‘I really love being able to transform a house for someone. To see the client go through this process where there’s dust and dirt everywhere and it comes up to what they’ve envisaged, I think that’s why I love being a builder,’ he says.
Simon sees building techniques changing in the industry with more elements pre-cast and manufactured off-site, and commercial methods being applied in the residential sector.
‘You look at 3D printing. That could completely change the industry. Modular homes are already starting to happen,’ he says.
Already he has worked with a range of diverse materials such as plastics, foam, renders, brick, floating slabs, steel and aluminium.
He’ll never be able to look at his own home in the same way as before his apprenticeship.
‘I put in a kitchen before I became an apprentice and I look back now and go “no, I’ve got to rip that out and start again”,’ he says.
Employing his own apprentices is definitely part of his business plan. ‘That’s what you’ve got to do in this industry, and I think you get a lot out of seeing young people coming through the system,’ he says.
And the not so young too. Simon would encourage anyone to do what he has done as a mature apprentice ‘if that’s what you’re into, your passion’.
‘I know people who say I wish I could have done that. Well you can but there’s obviously sacrifices you’ve got to make,’ he says.
And those 6am winter wake-ups are just part of the routine now.