A week in the life of... a surveyor

Andy Davies - one of our surveyors - took a few minutes to talk to Inside Housing Magazine. He shares his varied week of managing home adaptations to make life easier for older residents, conducting interviews, and a roof replacement project


I start the week with an early start at home in Oxford. My first job is to log on and suss out the week ahead. Our flexible way of working at Thrive Homes means that if I’ve got an afternoon of travel ahead of me, I can work from home in the morning, which saves time and I can reduce my miles on the road (and my carbon footprint!) by heading straight from home to site and avoiding a trip to the office in between.

Later, I set off for my first job of the week. Thrive operates across the northern Home Counties, but our patch is growing. A big part of my job is being responsible for managing home adaptations. We’re really focussed on delivering homes where people can thrive and are suitable for the needs of the individuals or families that live there. Making sure people can downsize or move into more appropriate housing as they get older is an important part of that puzzle. Our adaptation work can be anything from minor work like handrails and other support for those with disabilities or other challenges, to larger pieces of work like installing a wet room.


A morning spent in Oxfordshire, carrying out some inspections to check on the progress of a maintenance project.  I’m then back in the office for a few interviews. We’re on a big recruitment drive at the moment as the number of homes we manage is increasing.

The job is quite different to when I started after I left school, over 32 years ago. We work really hard to make sure there’s traceability on all our work, so we know what work has been done, which materials have been used (not just for building safety but also for sustainability measurement), and which contractor has carried out what. It's a fair bit of digital paperwork to contend with, but it’s incredibly important. The extent to which we’re using data at Thrive really sets us apart.  


Today I’m turning my attention to a roof replacement project. This is what I enjoy most about the job, it’s such a varied role - every day is different.  Some works might be straightforward, and others may be more complex, such as our external wall insulation works set to improve the energy efficiency of our older properties. That might mean working out how we access a building or a home with minimum disruption or how to keep projects moving as quickly and efficiently as we can. We manage over 5,000 homes at Thrive, and that’s set to grow significantly over the next few years.


On to a bit of decorating today. We run cyclical programmes to keep homes we manage looking their best. There might be a few customer requests to deal with too – any issues or repair items that require sorting. Our teams work really hard to support our customers, and we aim to get to them as quickly as we can to get the job done. It’s my responsibility to make sure any sub-contractors are keeping our customers informed and that they’re happy with the work through to the end.


A positive end to the week with a lovely bit of feedback from a gentleman for whom we just fitted a new wet room. Projects like that help people stay in the homes they love for longer – making sure they have the support within their home to live as independently as they can. He was chuffed to bits with the outcome and had passed on his thanks back to our head office.

Such a kind gesture to make an effort like that to say thank you – it really has a positive impact on my day when things like that happen.


This post was originally published by Inside Housing on 9th September 2022