14 Sep, 2011 @ 21:09
1 min read

High-five for the builders

As drills roar and bricks shatter, Jane Plunkett praises the tough job of construction site workers

I REALLY respect builders.

Wow… I knew that comment would raise some eyebrows. But before launching into full-blown abuse – hear me out.

When I say builders I’m not talking about the Fat Cat that runs a construction company, pays off corrupt politicians for planning permission and drives around in a car that would put an Arab royal family to shame.

I’m talking about the real builders. The ones on the pay roll that start drilling at 8am on the morning, wear little more than a loose pair of shorts and badly drawn tattoos, and drink cerveza from dusty cans as light refreshment.

For the last month the house next door to me has been under refurbishment. The builders kick off in the early hours and start the long slog of knocking down, shovelling up, lifting, pulling, scraping and everything else involved in building a structure. It’s not easy work. It’s not clean work. It’s physically demanding, hot and sticky, lots-of-dirt-under-your-fingernails work.

I know the builder stereotype is lots of breaks, standing and leaning, but in all honesty I can say that these guys outside in the plaza are doing stellar work.

Perhaps I am being a little sentimental, as my boyfriend and I are also refurbishing an old house at the moment, but rather than sentimental I think I’m actually appreciating the facts for the first time.

A home is an important place. It represents family; it’s where the majority of memories from childhood stem, and it’s what we sometimes crave as an expat living abroad.

These guys knocking down walls, laying bricks and burping up an afternoon beer are laying the foundations for the future life of a family. Now if that doesn’t deserve a high-five, then what does?

PS… remember you get what you research for. Jump in and hire a half arsed builder – you’ll get a half arsed result. Do your research, check previous work and references, and hire a good builder and you won’t be disappointed.  

1 Comment

  1. Some fair points …. Except the builders currently working next to me not just wake us with a jolt at 7am … But they have been leaving little presents beside a line of chopo trees that separates our land… I actually woke up to the sight last week of a hairy 5 ft grunt squatting there!

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