The Professionals?

November 21, 2014

Shaun-HodginsFor the past 20 years I’ve worked on construction sites, refurbishment schemes and fit-out projects. Now a Director, I still spend a huge chunk of my time ‘on-site’ managing projects and liaising with clients.

Oh yes, rather importantly, you’ll also find me ‘on my tools’ doing my bit alongside everyone else.

In my time, I’ve come across any number of highly skilled tradesmen, some incredible craftsmen and a scary number of people who insist on putting the word “professional” in front of what they actually do. Tell me you’re a professional builder or a professional installer or brand yourself that way and you’ll have to excuse me. As we say around these parts “I know one when I see one!”

Are these’ professionals’ really saying that craftsman can’t possibly be as professional as they are or highly skilled tradesmen will never be their match. Have professionals really become more professional than true professionals? Is there something I’m missing?

The truth of the matter is that, quality tradesmen and time served craftsmen are happy to let their finished results do the talking for them. They’ve no desire to self-accredit. They are gifted and passionate people whose work comes their way because of ability and a built reputation. To limit them to being just professionals would be a huge understatement and a massive disservice.

A quick Google search brings up plenty of advice on how to choose a contractor for interior fit-outs or shopfitting projects. The advice is, in the main, sensible but too often says “use us”, “we are great” etc and is therefore predictably oriented.

My advice in choosing a company or team of contractors to undertake any project is, do your homework. Visit their premises, ask questions of past clients and actually go and look at their completed works. If you hit any negative or reluctance in this regard, what so ever, I suggest ‘the professionals’ you’re dealing with may be part of the above and not what you deserve.

Shaun Hodgins is Director of Ark Shopfitters Ltd and Ark Shopfitters Ltd. For further details of Shaun and Ark please visit