A PAIR of tradesmen have developed an app that could transform working life in the construction industry.

Gas and heating engineers Lloyd Bird and Adrian Snell devised TradeZapp after they were stumped by a by a technical problem while on a job.

After calling friends and searching internet forums, they realised the delay was costing money and wondered why there was no way of communicating with other tradesmen in real time.

“We’ve had discussions with quite a few people and everyone’s of the same opinion, that the construction industry was behind the times in terms of communication,” said Mr Snell.

“We’ve tried to tap into that and create something that bridges the gap.”

TradeZapp has taken more than three years to produce, working with Poole company Codestone.

Tradesmen can ask each other questions and receive points for helpful answers.

“During the set-up procedure you specify your trade and special skills. When you’ ask a question, you can look at it very generally or you can target it to a specific skill set or trade,” said Mr Snell.

“Then everyone who’s signed up and selected that skill or trade will get the message.”

People can also use the app anonymously, if they are reluctant to admit what they don’t know.

The business partners, both aged 35, run Total Gas & Heating Solutions in Broadstone, and in recent times Mr Snell has been devoting most of his time to the app project.

The pair had already built up an online community on Facebook.

“There’s definitely a market there. We’ve got a good marketing plan, we’ve got a good half a million people to roll it out to on Facebook,” said Mr Snell.

While the basic app is free, users can upgrade to a ‘pro’ version. The upgrade gets the user a website where they can create a portfolio, showing two jobs and three photographs per job for £2.99 a month, or unlimited jobs and up to 50 images for £4.99 a month.

The pair have been promoting the app with a “bacon butty tour”, where they worked with the charity Crumbs Project to deliver 2,000 bacon sandwiches to construction workers locally.

The charity works with adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues and other conditions, helping them lead a life of independence with skills in administration, house-keeping and catering.

TradeZapp can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices.