Interview with a Decorator – Joel Bardell
How and when did you start decorating?
- Initially I was working for a company named ROK and was a part of a team that dealt with insurance works to homeowners properties. The client would make a claim – e.g for water damage in the property and we would carry out the repairs, so a mixture of trade skills was involved but mainly plastering and decorating was the key task. Following the company’s collapse and being made redundant, I started to work alongside my uncle who had his own decorating business. Over time I started gaining my own customers and took the plunge to start up on my own.
What is your favourite part of the job?
- I really enjoy taking before and after pictures of my work. It is such a nice feeling when the job has been cleared and tidied, I can take a step back and admire the completed job and then take some pictures. It sounds sad but I try my best to capture the same shot and at the same angle as the first initial photos when I started the work so can really see the difference between the completed finish. Then post the pics on social media and reading the nice comments from my fellow deccies to stroke my massive ego haha.
What is your least favourite part of the job?
- Clearing the job once it’s completed…honestly, I absolutely hate it. Maybe I’m just not as well organised as some of my fellow decorators with a decent storage system to quickly pack up! Plus by the end of the job my body and brain has turned to mush and can guarantee ‘that’ tool or bit of kit I’m finished with and just hiked all the way to the van and put away will be needed for that little touch up I missed… doh!
Tell us a funny story about a job…
- Quite a few funny stories over the years but some best saved for conversations in the pub… However, one incident that wasn’t funny at the time it happened… but had me crying after everything was… err ‘fixed’ – My mate who was working with me at the time said he’d put the kettle on. Then shortly after I could hear lots of “oh s***! Oh s***!!!” When I asked what’s the matter he said to me “I thought the kettle was one of those you put on the hob… but it’s not… it’s electric… and I’ve ****ing melted it” That was met with – You twat, how could you mix it up… in fact who uses a kettle on a hob these days??? As luck had it, we were close to an Argos and were able to get a replacement that very same day… and so went unnoticed.
If you hadn’t become a decorator, what would you be?
- If I wasn’t a decorator what else would I be? Not sure, better off financially probably haha. Have always been quite handy around electrics, in fact was first job I got into after leaving school but for whatever reasons I left it for a different career path. Obviously you have to be especially careful carrying out any electrical work these days but still feel pretty confident I could rewire a house no problem.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to help you become a better decorator, what would it be?
- In all honesty I am always learning every day. Be it new paints or products or even new methods of carrying out decorating. I have made mistakes in the past so could go back in time and say this is what you should have done but to be fair it’s all about experience so now know what to do in those situations…and what NOT to do! One thing I do need to get into is spraying, so maybe in a few years’ time if I still haven’t pulled my finger out and got myself spraying like the pros then ask me this question again!
Thanks again to Joel Bardall of Bardall decorating services for taking the time to answer my questions. If you want to find more about Joel, you can visit his website www.bardalldecor.co.uk
I am looking to talk to as many decorators as possible over the coming months so we can share knowledge and hopefully raise the profile of the industry as a whole.
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