Robert Mays - From Building to making.

My name is Robert Mays, but most people call me Rob. Here I just wanted to give you a brief history of  my life in construction and how I went from that to building the idea of Rmaysing Things.


Early Years.


I was born in Bromley in Kent and was brought up in Hayes. We lived with my Grandad. In our garden we had a shed and he had loads of old tools in there which I used to love using. I have always loved wood and wood work. 


Then I went to Hayes Secondary School. I enjoyed school and we used to do woodwork, metal work and technical drawing. When we had to choose our subjects, they insisted that if you did woodwork you had to do technical drawing. As a result, there were only five people in our woodwork class which was great as we learnt a lot more.

Final year at Primary school, I am 1st on the left, front row.

I left school with an A grade O level in woodwork and a B grade in technical drawing amongst others.

For that we had to make something that they specified, show how we developed the idea and then create full working drawings for it.

My first Job.

My first job was nothing to do with construction. It was in the Stock Exchange. I didn’t start doing building work until I was in my early 20’s. When I left that job, I had saved some money and took about £750p and went out and brought a load of carpentry tools, but I had no site experience at all. That was how I started. After a while I left the stock exchange and started working for myself. Initially I thought I could build a business making childrens wooden toys from our spare room at home. I've always had that desire to create and make things.

My first real site work.

 When I was about 23, I got a chance to work on a big site. A lot of us didn’t drive so we used to “live in”. We were working on the car park and roadway for a large assembly hall. I started out as a labourer barrowing sand. I worked my way up and eventually I could start laying the blocks. Here is a picture of me working there.

After that I started working with a friend of mine who set up a company and we used to do block paving in and around the Caterham area where he lived. Unfortunately, I lived in Brixton and still did not drive. So, I had to get the 59 bus there and back.


He used to drive an old Morris Marina van. He let me learn in it, even in the snow, I remember it had no heater. Eventually I passed my test, I think I must have been about 23 or 24. John had an old Mini at his house and he offered to sell it to me. It needed a lot of work doing to it. It was a B reg 1964 car, so it was the same age as me. We resprayed it in its original colour, Antelope Green. Strange the things you remember. Driving gave me lots more freedom as far as work was concerned.

Working on the coast.

I moved to Hastings where I used to work for different people doing building work. Small jobs mainly, window repairs, small extensions, that kind of thing. I had also started to do more building projects for a charitable organization. These projects were called Quick Builds and they would take me to many different places where they would build assembly halls, quickly, very quickly. These buildings were designed to hold 100 people or so. Typically, they would take 3 or 4 days. Sometimes though they would be done in two days. They were full builds from DPC level up. They would have fully fitted toilets, kitchens carpets and be fully decorated out by the end of it. Some where all timber and some would have a brick outer skin. I would do carpentry on these jobs and or block paving to. This would take an enormous amount of organisation not just of people but materials and welfare too.

Changing careers and moving again.

When I was about 29, I had a mate who started selling insurance for the Coop. He was doing well at it and I decided to give it a go too. By now I had moved back to London. I was a rubbish salesman though and soon realised this was a big mistake for me. As soon as I could, I got back into building work.

I got some work with a guy called James, who I was introduced to. He had a team of 4 guys, and we used to do extensions and general building. But it was all regular, steady work. By then I was mainly doing carpentry. But because we were a small team, we used to get involved in lots of trades as well, apart from electrics, that was too dangerous for me. At about the same time another friend of mine got me into woodturning. He had an old lathe that he sold me. It is a Woodmiser 14/60. I still have it today and use it. But where I kept moving around for so long I often was unable to do anything with it for a long time.

A band, getting married and site management.

By now, I was about 33 and living in west London. I got a job working for a company called Craftwork. I met a man there called John and we became friends. Him and his wife had a band, playing in pubs and social clubs. I had a bongo, but I wasn’t very good at playing it. For some reason John and Jane thought it would be great if I joined their band. That was when I met Charlene. She was coming down for the weekend and we would be playing in a British Legion club in Strawberry Hill. To cut a long story short we met on 2nd of March 2002, we were engaged on the 15th of August and married on the 7th of January 2003. My son was born in January 2007.

Craftwork changed hands I went back to work for James. His company was getting quite big and we were doing more and more projects that were getting bigger. One house we worked on was a house that was built in the late 1400’s in Essex and was brought, dismantled, moved and rebuilt in Kingston in the early 1900’s. It was a timber frame house and had lots of oak panelling inside. When the inside work was ending, I was asked to oversee the outside works. That was the first time I got asked to work managing other trades and have never looked back really from that time. Next, I was asked to fill in on a job where the site agent was going on holiday for a couple of weeks. I got on so well with the client that they asked if I would stay on and complete the house and the other guy got moved to another job.

This is the first house that I built from scratch. It was also how I got into drawing, as in CAD work. A lot of work that we did was design and build. This house had a big conservatory at the rear of the house. But it was unclear from the details we had how to construct it. We wanted to send the drawings out to be quoted and manufactured, but this would not be possible with the details we had. So, I started to draw the conservatory on a program I brought from a shop. We had it successfully manufactured. Then I started on other parts of the house like the front door.  From there I have used it to do drawings on lots of different projects that I have been a part of. I have upgraded over the years to the best level I can get so I can do more interesting things. It also does 3D models which is great if you are trying to work out how something will look or work.

I have built a lot of houses since then. Mainly in this high-end sector of the market.

Many of the houses have had:

  • Basements
  • Swimming pools.
  • Gyms
  • Cinema rooms
  • Controlled lighting such as Lutron.
  • Air conditioning
  • Stone floors and walls.

Some others such as the Kingston Hill refurb and The Langley Hotel have been listed and so attention to detail and trying to preserve what remained where high priorities.

I have also done some social housing. Most of the work has been for developers though. For most of the time I have been self employed as a sole trader and then in more recent times I started my company Rmaysing Design and Build Ltd which is what I trade under now.

If you click this link Project tab you can see a lot of the other projects that I have managed since that time.

An ariel shot of a  trussed roof being constructed. An arieal shot of a job I was on.

What I do when I'm not working. 

When I'm not working I like to be outdoors if the weather let me. I try to go camping with my son at least once a year. I like fishing as well, all types, both sea and fresh water. I also have a love of wood turning and carving spoons. Recenly I have also been into making different kinds of Jewellery. If that is something you want to have a look at and might find interesting you can see more about it by clicking the link here.