A DETERMINED young entrepreneur who defied the recession to build a successful construction business - has been shortlisted for the title of Britain's top tradesman.

Clayton Lyon, 34, of Hookstone Way, Woodford Green, launched Perfect Concepts Ltd from a small office three years ago - and now runs a team of 25 skilled craftsmen working on projects across London with an annual turnover of nearly £1 million.

The former Wanstead High pupil, who has employed several school friends over the years, will find out on Thursday whether he has won the Government-backed Trustmark title after being nominated by an army of grateful customers.

The competition, which was entered by hundreds of companies, highlights the hard work of the UK's best builders - in a bid to improve the industry's tarnished reputation.

Mr Lyon, who is also due to make his TV debut on new BBC building series Mad About the House, said the secret of his success has been to concentrate on the 'moral contract' between his firm and its customers.

He said: "It's sad that some cowboy builders have given the industry a bad name, because there are so many good tradesmen out there who take great pride in their work.

"We always ensure that our customers are completely satisfied with our work and provide lots of after sale support to address any issues that may come up.

"It's about trust at the end of the day, and we've worked hard to make sure our customers have a constant imput into all of our projects."

Mr Lyon, who designed a jazz club before deciding to set up his own building firm, counts several celebrities among his customers - with most of his new business coming from personal recommendations.

He said: "Most of our work comes from word-of-mouth, which is great because it shows that people are pleased with us.

"We are busier now than ever, despite the recession. I would encourage anyone else who wants to start a business to go for it, but just don't lose sight of the moral contract with your customers."

The first episode of Mad About the House will be screened on BBC3 at 8pm on Thursday, November 19.

For more information on Trustmark visit: trustmark.org.uk.