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Never a dull day- Damp & Timber Surveyor, Trainer, Expert Witness, Auditor

Posted by: on 26/04/2019

In The News

When I meet people and they ask me what I do for a living, I am always at a bit of a loss as to what to say. Three years ago I was offered the opportunity to work for the Property Care Association (PCA) as the head trainer on the newly launched 'specialist apprenticeship' scheme. After due consideration, I accepted their very kind offer and decided that the time was right for me to venture into pastures new. Having run my own businesses for over 30 years, during which time I provided employment to over 100 staff, I decided it was time to go it alone as a freelance trainer and independent specialist surveyor. It was a huge step for me to once again become a sole trader and not be surrounded by staff who were not only work colleagues but became close friends that I had huge respect for.

A number of my staff ventured off and created their own businesses and although they were to some extent in competition with my businesses, I took some pride in it witnessing their own individual successes.

Do I have any regrets about going it alone as a sole trader? The truth is I have no regrets whatsoever, I enjoyed every moment of working with my previous colleagues, but the opportunities which have come my way in the last three years have at times been overwhelming, although always exciting. I was speaking to an associate earlier today and he asked me how businesses had been in the first few months of this year. I said I had been incredibly busy with hardly a moment to spare and this question spurred me on to take a look back over the previous few months to see exactly what I'd been busy with. So here's a breakdown of what has kept me busy over the previous few months.

Specialist Surveys as a PCA Independent Surveyor 63 number

Group Training Sessions 24 days

In-house Individual Training Sessions 6 days

Property Care Association Audits 2 number

Expert Witness work (including court appearances) 8 days

Individual mentoring sessions 6 days

When I analysed my recent activity, It brought home to me just how very different my career is to what it was three years ago. There are literally never two days the same. Just over three years ago, I would never have imagined that I would have been doing what I am now doing, and I am thankful every day for the amazing opportunities that have come my way. My work can be demanding and I can't ever remember putting in as many hours (averaging70 hour weeks) but the positive is I can't ever remember quite enjoying my work as much as I do now.

So what do I do for a living? I do all of the above, and I absolutely love it.

Surveyor Training Surveyor Training- Explaining 'Dew Point' with the help pf some props.
An explanation of strip foundations To understand building, you have to start at the bottom (foundations) and work your way up.
Using a torch and mirror to locate fungal decay in a sub-floor void If a Survey needs to be done- it has to be done properly.
Checking for woodworm/fungal decay below the floor. Inspecting the timbers for hidden defects
Inspecting roof timbers for evidence of wood rot/woodworm Roof timbers are inspected on every pre-purchase Survey
A dry rot sporophore Dry rot can turn up in the most unexpected of places.
Combining technology to get to the root cause of the damp Condensation investigation work
Wall plaster in contact with the floor Relying solely on a damp meter is never a good idea.
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