From a family job to the heights of The Block, the sky’s the limit for LCS Plumbing!
Les Clarke Junior has been a plumber for over twelve years and hails from a family of high end builders on the Mornington Peninsula. However, it wasn’t until his parents decided to build their dream home in 2018 that the scope of business for LCS Plumbing changed for good.
Architectural metal cladding was a major design feature of Les’s parents dream home and even though LCS Plumbing had never been involved in the installation of metal cladding, his parents were insistent that he take it on. So after much convincing he dived in and has never looked back.
“I met Shane Hart from Architectural Cladding Suppliers and he’s one of the friendliest guys I’ve ever met and had to deal with”, says Les. “He made me feel really comfortable and we’ve been talking to one another every second day for the last two years. Even though I’m only young, I’m a very old school type of guy. I expect to have a relationship with the people I’m talking to and dealing with.
I’ll call and talk to Shane and Troy from ACS for twenty minutes. They’re good at their jobs and they’re also good people.” says Les. “Your suppliers are part of your team. You’re nothing if you can’t get your product correctly and you rely heavily on them to be good at their job.”
When discussing the job that launched it all for LCS Plumbing, it’s clear that Les is extremely proud of his work and how the product has stood the test of time. “Snaplock in COLORBOND® steel Matt Monument® with Copper Penny® Interlocking transitions are two of the best metal cladding profiles I’ve seen put together. They compliment each other and just work together.”
“I feel like in the world of cladding you can have too much going on and on my parent’s house there’s a lot of it but the break-up between the two profiles and colours is the perfect mix. It just works beautifully” says Les.
When asked what one of the most important traits for all cladding installers should be, Les stressed the importance of patience and attention to detail. “Metal Cladding installation work is very different; you can’t just slap it on like any stock standard corrugated roof. Nothing can be hidden, it’s all seen so you have to be really conscientious about how you start, finish and do transitions.”
The more we talked to Les, the more his passion for his work became clear.
“I really love a nice, clean and simple finish. I love 38mm Snaplock Metal Cladding with a narrow pan of 185mm to 190mm. This delivers really beautiful shadow lines.”
When discussing upcoming trends in architectural metal cladding, Les is confident that COLORBOND® steel will continue to outshine its competitors. “The fact that you can use COLORBOND® steel virtually anywhere and it’s completely fire rated means that it’s just getting more and more popular.”
In regards to COLORBOND® steel being Australian made, Les goes on to say, “It’s not so much only being Australian made, it’s also the fact that you can work with one team of installers and once it’s on, it’s finished, it’s a beautiful product, it’s locally sourced and you can count on its durability and performance.”
In early 2020 another challenge that came Les’s way was an opportunity to be involved in the popular reality TV show The Block.
“It was baptism by fire. The speed in which things happen is brutal.” Les recounts. “LCS Plumbing had anywhere from eight to twelve guys working ten hour days five to six days a week throughout the filming of the show.”
“It was insane. You’d have fifty or sixty trades on site and then you’d have the camera crew doing there thing. It’s a very different atmosphere, it’s always buzzing. You can feel the pressure that everyone is under, the ridiculous time limit and you have to get the job done. Done well, to specification with an exceptional result.”
Some progress shots from The Block are shown above of the LCS Plumbing team laying the roof for house 5 on The Block 2020. “Running the sheets in 3 different directions and the 3 pitch changes, gives this roof an outstanding visual edge, and is ever so aesthetically pleasing!”
Going forward, the future looks bright for LCS Plumbing with work steadily increasing and the collaboration with Architectural Cladding Suppliers going from strength to strength.
“I wouldn’t be going anywhere else for my metal cladding supplies and that is because of the great relationship I have with the ACS team. Especially whilst working on The Block and the tight deadlines we had to meet, the ACS manufacturing team went above and beyond to meet our requirements. I enjoy dealing with everyone at ACS, they have been incredible to work with.”