Discuss A year in the life of a new Tiler. in the UK Tiling Forum | Tile Advice Forum area at TilersForums.com

Sean Kelly

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Sean Kelly published a new article:

I have written this thread so that it may give an insight of what you may expect your first year to be like as a new tiler:

It’s now a year since leaving my 4 week tiling course at ‘ Tradeskills4u’ (see my review in the...


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L

Lucas 2

Nice one Sean! Good read and you must have learned a lot from the guy with 25 years experience, that's priceless! I'm now in about year 3 of self-employed tiling but I would say there have been fewer jobs to quote on since last summer. It must be even harder for people starting now than it was for me. Keep fighting!:11:
 
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LM Ceramics

im glad you told this story sean it aint easy being a new tiler ive set up last year only having a few years experience in tiling and i was set up on my own at 19 i knew instantly that would be an obsticle but ive stuck at it and last year i was near enough busy all year with a decent turnover and have now 5 weeks work ahead of me ive had my tough moments believe me sometimes you question what your doing but thats the journey through self employment

as the previous post says " NEW AND WANNABE TILERS TAKE NOTE" dont mean to sound harsh but i see alot on the new members posts where people who are going to get van and tools before they have even took a course well this is what your going to expect and i think sean is a glowing example of the hard work that should be done

all i can say well done mate keep it up
 

Dan

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I'm sure there will be more we can do for you. Thanks for posting that, I'd love to see a load of those.

All the best for 2009.
 
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Edohanion

:yikes: Thanks for the post Sean, very informative. Looking to start up myself soon and while I'm under no illusions about how difficult things are going to be, especially in the current climate, I hope I'm able to stick at it like you have. Good luck for the future and I hope things pick up for you and everybody else on the forum.:yes:
 
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Rob Z

Hi Sean, good post buddy, we all have had jobs that went like your first jobs.

I had one where I waaay underestimated things and then had countless problems, some of which were out of my control and some which I should have anticipated if I hadn't been such a grean bean at the time. We tiled a backsplash and a counter in a rather large kitchen, and by the time I was done and the plumber was paid and my helper was paid, I made less than $5 an hour gross. For comparison, my helper was paid $10 an hour and minimum wage at the time was just a bit over $4 an hour. So much for the glory of being a tile contractor. :mad2:

I look forward to hearing more about how you are doing. It will get easier as you get deeper into the trade.:thumbsup:
 
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B

bootsmckiber

Good job Sean ,hang in there,like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes,you'll get to a point where you can pick and choose your jobs and name your price,I'm in my 26th year and I still get the odd 16-18hr days but when you love what you do the hours just fly by,good luck on a long career,wear a mask when mixing.Cheers.
Mike:thumbsup:
 
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M

mart08

Well done Sean for hanging in there through those hard times. I myself have not quite finished my first year but think I've been lucky with the amount of work I've had, don't get me wrong there has been times when my booked in work has been coming to an end and the phones not been ringing for a week or so.:yikes: Then all of a sudden the thing just keeps ringing.:thumbsup: The satisfaction you get when a job is finished and you see the customers face is priceless.:smilewinkgrin::smilewinkgrin: Keep up the good work mate and good luck for 2009.
 
M

mikethetile

hi sean

thank you for that honest appraisal of your first year

we know it well

it is hard mate ,its very hard to get started but it does get easier as you go on.

i dont think the situation changes much but you change and grow as a person

i think you have done very well to achieve so much in a short time

we look forward to the sequel "the second year as a not so new tiler"

you have my respect and im sure you will make it as a first class tradesman and businessman

mike :thumbsup:
 
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P

P'boro tiler

thanks for the honest story! keep at it! just dont tile over stuff your not happy with again, your knocking yourself down etc

i started out as a tiler and decorator. i was trained by BAl and my first job took far too long but it was a good job and i got paid. i then did a few normal old kitchens etc etc and things were going well. i made about 7 grand in then last 5 months of 2007 (my first 5 months of tiling/decorating).
I then broke my leg really badly in Jan 08 and couldnt work for 6 months. I lost my good reliable sources or work and it went down hill from there. ok i did a few great jobs but people seemed to want to pay me less at the end of the job etc. the credit crunch then came and i really struggled, i nearly ended up getting divorced because my wife couldnt handle the stress.
i also had some bad luck like on one job, a plumber accused me of destroying a bath, a £170 tap snapped off when i tocuhed it with my hand and the plumbers mate left plaster all over the bath and i got the blame! he even threatend to take me to court but fortunately i had moved house :hurray:.... so i had had ENOUGH and packed it in and fortunately got a job as a decorator and am on **** pay but oh well.

Since packing it in i have had a heck of a lot of calls from companies asking me to do more work for them! one of them is from a builder who i laid 53m2 of travertine for.

my main error of my ways was that i packed in the decorating business to focus on tiling just when tiling work dried up. if i had kept doing both i could of chosen to only do good tilign jobs and i wouldnt be where i am now

i know i made more money than sean but thats not what matters at the start, what matters is that he's improving and getting there! id rather be in his shoes

so the moral of the storey: dont brake a limb when things are going right
 
P

psychowitch

Im the same been up and running for about 18 months now..decided to change career right at the start of the recession..so im looking at it as the only way is UP! Its fecking tough hard work..and you never get the costs right ... if I had any hair I spent most of the time pulling it out..but that said..Im really enjoying working for myself and love it when the customers are pleased with my work...I worked in LOndon (city) for 20 years! wouldnt change back (well unless I was offered mega bucks to sit on my arse all day )...
 
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