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22Nov

Tradesman Member Profile - Peter Walsh - Building Contractor

'I'm always learning and keeping up to date with technology which has been important for the business, and continues to be, in this changing world.’ 

Peter Walsh, Peter Walsh Construction

OLT: So how did you become interested in building Peter?
PW:
I was born in Galway in 1939; after finishing my primary education I went to Technical School in Fr. Griffin Road to attend the craft classes and continue my woodwork studies. I loved it so much I got a key of my own so that I could go in and study on my own on nights!   I won first place in Ireland in carpentry, joinery and building construction. I was then selected to represent Ireland in the International Trade Competitions in 1957 and 1959.   I won top awards including a cup presented to me personally in the Royal Palace of Madrid by General Franco, a remarkably large medallion presented by the President of Italy and a medal presented to me in the City and Guilds Hall in London by Prince Philip in 1960. In competition I won First, against Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.

OLT: Wow that's quite a start to your career!  What did you do next? 
PW: I lived in England for several years and continued working by day, and various Colleges by night, as I moved around.  Working in England, I met a Wexford girl and Bridget my wife, is now my 'right hand man' in Peter Walsh Construction.   We are in the construction industry since 1955, in Ireland, England, Wales, Saudi Arabia and Australia. 

OLT: That's a lot of international travel and experience - what brought you home? 
PW: The money was good working away, but I've learnt that money isn't everything.  More important than money was doing something that gives satisfaction and doing it in a pleasant environment. For me that meant Ireland. So, we came home knowing that it was the right decision and it’s not where you are that makes things happen, but what you put into what you are doing.

We returned home and established our construction business in Galway in 1970. Our sons, Timothy and Tony, finished serving their carpentry apprenticeship with us in 1983 and then went away to get wider experience. They gained a vast range of experience in the building industry in those nine years and Timothy is now Contracts Manager with us.  Our daughter Christine takes care of all the office work, so it really is a family run business with my wife Bridget.

OLT: That's great to have everyone in the family involved Peter, tell us about what type of projects you undertake:
PW: We specialise in new builds which are built to modern specifications and achieve an A3 BER or better rating. We've been building low energy homes since 1996. We have several plans that clients can choose from and we are continually improving the quality and standard of every home we build. We also carry out home extensions, renovations and wet rooms.

OLT: What do you think is key to your success? 
PW: Quality, honesty, determination and speed are the key to our success.  "No Better Man" action is the name of our game and we don't hang about, we get on with the job. We build with concrete blocks in all walls and generally all concrete construction. We complete a normal bungalow in about ten weeks. This depends on the weather and how complicated the site may be. We have a great team, but also have to say a special thanks to all our suppliers and their helpful staff and also our sub-contractors for their co-operation, skill, care and attention to detail, which guarantee the Top-Quality Homes that we produce. We started building a bungalow in Carraroe on 19th November and finished on 19 December.  The happy owners moved in for Christmas!

OLT: You've seen the good and bad times over the years.  How did you manage to get through the recessions?
PW: Yes, indeed there are ups and downs, however I believe our hard work and reputation has gotten us through the tougher times.  We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and will not leave a project until the customer is fully satisfied.  Every home we build is given personal supervision to ensure the high standards and top quality for which Peter Walsh Construction is noted.  We are registered with CIRI, CIF, IBHA and all new homes are, of  course, registered with Homebond.  I was delighted that we participated in the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s involvement in WorldSkills at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Irish competition in Dublin’s Croke Park. 

OLT: What would be the advice you would give to someone else starting out now in the industry? 
PW: Ask questions! I was always the person who put up my hand to ask questions when I did not understand parts of various subjects – a Teacher’s nightmare!

OLT: How has Onlinetradesmen helped your business? 
PW: Joining the service has given me visibility of what's going on in my area, I can keep an eye on the trends and see what type of building work is going on further afield too. I'm always learning and keeping up to date with technology which has been important for the business, and continues to be, in this changing world.

Visit Peter Walsh Construction website here

About the Author

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