My journey to becoming a Building Surveyor

It all started back in 2003 with my first restoration project at the age of 21. From a young age, I have always been interested in buildings. The love of buildings grew when I managed to get on the property ladder, and start my first building restoration project, a project that will always stay with me!

I decided a career change in 2006 and arranged a meeting with the Head of Dept. at Bolton University, where we discussed all the areas of my passion and interest. That day changed my life, when I was told "You want to be a Building Surveyor".

I started on the full-time course of a HND in Building Studies and loved every minute of it. In my second year, one of my course leaders approached me, he said, "There is a job advertised which would be perfect for you and you would learn so much whilst continuing with your studies". The job advertised was a Building Control Technician for a Private Approved Inspectors. I never thought for one minute that I would get the job but I did. So, I continued with my studies on day release, gaining my HNC in Building Studies (part time). I then went on to study my BSc Hons in Building Surveying at The University of Salford, which led to my promotion to a Building Control Surveyor.

It was at that point I felt my career was heading in the right direction and then the recession hit the industry, this was tough and I was made redundant in September 2009. I decided to concentrate on my studies, and the lack of jobs in the industry, I decided to go freelance in 2010 and successfully completed my degree with honours in July 2011.

I am a member of RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and I am currently working towards my full membership. This involves me attending several CPD (Construction Professional Development) courses throughout the year, recording my experience and a final assessment. I have 10 years' experience within the industry and well connected to other construction professionals.

As a Building Surveyor, my job is varied and no two days are the same. It's quite a complex discipline to be in as it crosses the paths of so many other construction disciplines, but that is what I love about it, I am constantly challenged and always learning. I love learning, solving issues and helping people. So, what's not to love?

I have high standards and I bring those to my work, whether it's a survey or a project, each gets my attention and critical eye. I have a saying and I stick by it "If I won't except in my own home I don't except it on site".

A home survey, is often the one time, someone really looks over every inch of a property and decides what it needs to maintain its integrity. This is when you can save someone from buying a potential money pit and the resulting heartache. Therefore, I will not leave without ensuring my client can make the best decision based on my report. I also look over all the exchanging documents and review them so that my client has all the facts they need when going forward with their negotiations.

Projects are another favourite of mine, from meeting the client for the first time, listening to their ideas, taking their ideas from conception through to completion. I think it is important to have a specialist team at your side during any kind of building work, as the results can be disastrous, and expensive, if it goes wrong. I love working as part of that team.

Running a business and juggling my home life isn't always easy, but I love being under pressure as it often means I am at my best. I (Danielle Wilkinson) am married with two young children and we live in the beautiful Peak District. As a family, we enjoy the surrounding countryside. You will often find us outside engaged in some activities; personally, I love horse riding and walking. I have run in a number of 'Race for Life' races and I am planning another charity run this year!



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