The Carpet Fitter of the Year 2017 Finalists

Darren Ash

My name is Darren Ash from Malvern, Worcestershire and I have been fitting carpets/ flooring and running my own successful business for over 30 years. I started my flooring career straight from school having spent many a school holiday helping out and learning the basics. My father was my mentor and instilled in me the importance of always doing the best job possible and leaving the customer satisfied - wise words which certainly made an impression on me.
I joined the NICF in 2014 and successfully took the Master Fitter exams. I soon realised the benefits the additional NICF qualifications brought in setting myself apart from all the other carpet fitters around. I currently hold the Master Fitter qualification in both carpet and domestic vinyl as well an NVQ in carpet fitting; in addition, I have attended various courses in carpet and luxury vinyl tiles throughout my career and pride myself on keeping up-to-date with the very latest industry standards as they develop to ensure a high standard of installation on all my work.
I am a committed family man with one teenage daughter, Millie.
Having reached the Final last year, I felt compelled to enter again this year. I am very proud to be a Finalist for the second consecutive year as I feel there is some unfinished business!!
Darren Ash

Jason Draper

I'm Jason Draper from Burton Latimer, Northants, I am married to Stacey and have 2 beautiful girls, Lily-Rose and Violet. I've been in the flooring trade since my first job in a shop aged 15. I was in charge of making tea, tidying the shop and general warehousing duties. I started helping carpet fitters soon after and this is where I discovered an interest in the job. From there I joined a team full time in 2001 and soon after was on my own fitting carpets in local domestic and commercial property.
I joined the NICF 2 years ago and am a master fitter in LVT and laminate. I attend regular courses to keep up to date with new ideas and developments to provide my customers with the best value and the best finish to their jobs. It's a great achievement to be in the final and I hope that we can all contribute to raising the profile of the trade.
I wish all the finalists the best of luck!!!
Jason Draper

Dan Evans

I have been part of the flooring trade since the age of 14. I started out working alongside family members and soon realised that this was what I wanted to pursue as my career. I now run my own successful business where I fit all different kinds of floor coverings, especially enjoying the challenge of bespoke designs, ensuring that customer specifications are met and fitting to the very highest standard.
I attended my first FITA Course in 2008 where I then got a taste for further training. It opened my mind to new and different ways of doing the job in the best way possible. Since then I have undertaken numerous courses and have achieved Master Fitter Status in carpet, luxury vinyl tile and laminate. I pride myself on keeping up to date with current standards.
Flooring is more than my job, it is a passion of mine and I am very much looking forward to competing at Harrogate in September. It has always been one of my life long ambitions to compete in 'Carpet Fitter of the Year' and needless to say I am thrilled to have this opportunity and to be a Finalist.
Dan Evans

Rob Harper

I've been involved in flooring now for 15 years and worked up from the bottom. I've seen much while I've been involved in the industry. With a background in the motor trade, I was amazed when I started that apparently no formal training or certification is required. I found a website, the NICF, began looking into ways to improve. Getting funds together for training seemed hard, especially after a year in and out of hospital, but was keeping an eye on things with a view to the future. I found flooring forums and began to learn from the work of others. I started upgrading my own work, and started to get noticed.
As time went on, I got talking to some very influential figures in the industry, received some guidance as I worked towards booking those training courses. I've worked hard to get somewhere in this industry, my work was noticed and with help from people like Matthew Bourne and Brian King,
I've advanced to a point where I had the confidence to enter a national tournament, Carpet Fitter Of The Year 2017, and made it to the finals. I couldn't have done it without embracing training. The proudest moment of my career is right now!
Rob Harper

Byron Terrett

My name is Byron Terrett my career in floor laying span's over 29 years. My first opportunity to do so came via the family business. My parents owned an Interior Design business, which involved supplying and installing floor coverings.
Before even leaving school I had made the decision that I would pursue a career in the installation of floor coverings. I had the privilege to work alongside Mike Whale, who represented the UK in the European floor laying competition (2004). I learnt many skills during this time. Having this experience reinforced my desire to make this my career choice. On my professional journey I worked alongside Tim Nicholas, who imparted to me further skills that have made me what I am today.
I have gone on to achieve my NICF Master Fitter qualifications (carpet and laminate categories), Quickstep Master fitter (laminate, hardwood and vinyl categories), Karndean approved installer also obtaining an NVQ level 2 in textile and resilient floor coverings.
I take great pride in what I do and have begun to focus on transferring those skills to others and as the main fitter within the family run business I have begun up-skilling our fitting teams.
I have great passion for what I do and embrace any opportunity I have to broaden my skill set and evolve. Last year I was fortunate to make and take part in the Carpet Fitter Of The Year 2016, which was a huge opportunity and great privilege.
This competition is a great opportunity to showcase our trade. And I feel very lucky to be able to play a part in it.
Byron Terrett

John Wright

My name is John wright. I've been a carpet and floor layer for 26years. I started working with my cousin at allied carpets at the age of 16.the moment I walked into the 1st house I actually found a job I Love I feel as passionate now as I did then.
Since then I've done my best to keep up to date with all training and product knowledge. Since joining the nicf it's given me even more passion to learn and provide the exceptional service that our trade truly can offer. When I first saw carpet fitter of the year in the early 90s it was always something I aspired to do, with the push I needed from my partner Tracey of 21 years and my 2 boys Cameron 15 & Liam 12 it was a great honour to get to the semi finals of carpet fitter of the year with 11 exceptional carpet fitters. To progress to the final was an amazing feeling yet extremely nerve racking. I would like to thank the NICF, FITA and all the sponsors for providing this opportunity for our trade.
Good luck to everyone in the final.
John Wright

Our semi-finalists who participated in the 2017 practical trials

  • Darren Ash

  • Hayden Barr

  • Michael Beard

  • Jason Draper

  • Dan Evans

  • Steve Fretwell

  • Robert Harper

  • Daniel Jones

  • Jamie Nelson

  • Byron Terrett

  • Sam Willis

  • John Wright