Again I must apologise for the long gap between posts! Its very busy at work at the minute and the pile of files and drawings on my desk only proves that!
So what have I been up to? There has been a lot of firsts in the past couple of weeks from my first bill to my first argument with a sub contractor (nothing serious not to worry!)
So last week saw me complete my first bill. A large landscaping package for a high end residential development in London. It took me around 2 weeks on and off to do and taught me a hell of a lot about why SMM7 is so important to what we do as QS’s. On completion the bill ran to 14 pages, so around 3 and a half pages per house. I managed to grasp SSM7 by the end of it all and learnt all about NBS specifications. I talked with the landscape architect often and analysed drawings to give an accurate bill, which by the end of it I was very happy with! Lets see if the review of it goes well with my manager! I haven’t been to this site yet but I am assured I will do with time, as the project is still in the early stages of construction.
Staying on the topic of London I returned yesterday from a full day on site looking at the packages for Fiberous plaster and Lead work at another high end residential development, both of which are assigned under my responsibility. I worked closely with another graduate QS who is continuing to be very helpful and compliant with my requests! (Yes I make my own requests and it feels rather strange asking people to get or do things for me!) It was on our way round I met the head sub contractor for the ceiling packages and it quickly went pear-shaped after he asked me for 75,000 extra on top of the fee he had already estimated in order to finish the ceilings with the variations given. I naturally asked for a breakdown of where these costs had arisen from and that if there was proof to back up the costings and I had no queries on the breakdown I had been given then I would be able to issue the funds at the next valuation. I was soon met with a meagre response to which it was decided he would send me a breakdown of the rooms where variations had been made. The day was made even more fun by using Boris bikes to get to and from site to the cars and after being told I had 10 minutes to make it to the car I soon found myself sweating profusely and wishing I had just pulled a cab over! My legs were not exactly ‘sturdy’ after that ride let me assure you. All in all though a successful day leading to plenty more work to be done.
I am learning the cycles that you go through now from a pre tender estimate through to later construction stages and this is an eye opener as to how much involvement the modern QS has. I am constantly learning about how things are built and why they are built in such a way. I have learnt totally new aspects to the construction of ceilings, roofs, foundations and many more aspects which really has excited me greatly. I must say though its easy to get them muddled up in a meeting and look like a bit of a divvy!
So whats the plan going forward? More of the same I would say. I would like to look at value engineering more which is obviously a key feature of the role along with spending some more time understanding construction drawings, which can be very complicated for the bigger sites we work on.
I now feel accomplished. Not fully accomplished but very pleased with my quick progress! I don’t feel as left behind in meetings nor out of the picture when it comes to discussing key issues with a build. I am confident in measuring many aspects of a build and writing this up into bills and estimating sheets proficiently. I feel like I am truly coming on already and this is very rewarding. I can truly say I am thankful I chose this career it offers so much!
I will sign off here as I should get back too it! I will try and post some pictures up of me on site soon but of course I have to have permission from the client which can take some time! The works summer party is on Friday and maybe this will give me a chance to mingle some more with my colleagues and work out the creases in my game plan to becoming a quality QS more easily!