A day in the life of a Senior Project Surveyor

What does your job involve day to day?

My day begins with a very busy start as a mum to four boys and commences with the school run.  So when arriving in the office, I prepare for my work day by writing up a to do list of  key actions and the day’s priorities.

When looking at new client schemes, I begin by looking at and understanding the client’s key priorities.  Once identified, these are my key reference points throughout  conception, detailed design and the construction.  In the early development stages, I like to attend the site location to gain an understanding of the areas, potential items for consideration and walk through the designs.  When managing the projects, I like to take into consideration other factors, if for instance, there is a school nearby that may be impacted by noise, or to evaluate if traffic would increase for pick up and drop offs.  Another consideration would be if there is a local Scout Group where the client and developer may wish to explore community engagement, building on their social value within the local community.  Therefore exploring the project as a whole.

As well as managing my own projects, I like to work as a Team, plus enjoy helping others within the Chelmsford Office.  I love to work on a variety of projects, branching out to  various different types of construction.  For example, I recently worked on a development of high rise apartments, and also a private house in a village location.  I am very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to have worked on these projects through all RIBA stages from concept to defects.

My favourite part of my job is the procurement and construction phase.  I particularly enjoy identifying the most suitable contract and method of procurement for a project as well as establishing the tendering process and how this will be managed.  This can be working with and exploring different framework opportunities or a restricted tender with contractors that have the relevant experience. 

How did you become a Senior Project Surveyor?

I joined Oxbury in November 2022.  Throughout my life, I have had a passion for houses and construction, so much so, that from a very young age I regularly read the local estate agents magazines where I was fascinated with the different methods of construction used and different style types.

I started my career in Estate Agency, but had a desire to be the one who was actively engaged in the construction of peoples’ homes.  This led me to exploring different roles and opportunities within the construction industry where I discovered Quantity Surveying. With a desire to learn the commercial understanding of a project, I  took the plunge and applied for a university degree in Quantity Surveying.

Whilst studying my Degree, I started within the profession, which has allowed me to gain over 8 years’ experience in the construction industry in a variety of sectors including Education, Residential and Commercial.  I saw an opportunity to further develop my experience and career at Oxbury and have already gained invaluable experience since joining the team.

What’s the best part of the job?

I feel the best part of my job is the ability in achieving something from nothing and finding solutions to problems during the journey.  I like seeing how someone’s idea or a local authority’s essential needs evolve and expand into something greater, therefore creating something that can be utilised and benefits many people.  I like seeing an end result which we as a company can be proud of.

I am personally very proud to have worked on an extension of a library in a London Borough that recently won the acclaimed RIBA National Award (2023).  The extension now provides the local community with an open-plan café and community hub that is utilised for community groups, special events and can be rented for private functions, creating more opportunities for the library itself to become self-sustainable.  I look forward to working on more projects like this in the future, where local authorities utilise existing buildings and opportunities to create a more sustainable future for essential community hubs.

What skills do you need?

I believe there are four key skills required to succeed as a Project Surveyor;  honesty, patience, the ability to listen and the desire to learn.

It is important that when working with clients, you work together in an honest, collaborative environment to ensure the client’s key priorities are achieved.  But most importantly, to ensure you can provide the very best service for your client, you need to understand the construction industry changes and continuing growth, with new technologies and opportunities being introduced, such as more sustainable development techniques, social value and safety requirements.

It is essential that you continue to develop and learn throughout your career to ensure you are always providing the most current advice.  

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