To join us in celebrating National Hug a Plumber’s Day, instead of hugging a plumber (please don’t hug anyone during the COVID-19 pandemic), watch our video and read the full Q&A below to meet James Wood, a licensed plumber, electrician and the owner of Form Construction, a contracting company based in Denver, CO. We sat down with him back in early March - don’t worry, it was from a safe distance and no hugging was involved - to learn more about his work and the impact it’s made on him and his customers.
How long have you been doing remodeling?
I’ve been doing it all my life. My dad did a lot of remodels and handyman work when we were growing up and I was there. I went to work for a telecommunications company for about 14 years. I’ve been doing this since then - a long time - I’m 54.
What made you return to plumbing and stick with it instead of exploring something else?
I get a new boss in the form of homeowners every month or 6 weeks. Other than that, I am my own boss and I like it that way - I can schedule and do stuff as I want to. I’m a natural leader. I don’t have a problem with authority, I just didn’t want to work for a corporation.
What do you think is the most enjoyable part about working in plumbing?
Well, I know plumbers that don’t enjoy it - it can be a dirty job, but I do mostly new construction, so I don’t deal with a lot of old pipes. I do new stuff, remodels. It’s nice to fully create what we’re building.
What has been the most life changing or interesting thing you’ve learned as a plumber?
Whew, that’s a good one… the freedom to work as hard as I want and um…sewage flows down hill.
What do you wish someone told you in your early days as a plumber?
Don’t undercut the value of your work. Or undersell yourself. It’s a dirty job, it takes a long time, your skills are worth a lot.
How do you approach the cost of jobs? How do you recommend other plumbers determine the cost?
I charge based on time and materials. Unless I’m doing a service call...then, it’s a flat price just to show up at the house, plus an hourly rate which is something I saw other plumbers do and adopted it.
What’s the most important or meaningful job you’ve done this year?
They’re all very meaningful to me. I remember every single one in detail, especially the remodel projects, but they all stand out in equal quality to me.
What inspired you the most to get into plumbing?
Helping. I like leaving the house and knowing I’m on my way to help somebody. Fixing a sewer or a leak or heater to help homeowners makes me feel good inside. I really do it more for myself because of that feeling.
Comment below or tag us on Instagram @Truewerk with some of your answers to these questions or just to let us know what you thought and what you want to see more of.
Plus, if you know someone (or are someone) like James that is an #essentialservices worker representing the trades and rising to the challenge of keeping the foundation of our communities strong, we want to hear about it. Send us an email at Marketing@truewerk.com with your story. We encourage you to include a photo that captures the hard work being performed. With these stories, we hope to be able to show recognition and thanks by sharing them in some of our outgoing emails and upcoming blog posts.