HETAS approved installer Jane van Dijk has a gained such a great sense of achievement and job satisfaction through training to become a qualified installer, she feels the benefits for females working in the male-dominated heating industry should be more widely known
Jane, the company Director of Bury St Edmunds-based retailer Opulence, became a fully qualified installer in 2006. Prior to gaining her qualification, Jane sold fires and fireplaces then decided to become a HETAS qualified installer as the demand for wood burning stoves grew.
She says: “I sat my exam with SureFire at their Peak District offices and completed a H003 refresher course at Specflue in Sudbury, Suffolk. I’ve found having the HETAS accreditation to be invaluable. Now, when I am advising customers about an installation I know exactly what is involved. I was surprised at how few women there are who are installers and feel it should be widely known that women can forge a great career in the heating industry as there are plenty of opportunities for them. Although you don’t necessarily get preferential support because you’re a female, I think it definitely helps you to stand out if you doing a good job.”
Opulence Stoves were first established in 2004 and specialise in the supply and installation of stoves.
Jane adds: “We provide a supply only service or the complete service with stove installation including building work. With the complete service you can expect to receive a free home survey, which I usually carry out, to assess whether you will need to make any alterations and what size and type of stove you will require. These are important factors which need to be considered before you select a stove. Following this, our HETAS qualified installers will then install the stove you select; thus, providing the complete service from start to finish.”
At present Jane has four teams of installers installing multifuel and wood burning stoves throughout East Anglia, concentrating on Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Newmarket, Diss, Beccles and all outlying areas in between. Apart from the general running of the business, Jane likes to carry out home surveys to give advice on stove size, flue requirements and building work that may be required to install a stove.
“Our main aim as HETAS registered wood burner stove installers is to provide top quality service which puts safety first and gives each customer a personalised and professional service,” says Jane.
“I love meeting the customers and surveying their house as each house is different and comes with its own requirements. We sell a mixture of traditional, contemporary and tall cylindrical stoves which are becoming more popular. It is interesting for me to see how each region appears to have its own preference for a style of stove as each house is different and comes with its own requirements depending on whether it’s a modern home or a more traditional cottage. There is no such thing as a typical customer, it seems everyone wants to fit a wood burning stove and fortunately we can help as we have options for all budgets. I love seeing an installation through from start to finish. The moment when the customer sees their vision become reality is something quite special.”
For more information on becoming a HETAS qualified installer, contact HETAS on 01684 278170 or visit hetas.co.uk