After leaving the army, Ceiran Peel-Price began renovating his own home which sparked a real interest in construction. This led to him completing an apprenticeship, including consecutive years as a finalist in BMI’s Apprenticeship of the Year competition, then ultimately establishing his own business, Peel-Price Construction. Total Contractor caught up with Ceiran to hear about the lessons he’s learned, dealing with very particular customers and why knowledge is key…
10 questions for Ceiran Peel-Price
TC: What was your path into roofing and to your current position?
CP-P: When I came out of the army I started renovating the house we were in and it was brilliant taking things down but I wanted to learn how to rebuild them. I started off with a brickwork course while I had operations on my knees and, when my knees were healed and I’d finished the brickwork course, I started off as an apprentice with Les Perry Roofing and then I set up on my own.
TC: If you had one piece of advice about starting a roofing business, what would it be?
CP-P: Never be afraid to ask for help. I’ve asked for help and it’s always been there but if you don’t you can find yourself in a corner. I’ve taken on jobs where I didn’t have the full set of skills but asked people to work with me and they’ve not only done the job but taught me along the way.
TC: Tell us about a current project you’re working on…
CP-P: I’m on with a really big house in Heswall – nine bedrooms. It started off as just a small repair and then, when I got there, the customer said they wanted to replace all the ridge tiles, the fascias, soffits and the gutters – they didn’t like the colour. 250 metres worth – it’s huge.
TC: You mentioned your apprenticeship: was that worthwhile?
CP-P: Absolutely. It worked out brilliantly for me and, for example, I was a finalist in the BMI Apprentice of the Year competition twice – first in 2017, and again in 2018. The competition taught me a lot and was one of the things that encouraged me to set up my own business. It also taught me the value of quality training. The facilities at BMI are excellent, and I’ve recently undertaken some of their flat roofing courses to help grow the business.
TC: What about difficult customers? Any situations that stand out that you can tell us about?!
CP-P: I haven’t had one that was difficult in an angry way, just one that was very particular. I had to go to nine suppliers to get the right material that they wanted and then ended back with the first one. They were trying to match into brand new windows they were installing but there was no match.
TC: What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
CP-P: Fixing mistakes where people haven’t known what they’re doing. Sometimes I just don’t know how they got away with it.
TC: And the most satisfying?
CP-P: Helping people out because when they have problems with their roof it’s not something they can sort out themselves.
CP-P: Knowledge. No point in having the gear if you’ve no idea.
TC: What’s the best social media platform for you as a roofing contractor?
CP-P: I use Facebook. I put current jobs up there and customers leave feedback too. I’ve recently offered Bluelight discount for NHS staff and people in the forces and put that on the Facebook page and got a strong response.
TC: How has the start of 2019 been and are there reasons to be positive for the remainder of the year?
CP-P: January/February were quite quiet but I expected that and now work’s coming in thick and fast, so I’m very positive for the future.
Total Contractor will keep you up-to-date with the finals of the 2019 BMI Apprentice of the Year which will be held at the beginning of July.