I was heading to a cladding job, expecting to be fitting tongue and groove timber boards.
But on arrival, I found the customer had decided they wanted Cedral fibre cement boards instead.
I knew this was a two-man job due to the extra weight and support needed whilst fixing fibre cement boards.
My options were to either bring on another man - and charge the customer more, or to take a hit on my profit. Neither were great options.
Instead, I took some scrap wood and fashioned a rough tool that would support the board at one end.
It did the job – just about.
The Cladman is born.
But then I set about refining the idea, with long nights spent back in my garage, adding features and gauging feedback.
My ambition was to provide a single man operation for all types of cladding and traditional featheredged boards.
A prototype was made, and then another, and then another!
15 prototypes later, I was ready to take it to sites and test it out with other pro cladders.
The feedback I got on the prototype from pro cladders was so positive it convinced me to really go for it, so I gave the tool a name – the Cladman – and invested all the spare cash I had in taking it to the next stage.
I began sourcing high quality materials and manufacturers. I also began the arduous process of patenting the tool – something we were finally granted in 2020.
The Cladman that you see today has been tested in hundreds of situations and has won numerous awards (check out our news section to see the latest!).
It consists of more than 20 precision parts and is used by DIYers and pro cladders all over the world.
Flush-Joints and beyond
When I began selling the Cladman, I found people started telling me about other things that slowed down their work and asking for other kinds of tools.
This, combined with the fact that on site I hate wasting time or compromising on quality, lead me to invent the Flush-Joints rig. I also set about sourcing or inventing other high-quality tools that would help make cladding jobs better, faster and cheaper, which most recently includes the CladBlades range.
Today, Sitebuddyz stocks a wide range of precision tools. All are designed to pay for themselves in just a few jobs by saving you time, whilst also giving a premium, professional finish.
And we have many more to come. Stay tuned for some really cool new products that will be on the site in the coming months!
My dream is for Sitebuddyz to become the world’s most trusted one-stop-shop for specialist cladding tools that you can’t find anywhere else.
If one of my tools or tips helps you complete your job more efficiently, and hopefully to an even higher standard, then I will be a happy man!