Unfortunately the recession meant I had to let a few lads go and consider other types of work to keep myself going. When the chance came to get back to my trade, I got back out there and worked hard to build my business back up again. I do think experience I gained working when I was younger in Germany has stood to me. Not only did I learn different techniques and ways of working, I also gained considerable knowledge of other materials. I’ve been able to advise clients on the best options for their project. For example, Thermalite blocks have been used in Germany for years. They’re better suited to our Irish climate and builders are starting to use them here now instead of concrete.
OLT: Good to see the experience gained when you were younger coming in use now. Do you have any advice yourself you’d pass onto someone starting out now in the trade?
PM: Take your time, be patient and do things right. It’s as easy to do something the right way as it is the wrong way. If you make a mistake, it will come back to haunt you so don’t take shortcuts.
OLT: How would you sum up what OnlineTradesmen has done for your business?
PM: Times are changing and people are going online more and more. Any business has to keep up to date. You’ve got to do more than just move with the times, you’ve got to futureproof your business. I understand how having an online presence is vital for my business and Onlinetradesmen has been fantastic to get me online in an easy, straightforward and cost-effective way.
OLT: Fair play to you Paul, your excellent workmanship and customer service has resulted in lots of 5 * ratings from customers. Keep up the good work!
Visit Paul's website to see photos of his work and check out his excellent customer ratings here
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