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Is anyone (or their DH) a plumber....I need advise

(14 Posts)
Katymac Fri 19-May-06 20:01:37

I am thinking of retraining and have looked at plumbing

I have some concerns about the job mainly about my actual body strength...you know can I use power tools (do I need to?) can I carry a hot water tank etc.

Any advise or thoughts on the subject of lady plumbers?

Witchycat Fri 19-May-06 20:14:20

Would you want to work for yourself or have you considered joining an existing firm?

I work for a HOusing Association and we are just about to re-do our repairs contracts to include a clause that encourages the Contractor to train & recruit female staff (can't insist cos there aren't that many tradeswomen out there).

For us, it's great if women want to get into maintenance as there is a demand for it (women's safe haven housing and some ethnic groups that won't allow male workers into their homes if the 'man of the house' is at work).

I know there are all-female companies out there and I know there are general male-run ones that employ women. I wondered if that might be easier than being on your own because then there would be someone else to help with the heavy work.

Here's wishing you success if you decide to go for it anyway !

Katymac Fri 19-May-06 20:36:34

Thanks for taking me seriously Witchycat

I hadn't thought of working for someone - but it might be a way to go

I would also be interested in "greener" water solutions (grey water recycling/rainwater harvesting & solar hot water)

littlerach Fri 19-May-06 20:38:18

One of the mums at school is a builder.

She manages well.

i think it's great idea, there is also a firm near here that are all female painter and decoraters.

Witchycat Fri 19-May-06 20:42:58

Have a look at this .

I did a web search for 'SheBuild' which is a women-run maintenance co. in Bradford area & thought the above link looked interesting. Scroll down - there's a women's plumbing conference in November !

Skribble Sat 20-May-06 00:09:02

I think with the H&S rules for work now when working for an employer you shouldn't be lifting huge weights by yourself anyway.

Agree that you could be very busy if you set up as a female only tradesperson, especially if marketed right and to the right people. If you can do the whole DIY thing like flat packs and putting up shelves as well as the plumbing then that would mean even more opportunities.

DominiConnor Mon 22-May-06 20:26:23

Skribble has a really really good idea.

A good % of people who engage plumbers are women, and the impression I get is that they don't feel that comnfortable with the way plumbers interact with them. (To put it mildly).

My family are builders, and there's a shortage of good plumbers.
With all due respect, the issue may be your expertise, rather than strength. Not trying to be negative, but if you're going to try and live off this, make sure you are good at this stuff.
Obviously I can't even guess at what you've done with your life, so feel free to ignore this irritating idea.

As for physical strength, the issue is fingers not arms. You can hire arms. Some plumbing involves removing old baths, and no one is strong enough to carry that much cast iron safely down stairs.

A big thing about being a successful tradesperson is having contacts with reliable arms. Also electricians, carpenters etc. Maybe you subcontract, maybe you pass work around. Lots of jobs require extra specialims, for instance can you tile a wall after you've put in a new bath ?

But you need strong fingers. Part of your work is putting your hands into awkward places at strange angles. The connections to taps seem almost maliciously designed to make your life hard.
Also you may have to do it wearing leather gloves.

You can't subcontract this part of the work, as it is the skilled bit.

Katymac Mon 22-May-06 20:41:04

Thanks Dominiconnor - that is exactly the sot of info I need

Strong fingers....hmmmmm not really sure - I can type but not always open a jamjar (well i can if I use that rubber thingie) - I can tile (quite well for an amateaur) and each project is better than the one before.

I'm in a very lucky position - I own a business which generates enough income so that I can spend a year (or even a few) not producing income in order to move on

Unfortunatley I just don't know where to move on to

There is a p/t plumbing and also a p/t DIY/General course locally which might be an answer - but I read on another thread about a chinese proverb along the lines of if you don't know which path to choose wait & see - I think that might be my best option as I have no really "burning desire to be a...."

DominiConnor Mon 22-May-06 20:57:22

What's your current business ?

Katymac Mon 22-May-06 21:29:38

Childminding (I employ 4 staff)

I'm just ready for something else - the business will carry on without me and I need my next challenge

laundrylover Mon 22-May-06 21:40:44

My DP works as a 'handy man' after giving up an office job to do our house renovation a few years back. He is much in demand for tiling, shelving, laying patios etc as well as plumbing. People are desperate for reliable, friendly tradespeople.
I say go for it girl!
By the way I reckon DP charges too little so what would people pay per day (we are in the NW)?
I'm a consultant and he reckons I charge too much.

Skribble Mon 22-May-06 23:09:11

I would start telling everyone you know what you plan to do and start tracking down some other female tradesmen. You could even go for joint advertising and really sell the fact you are female. Its nearly always the woman that is home when the tradesmen are in and I know I am not the only woman that hovers uncomfortably not quite knowing what to do. Do you watch them and try to make conversation, or do you hide in the living room praying that they are not pissing in your sink and charging you for loads of stuff they didn't do.

Katymac Mon 22-May-06 23:10:18

I need to do the course first

Skribble Tue 23-May-06 19:05:21

Well that would be a good start .

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