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I started painting & decorating by accident really about 6 years ago after losing my job. I was sat around at home during the summer when a neighbour asked if I fancied painting the outside of his house and I ended up doing about 8 houses on the estate as a result.

I had always been quite handy at DIY and always done my own decorating at home basically from what I had picked up from my father.

After enjoying the experience of doing the p&d that summer and working for myself I enrolled at the local college and worked my way through NVQ 1,2 & 3 and set myself up full time.

I don't think that the current NVQ courses give you the knowledge that the old City & Guilds courses gave you. Also the opportunities of working with the sort of professionals who frequent the TP website and forum seem few and far between. As a result I feel as though I have become a good p & d but not yet achieved where I want to be. I do however take great pride in the work I carry out and always strive to do the best for my clients. I think that is reflected in the fact that most of my work comes from referrals.

I spend a lot of time researching the trade online which is how I came across the TP website some time ago. I want to be the best I possibly can and the knowledge I have gained from reading the forum posts, regular TP newsletter emails plus delving through the personal websites of the TP specialists is worth its weight in gold.