Letter - Everyone thinks they are a DIY expert

It looks like DIY is back - DIY has always existed but it didn’t become a mass leisure activity until the late 60s when new trends in interior design made it possible for any man, however limited in his intelligence or ability, to take 10 per cent off the resale value of his house in just one weekend of frenzied stippling.

All the hardware shops have gone with their thin men in brown overalls with bad breath, small pencil stubs behind the ear and one finger missing.

Screws were sold and wrapped individually or by weight, while a boy eating piccalilli sandwiches tended a gas fire.

Now it’s all there in the big stores like Wicks and B&Q. It’s so hard to find a good trades man now.

Why do builders have such a bad reputation?

Perhaps it’s the fault of the customer, maybe, that some of the problems are compounded by unrealistic expectations of the consumer.

Before you need a job doing, you need to establish what you want the finished work to look like and undertake some research; searching for a good tradesman is a nightmare. The trouble is there are so many DIY outlets around nowadays that everyone is familiar with tools and terms and products and everyone thinks that they know how to be a tradesman.

This mean that they don’t want to pay a proper price because they begrudge the work and forget that building is a skilled trade.

It’s time the Government started pumping money into apprenticeships.

One man, one trade - never mind all this multitasking (jack of all trades). People want jobs and a trade. Stay with the young and give them all a chance of an apprenticeship and then we can ring up a tradesman for the task in hand.

Adrian David Smith

Milton Crescent