Our latest Business Of The Day to feature is J Atherton Painter & Decorator, a Stockport-based company ensuring a complete professional service from start to finish. John’s extremely busy at the moment, fully booked until February, but we managed to grab five minutes of his time for a quick chat. If you’re looking to have your house decorated in 2021, contact John on 07985 256342 for a free quotation, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, head over to j-atherton.co.uk.
When did you first set up your painting and decorating business?
What made you decide to go into painting and decorating?
It was a job I wanted to learn from being a young schoolboy. I was very keen on art when I was young; I actually received a B grade GCSE which was equivalent to the old O-level. I remember the school days when we visited the library for a ‘leisure’ reading lesson. I would go directly to the books on painting and decorating, and adjoining trades such as plastering. I still have that same passion for the job after 34 years in the trade.
You’re based in Heaton Moor. Do you find a lot of your work comes from the Heatons, or do you work across the rest of Stockport a lot of the time as well?
I’m based in Heaton Moor now, but when I started the business I lived in Heaviley and I remember the early years well. I seemed to receive a massive amount of enquiries from people within the Heatons area, which I turned into work gained, and customers who I still work for today. I still generate new leads within the Heatons, but I actually cover the whole North West region (within reason!) as well as Derbyshire.
What’s the best part of your job?
I can honestly say I enjoy all aspects of my job. Exterior painting, hanging wallpaper, installing coving, tiling – it’s all the same enjoyable work to me!
And the worst?
Struggling to carry out/complete exterior works when the weather is constantly letting me down. That’s certainly the part of the job that grinds me down! I have to leave external work to focus on interior work while the weather is poor. But then when the weather gets better I have to leave the interior work to go back to the exterior work to try and complete the job. The weather constantly changes in this country so I’m always having to repeat the process, which then creates a backlog in job completion. It’s a nightmare!
How have you found this year during the lockdown? Could people not afford to have their houses decorated, or has it been a case of customers getting jobs like painting and decorating done because they had time to look at it while they were off work?
I have experienced a slight drop in average workload, which I think is due to more people being at home and having to carry out their own painting and decorating, as a result of being bored and obviously not receiving their full salaries if they’ve been laid off or furloughed. Having said that, I have managed to carry on as normal, fortunately having the workload in front of me already, which I could go ahead with safely. One thing I have noticed since coming out of full lockdown is the fact that more people have been at home, where they normally would have been at work or school, so their homes have taken a lot more wear and tear than usual, which has led to me receiving a greater number of calls over the last couple of months.
What’s the biggest house you’ve decorated?
It’s quite funny actually, as most people probably don’t look at this property as a house, but I’d have to say the largest is Lyme Hall! I haven’t had the pleasure to work on the traditional rooms, as they need to be kept in their original state, but I have worked on the exterior of the house along with the cottages alongside the pond, the shop and the tea rooms. That was a long hot summer that year, around 1994 or 1995.
When you’re decorating a house, what’s your favourite room to do up?
I don’t really have a favourite room to work on as such. However, bathrooms and kitchens can get a little cramped!
What’s your favourite paint colour?
Personally, my favourite colour is dark green. But I have to say when styling customers’ properties with different colour schemes, I have the pleasure of sampling a massive array of shades, tints and Hues, from modern palettes to the really historical and traditional palettes. I come across some beautiful colours so I have a lot more favourite shades these days.
For any customers wanting to have their houses decorated at the moment, do you have gaps in the diary this year, or are you mainly booking into 2021 now?
If there’s any customers wanting to arrange any work before Christmas, I’m afraid I am fully booked at the moment. The diary is full until February, so any new enquiries at the moment will have to be from February onwards.
If you’d like to be featured as our Business Of The Day, please email email@example.com for more information.