We sat down with Jamie Roach, Director and Technical Manager at Hanney Glazed in Oxfordshire, who explained amongst other things, why having a positive attitude and great work ethic is important when setting up a business within the glazing industry …
TI: What was your path into the glazing sector and to your current position?
JR: It all began when I was handed a leaflet at the tender age of 15 to do some work experience. After that, I decided that when I left school, I would work in the glazing industry. I started working with local companies and then did some sub-contracting before taking the plunge and starting up on my own.
TI: If you had one piece of advice about starting a glazing installation business, what would it be?
JR: Always go in with a positive attitude and have a great work ethic. Don’t always expect the work to come to you – you have to work hard and put in some long hours to build up a good reputation.
TI: Tell us about a current project you’re working on…
JR: We are currently working on a solid roof conversion. This project consists of removing an existing conservatory roof and the frames – and disposing to VEKA Recycling where they recycle end of life uPVC windows and doors.
The old conservatory roof is being replaced with a Victorian Equinox Solid Roof, which has been supplied by Eurocell. Included in this job, we’ll be installing a new aluminium roof frame onto a fresh new white PVCu conservatory and a set of French doors, supplied by Windoormate.
Externally, we are installing plywood boarding, waterproof membrane, complete with new leadwork, and installing Composite Chestnut Tiles, new white fascias and brown guttering. Internally, we insulate using 150mm Celotex, internal battens, prepare with plaster boarding and finish with plaster. The customer has requested a couple of additional things, such as a VELUX roof window, electrical work, including a dimmer switch, and pendant and MDF window boards.
TI: You must have worked on some difficult projects over the years. Does one in particular stand out?
JR: Yes, one job does stand out but I always tell myself that you have to put it all down to experience and move on. In this industry, you have to take the difficult jobs with the easier ones and always learn from the positives and the negatives. What’s important is always trying to serve the customer in the best way possible and that’s what we try to do.
JR: We aim to deliver a good service and always deliver until the job is complete and our customers are satisfied with the works we have carried out. Thankfully, we have a good team and we all feel very loyal to our customers, old and new.
TI: What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
JR: The most frustrating thing about my job is that there are simply not enough hours in the day – or months in the year! In this industry, there’s always something keeping me on my toes, but I guess that’s why I love what I do.
TI: And the most satisfying?
JR: What’s hugely satisfying is finishing a job where the property has gained a stunning new look or uplift. I love doing bespoke garden offices – they always look amazing and can completely transform a garden.
TI: What’s your most important tool as a glazing installer, either in the office or on site?
JR: I have three – is that allowed? My phone, my surveying tablet and my loyal FATMAX tape measure!
TI: What’s the best social media platform for your business?
JR: Ask Dawn! She’s a Director and Office Manager at Hanney Glazed. She looks after all our social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
All I know is that our Facebook page is really good as we have more than 900 followers. Dawn does a great job engaging with people in our local area.
JR: Short days and dark evenings really do restrict your working day when you’re an installer. It can be extremely frustrating when you’ve got a busy work load and really need longer, lighter days to get everything done.
TI: How has 2019 been and are there reasons to be positive for 2020?
JR: The start of the year was really good for us here at Hanney Glazed. We are now in new premises and this has taken a lot of pressure off Dawn and I as we had been working from home.
I’m delighted to say that 2019 has been a really good year for us and the business. We are now firmly established in the area and have a good reputation with returning customers and continuing support.
We already know that the beginning of 2020 is going to be busy and that makes us immensely happy. Already our diary has two large installations booked in and by November/December we should have a few more jobs to keep us busy until spring.