After starting a YTS in 1989 at a main Vauxhall franchised bodyshop in Halifax, a full apprenticeship was completed in both panel beating and spray painting.
The next move came in 1995 to a specialist high-class limousine builders in Greater Manchester - working mainly on Ford and Mercedes limousines as well as Lexus, Daimler and Jaguar cars.
Another move came in early 2000 into the independent bodyshop environment, but this was the final stepping stone before setting up in self employment.
Later experience includes specialist niche areas such as plastic welding, plastic thermoforming and fibreglass work - including designing and building aftermarket accesories for TVR cars.
The main aim of the business, which was started in late 2003, is to provide the best possible value for money to all customers with high quality bodywork repairs on a range of vehicle types but without the excessive big bodyshop prices.
Many of the larger Insurance bodyshops require a high throughput of vehicles and this results in private customers often being neglected in favour of the insurance work the big bodyshops are contracted to do.
Insurance work isn't something I'm interested in chasing, let the 'big boys' fight over that. I'd rather deal with Joe Public than insurance assessors and provide a more personal service.
To the ordinary motorist it can be very advantageous and cost effective to get minor accident damage repaired without having to claim on insurance or lose any no claims bonus, and with insurance premiums increasing and high excess charges, it makes more sense than ever to avoid claiming where possible.
Having absolutely no dependency on insurance contracts, and being independent in this way allows each private customer to get the full attention they deserve.
Work can range from a simple cosmetic scratch or dent repair, to a full bodywork renovation and respray, to more niche custom work such as bodykit fitting, and fibreglass manufacturing projects such as TVR faired-in headlight sets and full hardtops. Where possible, and particularly on larger/special jobs, all stages of repair can be photographed to keep customers updated on progress and provide a photographic record of the bodywork/paintwork repairs.
Vehicles on lease arrangements may often require cosmetic bodywork repairs prior to returning vehicles back to the lease company at the end of the lease agreement and to avoid the excessive charges associated with handing back cars with visible damage. The repair work can often include 'SMART' repairs (SMall Area Repair Techniques) such as bumper scuffs, dent repairs, scratches and alloy wheel refurbishment. A common misconception is that this type of repair work is solely carried out by mobile operators from vans at the roadside, but much better standards of finish can be achieved by bringing the car into a controlled workshop environment and my 'SMART' repairs are always done in this way.
Motorcycles can be vulnerable to cosmetic damage even after a relatively minor mishap - sometimes something as simple as the bike falling from its stand, to larger repairs following a collision. Repairs like this can often involve plastic welding prior to preparation and final paintwork. Motorcycle paintwork tends to be more complicated than usual and may include straight colours, metallics, three-stage pearls / candy's, or a combination of all three, as well as decal replacement.
Many of my working practices are simple and efficient compared to those of the bigger bodyshops where corners are often cut in order to meet targets or achieve productivity bonus.
Experience from working in bonus-driven bodyshops in the past has clearly shown that jobs are often rushed and conflict between different departments means that quality suffers.
My working approach is completely different - because the job is carried out from start to finish by the same person all the various stages of repair flow seamlessly from one stage to the next - right up until the repair is complete, resulting in the best possible standard of work and without any inefficiencies.
Many new customers make contact via the website, although 'word of mouth' from previous customers generates a good proportion of work.
Previous customers often return again when future repairs are needed - sometimes after several years. Customer retention is a major priority, and customer loyalty is always recognised by offering the best possible repair estimate.
Estimates and advice are always free and without obligation.
All work is guaranteed for 12 months unless otherwise stated and is assuming the vehicle is not subjected to neglect or abuse. Excludes normal wear and tear. Limited guarantee on refurbished alloys and conditions apply to corrosion repairs.