Career built on firm foundations

Ian Cuthbertson explains the pressures and pleasures of his job as construction manager.

Ian Cuthbertson explains the pressures and pleasures of his job as construction manager.

AS construction director, I oversee the building and development of properties for North Tyneside construction company Turney Wylde and its private housing division Wylde Homes.

I am responsible for two contract managers, six site managers and a work force of 80 builders and tradesmen and spend my time across a number of sites across the North-East.

My days are mainly spent on building sites overseeing the various projects we have on the go and ensuring that these are being completed within given deadlines and budgets.

We’re building and modernising houses for Your Homes Newcastle, Gentoo (previously Sunderland Housing Group) and South Tyneside Council as well as a number of private developments including 12 new properties in Beadnall called Smugglers Cove. My time is therefore spent across numerous sites and I spend quite a lot of time on the road.

I would say that my favourite part of the job is the freedom of moving across site to site as opposed to being stuck in an office all day.

I also really enjoy meeting clients to make sure they’re happy with the work and seeing the final jobs complete on time and to the desired quality – it’s very rewarding.

This is a typical week:

Monday

I ARRIVE at the office to prepare for a newly awarded contract and have an internal handover meeting with our estimator to discuss the contract and any concerns raised.

I then have a site visit to make to Appleby Surgery where an ongoing contract is ready for handover this week. I need to ensure that the manager has any last minute assistance that may be required.

I return to head office in the late afternoon to check the day’s post and e-mails so I’m clear for whatever tomorrow brings..

Tuesday

I’M in bright and early today to prepare letters for typing and contracts manager’s report ready for a meeting with Sunderland Housing Group, which has recently been renamed Gentoo.

I start preparations with staff for two students who will be joining us next week on work experience. We need to ensure that personal protective equipment is provided for their use and that an itinerary for their week is put in place.

I leave head office at noon for a site meeting which lasts until 4pm then it’s back to office to discuss actions from the meeting.

To end the day I have a meeting with our managing director, David Wylde, to discuss various contracts, currwent and future.

I’ve worked for Turney Wylde for almost 30 years and love the variety of work we do. There have been many changes – health and safety, legislation and so on – but the achievement of a job well done is still the same.

Wednesday

Another early start. I have an 8am meeting in our office to discuss waste management. Then at 10am I have a seminar regarding Health and Safety and Employment Law.

I head back to the office for lunch – well, a sandwich snatched at my desk as I manage another catch-up.

The in the afternoon I make a visit our development at Beamish Rise, Stanley, in County Durham, which is a newly started site comprising 27 townhouses and apartments, to see first hand the progress that is being made.

Thursday

I ARRIVE in the office and enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins in full.

The first job of the day is to discuss the workload with our on-site joiners’ shop.

I needed to deal with the remainder of the post from the day before, prior to driving up the coast to Beadnell to discuss progress and labour resources. Beadnell is a development of 12 three-bedroomed stone-built terraced properties which are due to be ready later on this year.

While in the area I visit a further development in Embleton for which I am able to confirm to the client that we are complete, therefore again I need to discuss that transfer of labour.

I enjoy my lunch in the car before returning to the office where I need to collect information for a further new contract with South Tyneside Council.

This contract entails a visit to a school to access areas of work and finalise a scope of works.

I return to the office late afternoon to prepare the programme of works for the school and at 8.20pm return home to Forest Hall and my wife and two children for tea and – not much later – bed.

Friday

I START work and catch up with e-mails and post from yesterday. I then

complete the Health and Safety plan for the school contract.

I make a site visit with our managing director to a development we are building for Gentoo. It’s a social visit to talk to the manager and ensure the site is running to programme and that he is happy with the work.

Later on we have a meeting with Turney Wylde staff and Gentoo clients for an afternoon of networking or golf as it is often known.

Drop off guests and return home at 9-ish for a well deserved caravan break for the weekend.

Ian Cuthberton is construction director of Turney Wylde Construction, based at Tyne View Terrace, Wallsend, North Tyneside. The company can be contacted on (0191) 295-8600 or go to www.twcl.co.uk or www.wyldehomes.co.uk

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