Interview With Tommy Walsh: The Celebrity Builder.

tommy walsh 1It’s our pleasure to invite one of the most famous builders in Britain – Tommy Walsh, to partake in a Direct Trade Supplies interview. Tommy grew up in the London Borough of Hackney and learnt the hard graft from an early age. He accompanied his father to work, who owned a breeze-block production plant and it was here where he first picked up the shovel.

Construction and building was in the family’s DNA, so it was no real surprise that he entered the trade industry as a self-effacing builder, but oh how times changed. A mixture of good, honest hard work, having great character and being in the right place at the right time catapulted Tommy from a humble Hackney builder to a celebrity face that everyone wanted a piece of. 

His most memorable and perhaps biggest claim to fame was the role he played in the ‘Ground Force’ trio. Ground Force was a television programme that saw ordinary members of the public nominated for a surprise garden re-design. The show was headed by main presenter Alan Titchmarsh (Gardener) who was teamed with Tommy (Builder) and Charlie Dimmock (Gardener) to help complete the projects. The programme pulled in millions of viewers and was one of the very first to spearhead the boom in aspirational ‘make-over’ shows.

Ground Force ran for eight years and became a flagship show for the BBC – but that wasn’t the end for Tommy. Since Ground Force he’s gone on to be involved in around 1000 TV programmes from Challenge Tommy Walsh, Our House, Tommy Walsh’s Eco House, Trading Places, Tommy’s DIY Survival and many, many more.

Despite being a familiar face Tommy has stuck to his roots and continues to involve himself in the very same trade that once helped to kick start his career. We all know him as the big cheeky chappy builder but there’s a lot more to Tommy than meets the eye. So how about we crack on and discover more about the celebrity builder.

Q&A With: Tommy Walsh, The Celebrity Builder.

You must be the only builder, apart from Bob, who has found fame through a job in the trade industry. Was becoming an iconic builder always the intention or did this occur naturally? (more…)

What Are IP Ratings? Demystifying Lighting Terms.

quizzedUnless you’re a qualified electrician, a trainee or somebody who’s already come across the term – you may not know what an IP rating means.

Like most electrical goods, lighting comes with its fair share of jargon. And the term IP rating is a prominent player in lighting slang. But what is it and how will it effect your decision buying lights? 

What Are IP Ratings? Alphabetical & Numerical Breakdown.

The letters ‘IP’ stands for Ingress Protection, ie – how well protected a fitting is. After ‘IP’ comes the numbers, and it’s these collection of numbers which will play a crucial role in guiding you towards the correct grade of lighting for a particular location.

We all know that leaving a mobile phone or a credit card outside in the rain all night may just present you with problems the following morning. This is because these items were not built to perform in harsh environments. They should remain dry and safe in order to continue performing.

Lighting uses the same kind of premise. Most lights will only be able to perform indoors and away from hazards like dust and water. However some lights have been purposely built to cope with such hazards. And this is where the IP rating comes in handy because it tells you directly, without bumbling, whether or not your light can be fitted on a building site, around water or be fully submerged. (more…)

A Tiny Home With Big Potential.

mini villageWe all dream of owning a big beautiful house; yet opposing this traditional aspiration is a newer, much smaller option, coined the tiny home. The tiny home looks to replace the size of a stately home, the clamminess of a stacked town terrace, the greyness of a city landscape as well as the energy wasting downfalls connected to running most conventional abodes. 

The increase of tiny homes is thought to have been inspired by a number of factors; the main contributors include a lack of investment for new home builds, a general drop in living standards, a growth of eco-consciousness, a willingness for self-sufficiency and a trend for minimalism.

The tiny home now offers a completely fresh angle to downsizing. Not only will you be living in a smaller place but you’ll also be inheriting a new lifestyle. This lifestyle shift can be demonstrated by the way you power your tiny home, as well as its location and surrounding habitat.  (more…)

It’s An Emergency! Emergency Lighting And Signs.

In the event of an emergency it is highly important that your building is marked with clear signs and back-up emergency lights. This is particularly vital if the building is a commercial store where customers congregate and shop. Emergency lighting and signs are also essential components for places that employ staff or home a number of tenants; there are various legal rules and regulations in place that need to be followed.

Although emergencies are rare, there is no way of knowing whether one is just around the corner – they do not come with warnings. So in the unfortunate event that an emergency does occur, having the correct emergency signage and lights could potentially save lives and make the whole process a lot smoother to deal with.

Emergency Signs

emergency signage banner (more…)

The Builders Yard: Building Site Lighting & Accessories.

builders at work

Building Site Lighting For Professionals

Building sites can be dangerous places at the best of times, let alone working long into the night, so this is why having the correct site lighting is an essential part of construction safety. Site lights allow employees to safely navigate around the site, as well as operate machinery and continue to see their masterpiece develop.

Building site lighting will also make outsiders aware that the area is out of bounds. Any over-inquisitive wanderer or drunk walking home will see that work’s in progress and the site should not be entered. So it’s not only the work force that benefit from site lights but also those in and around the vicinity. (more…)