Today we launch the hunt for Screwfix’s Britain’s Top Tradesperson

Today we launch the hunt for Screwfix’s Britain’s Top Tradesperson – an award which could change your life.

Not only does the winner bag a brand-new £32,000 (OTR) Toyota PROACE van or Hilux pick-up but they also get the coveted title of Britain’s Top Tradesperson 2017. And landing the gong has certainly boosted the business of last year’s winner Richie Maxwell – in fact he has quadrupled his workforce. The bricklayer, 30 – who runs RDM Elite Builders Limited – hasn’t stopped since he received the phone call from Screwfix telling him he’d won.

“The volume of work has been incredible,” he explains. “We’ve had to take on more staff. We now have 12 staff, and we only had three before, so that shows how much it’s changed us. “Also, really good local workmen are keen to get on board with us as they want to be associated with this award.

“They like working for a company doing well and it creates a buzz about the place – we’ve become the top company to work with.”

The third-generation brickie, from Tillicoultry, near Stirling, Scotland, impressed judges with his blend of modern business methods and loyalty to his own grandfather’s traditional standards of workmanship. Richie reckons he laid his first brick when he was five years old and is keen to give local youngsters of all ages a window into his work.

He says: “I was building a new classroom at a primary school very close to where the kids were having their lessons. “They were so fascinated by my work they wouldn’t concentrate, so the teacher asked me to come in and give a talk about what I was doing. I think they loved it!”

As well as having Britain’s top building accolade attached to his business he also got to drive away his own new motor – a Toyota Hilux pick-up. He says: “I’ve never had a brand-new pick-up like this so I love going to work in it. “There’s plenty of room for all my tools and anything I’d ever need for my next big job.”

And Richie’s vehicle has acquired another fan – his son, Corey, five. “Corey loves the vehicle more than me!” laughs Richie. “He’s even been correcting people when they call it a car, he’s like, “It’s a Hilux!” He loves sitting in it and being high up with his dad so he can see all the road.”

Not only is his BTT title and prize vehicle making it easier to jump out of bed in the morning, Richie’s also enjoying it more when he gets to each job.

He says: “The confidence the award has given me has been immense. Having this endorsement is great. “It not only gives me confidence, but attracts new customers as well because they know they’ll get great service. “Big contractors might not always go to a small business like me but with this endorsement they are now saying: ‘Look we’re putting this guy on the job as he’s won this national title’. “It really helps not only with the volume of work but the quality of it as well.”

What helped swing the award for Richie ahead of 9 other finalists at a winner-takes-all showdown at Wembley Stadium was his dedication to detail. Regardless of whether he is working on a big-name project or a small job for an elderly lady, Richie always gives his all.

He says: “I’ve got extremely high standards. The work is always an obsession – even when I have done my best, I’m always thinking about how I could improve it or make it extra special. “I’m always trying to improve, learn new things and make any sort of tweak or change to my business.”

Richie and wife Paula, 30, are enjoying the fruits of holding the title for the past 12 months. And he has some words of advice for any tradespeople – male or female – who is unsure whether they have what it takes to enter.

He says: “The feedback I’ve had from other tradespeople is they don’t have the time to fill out the form or it is not their type of thing. Make it your type of thing. “I know people are busy, but it’s a fantastic competition and it’s completely changed my life – my whole future has changed for the better. It takes no time to enter and it can do wonders for your company and its future.”

So tradespeople of Britain, next time you down tools to make a brew, make sure you pick up a form too!

HOW TO ENTER  To enter the Britain’s Top Tradesperson competition to win a £32,000 (on the road) Toyota PROACE van or Hilux pick-up, drop into any Screwfix store or go online at where you can also find further details of the competition. Entry closes on 4th June 2017, with the grand final held in July.