The average builder earns £26,000, supports Manchester United – and is called Paul, it has been revealed. A study of 500 builders sought to profile the daily lives of Britain’s handiest men, with results showing they are most likely to have been married for ten years and drive 13,624 miles a year.
They have at least four projects currently on the go and consume six hot drinks every day – normally tea with just the one sugar.
But contrary to the stereotype, it emerged that over a third of builders actually disapprove of their colleagues ‘wolf-whistling’ at passers-by – with less than a fifth deeming it acceptable behaviour.
The research, which was commissioned by Origin, UK manufacturer of bespoke aluminium bi-folding doors, found the average builder clocks up 262 miles a week on average.
And, when asked on their driving style and road manner, two thirds described themselves as courteous and often happy to let others pull out.
The research sought to praise the efforts of Britain’s tradesmen and identify their stresses and strains – when asked about the most stressful aspects of their working lives builders were most likely to cite the British weather.
Dealing with unreliable staff and unreasonable customers were also common grumbles, while one in six stated finances as a worry, as they juggle multiple projects, customer demands and deadlines.
Andrew Halsall, Managing Director at Origin, said:
“We all know that no two builders are the same, but wanted to show just how hard they work and the pressure they are under.
“The results show just how much of a shift goes into being a tradesman and the amount they have to juggle over long days and many of the findings go against some of the stereotypes.
“On top of the early starts, many are on their feet for over 10 hours a day carrying out physical activity, worrying about finances, employee retention and customer satisfaction, as well as keeping up with the latest building regulations, energy-efficient solutions and sustainable technologies.”
The study found the average tradesman is awake by 6.24am and is out of the door by 7.20am on a week day.
And the builder’s tea now comes with just one sugar rather than two, with the average tradesman sinking six cups a day, while one in seven power through with 10 hot drinks.
While a chocolate digestive proved the biscuit of choice for Britain’s builders.
For lunch, sandwiches as part of a packed lunch is still the overwhelming meal of choice – with chicken and bacon or cheese and pickle the likely fillers.
They also proved twice as likely to indulge in a healthy pasta or salad as they were to opt for burgers and chips.
The tradesman, most commonly named Paul, followed by Andy or Dave, is not likely to be too happy with his team’s performance this season – Manchester United was the most commonly supported team in the study.
But they get through their days while listening to Radio 2 – which emerged as the station of choice for Britain’s tradesmen.
Clocking off time kicks in by 5.30pm and all being well most said they’re able to put their feet up by 7.15pm.
“Builders have to deal with a mixture of worries, all of which take their toll. But most go that extra mile to deliver a project that exceeds the customer’s expectations – we should all be championing UK builders.
“Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the British weather, but suppliers should be helping builders meet their deadlines on time.
“As a result we initiated a unique ‘Your Lead Time, Not Ours’ promise for our made to measure bi-fold and French doors, which eliminates the 6-8 week industry lead times and puts the builder or customer in charge of the delivery schedule. We allow our trade customers to tell us when they want to take collection of their doors.”
THE AVERAGE BRITISH TRADESMAN:
MOST LIKELY NAMED: Paul, Andrew, Dave
MILES PER WEEK: 262
MILES PER YEAR: 13, 624
WAKES UP: 6.24am
LEAVES HOUSE: 7.20am
DRINKS PER DAY: 6
DRINK OF CHOICE: Tea with one sugar
BISCUIT OF CHOICE: Chocolate digestive
LUNCH: Chicken and Bacon sandwich, cheese and pickle sandwich
RADIO STATION: Radio 2
FOOTBALL TEAM: Manchester United, West Ham
CLOCKS OFF: 5.30pm
FEET UP: 7.15pm