Where it began
The journey from landlord and damp-proof expert to salon owner started way back in the 1980s for me. So picture this, a 15 year old school boy who’s sister had started hairdressing college and saw 30 odd girls in one class doing a trade that didn’t appear to be that hard, (scissors don’t weigh much). I went out with quite a few of the girls in mi sisters class and thought if it is mainly an environment with girls how can you fail.
Me and my mate at the time Hammy discussed the scenarios at length, all women, no guys, no brainer where do we sign up.
So we decided to ask how do we get to go to hairdressing school. That was simple all you had to do was take a test and then your off there if you pass, (or that is what we thought).
We filled in the application and got the date for the test which was in the main hall up at the big college under strict exam conditions and on a timer. I was really looking forward to jumping in benny hill style with all my new class mates i could barley concentrate.
looking around we saw that the hall it was full of girls and they were all beautiful then there was me and hammy winking and giggling like cats that had got the cream, oh and one other lad sat over the other side who we later found out was a lad called Andrew.
So after the exam we just had to wait for the results to come and then we were in. Little did we know that there were only a few places and these would go to the ones with the best results and placements with local hair salons already secured. It was good that we had a back up plan and had taken the CITB construction test too as this would be the path I had to go down to arrive at this point.
Fast Forward to 2014
By now I was a plasterer by trade, had moved in to damp-proofing and become a surveyor as well as having my own damp proof company, I also had been buying renovating property and was a landlord.
One day a company I used to do pre purchase damp and timber reports for gave me a property to survey which I did and saw that it was going to auction. The property had been empty for a while and was most of the way through being renovated into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO). It was just about done except for the locks on the doors but all the lower walls had had plastic fitted to it and when exposed it was clear why. you guessed the walls were damp.
I forgot about the property and got on with other stuff when a year or so later I was asked to do more surveys for the company and I enquired how this property faired in the auction and a dialog was opened which led to me buying it and then deciding what to do with it.
We had a verbal agreement with the rep who supplied accommodation for asylum seekers in this area for G4s a guy called john. He came and looked at the property told us we would get £800 a month and said he wanted it. We renovated it to suit, Brexit happened and when we contacted John again he said they couldn’t have it now, so that was a lesson learned.
In the mean time we did get a family in who were there a while but were apparently to noisy for the pub next door and arguments happened and they eventually had to leave.
I decided to sell the place so put it up for sale and was going to used the money to fund other projects but the uptake again was slow and a lot of offers were from investors offering silly money and coming up with ridiculers reasons why it was only worth what they were offering. I think one issue was that it was once offices and had that hard wearing awful blue carpet in every room.
Light bulb Moment or hair brain idea
A friend of mine Rob Eaton keeps telling me im a frustrated hairdresser and maybe he is right, after speaking with someone who was in the process of buying a salon and picking their brain it came to me that the property I had was once a shop on a High St and it is in between other shops, so it should become a shop again and serve the community it is in.
I initially though a barber shop and contacted the Turkish guys who have the places in town to see if they would like to rent it. They kind of surprised me by saying it was too small for them.
I then got my pal Robert Eaton down who has his own award winning place in Barnsley & Leeds and he gave lots of great advise which made my mind up to press ahead and renovate it in to what it is today.
I started by ripping out all the old blue office carpets with some upstairs being carpet tiles and decided to do like we do with our rental properties and put down laminate as this is easy to clean and does not hold smells in between tenants. carpets are nice for stairs to keep noise down but you can buy a rug if you want some comfort and sling it if the tenant leaves.
The Carpet tiles by the way were advertised on facebook market place and sold for £50. I was going to throw them in the skip, but when i was in wicks i saw some for sale at £2.99 each and though that mine were in good nik so i counted them then put them up for sale.
We ripped out the existing shower in the front room to make more space and took down the curtains. Part of the advise from Rob was to have full size mirrors so chairs can be positioned anywhere and this made sense, so off I went to Barnsley glass for some prices. The sizes were drawn on the walls. After checking the walls it was decided they were not straight enough and I got our joiner Paul to make frames with a shelf below. The people at the glass place said their glue would be adequate once cured so I paid them to fit the sheets. This was also partly to do with if the mirrors were damaged installing them, the company would be liable not us.
Up stairs to the property is going to be a self contained flat so this will generate some extra income. It would be ideal if someone working at the salon rented it so watch this space. For this to work we moved a kitchen upstairs to the rear room and put locks on all the doors.
Starting to Buy
The first hairdressing purchase was a back wash as this had to be plumbed in so we needed the sizes. Rob recommended a few and sent links for me to chose as he did with a other stuff like the chairs. So it didn’t then take long for all the work to finish and for the fit out to start taking shape. I had looked on Pintrest for ideas at different salons and i saw some that used metro tiles and a kind of industrial look with the lights. We already had some strip lights so I decided to incorporate more but modern and with the correct light output for working with.
We have decided to to have the salon unisex with 1 barber and 1 women stylist and I am due to pick up a barbers chair this coming Sunday as well as some more stuff. We are currently advertising for staff and we will be patient so the right people can be found. The same is true of the flat, we need the right person in.
3 months previous to starting the renovation work I had the property up to sell at £89k and would have been prepared to take an offer of it. Now the work has been carried out and there is a potential business on the ground floor with self contained flat above the value is in the region of £125k. I know this because there is a similar property with a barber downstairs and 1 bed flat upstairs currently on the market on Sheffield Rd about a mile away.
Andrew The Other Boy In The Hairdressers Exam
Andrew went on to become a TV star and British hairdresser of the year and hairstylist to the stars. His name was Andrew Barton and he passed his exams and secured a place he is now doing ok.
If you managed to read all the post and got down to this bit well done and thank you for your time. for further information please visit our https://www.alldrydampproofing.com