Professional Builder Magazine gives an annual award for innovation to a company or person who has produced an innovative product of real benefit to builders.
The award is given in memory of our first product reviewer, Charles Godfrey, who had a passion for helping to nurture products invented by people working on the tools.
Long before Dragon’s Den was devised Charles was holding one-to-one sessions with inventors to see if he could help them develop their ideas. In stark contrast to the ritual humiliation so often dished out by the Dragons’ Den team Charles put people at their ease and took the time to encourage and offer ‘constructive criticism’.
The Den without the Dragon was a big success, and he had a steady stream of inventors coming to see him, eager to breathe some life into their ideas.
There are many products that we now take for granted that came through that route. It is in that spirit that Professional Builder now hosts the Inventors’ Corner feature. One such entry earlier this year was the Cladman invented and manufactured by James Gibbens of Site Buddyz. James, a carpenter by trade, is also a serial inventor and has several projects on the go, but is still very much hands on with his carpentry work.
Cladman allows one person to fix horizontal cladding to a building with ease and precision. He estimates that it can cut the time taken to clad a building by 2/3rds. Ideally you will have one person on the chop saw and another person fixing.
Uniquely, Cladman works as well on man-made boards, such as cement fibre and PVCu, as it does on more traditional timber cladding, such as feather-edge and ship-lap.
It also accommodates different sizes of board. A noteworthy feature is the fact that it doesn’t mark the cladding in any way, which is particularly important with high end timber products and coloured cement fibre.
Like so many inventions it looks very simple, but getting it to its present stage took several prototypes and considerable investment.
Any inventor will identify with this and it is a testament to the determination of people such as James that they see their idea through to fruition. We are happy to give Cladman the 2016 Charles Godfrey Award for Innovation and report that Cladman is now in full production and comes complete with a carry case.
For more information on Cladman click here.