We’ve always believed that MyBuilder is the best way for tradespeople and homeowners to find each other - but even we couldn’t have predicted how good our matchmaking skills can be.
When Louise James posted a simple job to replace a porch door on MyBuilder back in the summer of 2016, she was hoping for a reliable carpenter to fit the door and construct a new frame - but it’s fair to say she got a lot more than she bargained for. The tradesman who showed up didn’t just end up being a reliable chippy - he’s now her husband.
Louise, from New Eltham, South London, said: “It was love at first sight, and I can honestly say that even though I was never really a romantic person. You know they talk about the thunderbolt that hits you when you meet the love of your life? It was like that. Very hard to explain. It’s also a bit cringey saying that back. But totally true!”
According to Louise, it was Andy James’ Beatles t-shirt that first provided the spark of connection. After taking measurements for the door, Andy spotted a Beatles cushion on her sofa, and the two started chatting about their shared love of music. When Andy left over an hour later, Louise couldn’t stop thinking about him, but it was his “fantastic quote” (Andy still insists the low price was a genuine mistake) that ensured he got the job.
Luckily, the feedback was glowing:
The two became friends on Facebook and messaged each other about music and upcoming gigs. Louise said: “It was nothing flirty - just like chatting to a mate.” There was no pining involved though, as Louise soon asked Andy to take on some more jobs - replacing the staircase, and then the doors in her home. “It all genuinely needed doing,” she said. “I was so happy that I’d found someone I could trust to be in my house doing all this work while I was out at work - and someone I knew would do a fantastic job.”
In April 2017, a storm knocked down fence panels and a wooden arch in Louise’s garden, meaning another callout for Andy. While chatting in the garden, Andy mentioned his weekend plans to visit some of his old haunts in Bermondsey, and not wanting to skirt around the question any longer, Louise suggested stopping by on her way to see her cousin in St Albans. “I had to make the move,” Louise said: “He’s sort of shy in his own way, and said he would never have asked me. We agreed to meet at Rotherhithe station at 11am on the Saturday morning.”
While having lunch, Louise’s cousin called to cancel their plans. “Andy still maintains to this day that I arranged the phone call - I didn’t!” Louise insists. The pair spent the day walking along the riverside and stopping in at pubs, finishing at the Mayflower, where Andy’s grandparents used to be regulars. Louise said: “We were at the bar standing very close because the pub was packed, suddenly a song came on, Machu Picchu by The Strokes, and we both commented straight away that we loved the song - it’s been ‘our song’ ever since. And then he held my hand and that was that. We’ve been inseparable since.”
In June 2019, Andy and Louise tied the knot, holding a reception at the Mayflower. Louise became stepmother, and step-grandmother to Andy’s two adult children and grandchildren. Louise, who works in IT at the Houses of Parliament, said it’s amazing how easily their lives have dovetailed together: “Everything happened so neatly. My mum and I have gone from being the two of us to having this big family around us, and it’s lovely for all of us.”
The hardest thing, according to Louise, is getting Andy to keep up with jobs around the house. “He’s always so busy with work,” Louise said, “he never has time to do jobs at home!”
But even if a few jobs go unfinished, it’s fair to say that MyBuilder worked out pretty well for Louise and Andy in the long run.