Established in 2000, A19 are a family run building maintenance company. Services include cleaning, re-decorating, building repairs, pest control, garden clearing and maintenance.
A19 often address challenging situations to prepare rental property for future tenants. I met with owner Mark to find out more.
An offer too good to refuse
Mark explains, “At 17, I started out buying and selling scrap metal. The first year went really well and I was able to buy a scrap yard and open up a skip company. 8 successful years later I received a tempting offer from someone wanting to buy me out. It was too good to refuse so I sold. Prior to that, I’d started a domestic cleaning company so I figured I’d just run that part time for a while. Securing some work with Hambleton Council was a catalyst for our growth. Word got round that we did a good job and soon we were being recommended to other councils. As clients moved jobs, we benefitted from more work and it really grew from there.”
“Throughout the 1980’s when work was everywhere, we stuck with the jobs that no-one else liked doing. Solving the problems that most people had no desire for, or any idea how to solve. That perseverance really paid off and we were inundated with jobs. Then the recession hit. When other building maintenance companies around us were going bust, our reputation for good solid work kept us going and carried us through those difficult years.”
Every situation has a story
“These days, the majority of our work comes from local councils, housing associations and environmental health departments. We service councils as far away as Hull and Berwick, providing a key to key service. Essentially, a tenant hands in a key and we go in and make that property good. This might include doing a deep clean, handling repairs or undertaking a complete re-decoration ready for re-letting. Unfortunately it’s very common for us to visit a property where a tenant has passed away or where illegal substances have been in use. Every situation has its own story and we’ve seen it all. Our team are highly trained, specialist technicians who are there to re-instate a property and its surroundings to their former glory.”
It sounds like some days can be pretty tough for the A19 crew. Let’s find out more about them.
All in the family
“We’re a family run firm. My daughter administrates the office whilst my wife keeps it well maintained and operational. There are 9 full time members of staff here and our team extends to a number of trusted landscapers and subcontractors. All are local lads who have worked with us for between 15-35 years. It’s an extremely experienced team, who are DBS checked and willing to work hard. In this day and age finding good staff is difficult but keeping staff is even harder. I’m very proud of our low staff turnover.”
Respect and sensitivity
“We play a vital role in helping councils, housing associations, and property management companies create and maintain safe, healthy and attractive living environments. It’s not always easy work. You need a strong disposition and a solid sense of humour to work here! For example we undertake contracts for mortuary cleaning. So we need guys who can also show respect and sensitivity.”
There when you need us
“We recently transformed an entire estate in Selby. It started with cleaning graffiti, picking up litter then jet washing all of the houses and roofs. The gardens were so overgrown that the uPVC windows had turned yellow. Understandably, prospective tenants did not want to live there with 40% of the houses being refused. By the time we finished, that number reduced to only 7% and we’re now the maintenance contractor. If new graffiti appears, we’ll be there within 24 hours to remove it. If someone dumps a bag of rubbish there, we’ll clear it within 12 hours: we don’t break promises. That strategy means that each time a customer has another problem, A19 are top of the list to call.”
Earth, wind and fire
“A19 is quite a unique company. Customers enjoy the fact that we are a one stop shop. We’ve been doing this for over 40 years & we’ve never turned a job down. If I can’t do it or haven’t got a tradesperson to do it, I’ll find someone. Having a long standing network of over 200 people means we can take the problem away, think about it and then return with a solution. For example we were called out today to a flooded garage above a block of flats. We popped over to fix the roof and drains and prevented further damage. In the same week a tenant has abandoned a car, which has been set alight. We were called in to deal with it!”
So what brought Mark to the Terry Dicken Business Park?
An ideal location
“Our family recently relocated to Great Ayton. The business was based on another business park nearby. However we just couldn’t see the value in staying there after the recent rent increase. I’m a regular visitor to TK’s Cafe as I have horses nearby so was already familiar with the Terry Dicken Business Park. When I called Mark he explained about a unit that had just opened up. We viewed it, thought it was fantastic and jumped at it! It’s an ideal location on a very nice park and the landlords are very down to earth.”
So if you have a problem, if nobody else can help, and you can find them (address below), maybe you can hire the A19 team!
A19 can be found at Unit 35, Terry Dicken Industrial Estate, Station Road, Stokesley, TS9 7AE
For a full list of building maintenance services visit their website or call 01642 612111