‘I often get a reaction from people wondering what a 25-year-old woman is doing on the construction site’

The Lady Builder's signature pink cars

The Lady Builder's signature pink cars - Credit: Archant

As the fifth generation of a building family, project manager Claudia Wimpenney of The Lady Builder has construction in the blood

Claudia Wimpenny, The Lady Builder

Claudia Wimpenny, The Lady Builder - Credit: Archant

I grew up in the world of buildings and design as part of the Wimpenny family. We’ve been in the industry since 1884 – so I’m fifth generation. Construction is definitely in my blood and it was sort of inevitable that I would go into the family firm.

We had always been based in Yorkshire until my mother, Sue, decided to open Lady Builder in London six years ago seeing the many opportunities that there are in the capital.

She is an interior designer but with an amazing sense of vision about possible properties to do up and I like to think I have inherited this talent too.

Our firm offers the full gambit of renovations and building services from the architectural stage to planning permission and design... and everything else in between.

I believe women in this industry can often be straight talkers and better with customer service than our male counterparts. We are also more practical. As a simple example just the other day I integrated a specialised cabinet for a homeowner who hadn’t really thought about where her children’s shoes would go in the hall. She was delighted.

As a company we love our feminine status and our bright pink company cars although I often get a reaction from people wondering what a 25-year-old woman is doing on the construction site. Then it’s quite fun to see them change their opinion when I reel off information about the structure of the building or other technical details. So yes, the lack of females in the industry can produce some interesting reactions.

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Many of our clients are extremely busy people who want help with the whole process to save time and hassle, or else they are international customers who perhaps do not know about the local rules and regulations.

At the moment we are completely re-constructing a flat in Bayswater which will shortly go on the market. Our next project is doing up an apartment for a client in the same block.