Trade Wars

Stan the Builder – The Gisborne Herald

He’s become a social media celebrity and recognized as a DIY legend for his Miter10 home improvement videos, but Stan Scott doesn’t just help people around the house. He was dedicated to imparting valuable life skills long before the rise of YouTube. Andrew Ashton reports. . .

Pre-planning and asking for construction advice are the two things social media sensation and longtime builder Stan Scott, according to Stan Scott, are the key to successful DIY renovations and learning how to do it. new life skills.

Having featured some of New Zealand’s best-known home improvement TV shows, Stan recently became a hit on YouTube, where his home improvement videos have achieved legendary status.

Born in Manawatu, before his family moved to Auckland when he was five, he graduated from Edgewater College in Pakuranga. This is where his mastery of woodworking and photography emerged.

“The only thing that fascinated me was the carpentry. I started an apprenticeship at the age of 15 and have just turned 51. So it’s been 36 years of construction and I still love it.

Stan now lives in Okitu, with his wife Natalie – his family is from Gisborne – and their two children Rio and Vienna.

“I have a lot of family from Gisborne, for several generations. I bought a house here about seven years ago and moved in permanently about three years ago, ”he said.

Before settling here, Stan spent 30 years in construction in Auckland, before deciding to ask the question that would put him on a new trajectory.

“I had been building for about 18 years and was getting a little bored doing the same. It was back to the start of all DIY shows like Hot Property and Changing Rooms and DIY Rescue. So I just called the production company.

At the time, the celebrity builder on New Zealand screens was John “Cocksy” Cocks.

“I asked him if he needed a helping hand and was told I could start tomorrow. “

Dan started renovating Cocksy’s house for himself and did a lot of work behind the scenes on DIY shows.

“Then I ended up leading a few of them as the chief builder of DIY Rescue and Trade Wars and a few others. “

After that, he got a call from TVNZ to audition for a TV commercial for Mitre10.

“I was literally under a stacking house and walked into the studios with cobwebs and mud all over me and went to audition. They called me back about three times and it turned out to be for a DIY video series, and that was 10 years ago.

“For the first few years, I kept renovating houses and doing the Miter10 thing, then the Miter10 thing really took off. Videos got more and more popular and we were shooting a lot more. So I had to choose one or the other and took over the work of Miter10, and it’s more and more popular.

Stan’s videos have now racked up millions of views, but he’s still a pretty entrenched Kiwi.

“I am quite discreet. I just keep my head down but am always happy to answer people’s calls. I do a radio show every other Friday, with Jesse Mulligan, and I have my own radio show, which I’ve been doing for about 15 years on Magic Talk on a Saturday morning, where we take people’s calls and give advice. DIY. It’s good to be able to have knowledge that you can pass on to others.

“It’s like anything, if you don’t know what you’re doing some people just don’t want to start. I restored a Ford Model A and didn’t know anything about it. It is only when you meet other people who are familiar with this sort of thing and you can ask them.

“Most people are happy to give advice and the same goes for me. If I can help anyone, I’m more than happy.

“It’s a good thing, it’s just about imparting knowledge and making sure someone is doing it right. It’s a good feeling when you are building something and can take a step back and watch it, knowing that you have done it yourself and it is very rewarding for both parties.

“I think today in this throwaway society we’ve lost a lot of our skills and the need to fix things. (But) now that things are so expensive and a lot of people are more environmentally conscious, they don’t want to throw anything away.

It meant people were more aware of the value of having life skills to fix things.

“Knowing how to change a door lock is a great achievement. It’s just a great life skill, it makes you feel like you are able in life to do things on your own and survive on your own, and keep developing your knowledge.

People asking for advice come from “all walks of life,” says Stan.

“Over the past six or seven years, I have seen a massive transition to women entering the business and being more proactive at home. Women have no inhibitions in coming forward for advice, while sometimes men feel a little shy about asking because maybe they think they should know how to do it.

“Sometimes Miter10 has’ ladies’ parties’ and a thousand women show up and there is always a lady dragging her husband and saying ‘keep going, ask him’ how to do this and that.

“But it’s so good to see a lot more women going into DIY or carpentry, or whatever in the trade industry.”

Stan was also happy to pass on DIY nuggets for the Gisborne Herald.

“If there’s a project you want to do, make it very clear to yourself what exactly you want to do.

“First thing, maybe check with the council to make sure you are allowed to do this thing without a license or consent.

“Don’t be afraid to call a builder or someone in the construction industry for advice. You will find that there are many people who will freely give you advice.

“Building materials are getting so expensive now, be sure to research what you do first because you don’t want to stuff the materials. “

And “order your equipment in the middle of the week, so as not to waste your weekend”.

Stan Scott with Coco Photo by Liam Clayton

HAPPY PLACE: Stan Scott in his studio. Photo by Liam Clayton