"draughtsman" [noun] ~ a skilled worker who draws plans of buildings or machines
"estimator" [noun] ~ an expert at calculation (or at operating calculating machines)
I began my career as a Trainee Estimator/Surveyor within roofing and cladding around 1988, learning the trade from pricing bills of quantities, as well as working out my own take-offs from drawings provided with tender documentation.
My employment also required me to attend college, and I began a day release college course over 4 years studying ONC [achieving 10 metits and 2 distinctions] and then HNC [achieving 2 merits and 10 passes] in Building Studies.
During the following two years, I also completed the five stage NFRC Roofing Technicians Course, and sat the NFRC Licentiate exam, all of which were passed with Credit.
At the completion of this course, and in order to progress my career, I began to get more involved in the design side of the industry, becoming more aware of the implications and reasoning behind the finalised detail produced. As I learnt more about the design, I began to see the advantage of an integated design/estimating relationship.
Over the following eight years, I spent as much time on the drawing board as I was allowed ~ I progressed from drawing and detailing a small £1,500 canopy above a roller shutter door, to a £480,000 purpose designed warehouse, factory and office block for a major paper producing manufacturer in Walsall, West Midlands. As this contract progressed, I became more and more involved with the day to day running of the site and the site operatives which again gave me an insight into an area where I could progress my career.
At this point I approached my employer and asked if I could be sent on Safety Awareness Courses applicable to the industry which were arranged through their in-house safety consultants. For the following two years, I worked on various contracts, seeing many through from tender stage, producing detailed drawings, organising site labour, producing interim valuations, right through to the agreement of the final account. It was during this period that I also became involved in the preparation of AutoCAD drawings and attended an AutoCAD Fundamentals three-day training course.
For the next four years, I became more of a Contracts Manager than a draughtsman, and I felt that I was losing touch with the main area of the industry which had held my attention for such a long time. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing better than to look at a well detailed project, when it is all complete and landscaped, and thinking "I drew that!".
It was then that I decided to become freelance. I set up my own office working from a 'log cabin' office in my garden, with main computer terminal and laptop for office and site visits. I purchased my own copy of AutoCAD 2006LT and have plotting facilities up to A1 size, and laminating capabilites up to A3 should you require these for your on-site operatives.
I feel that I offer a unique service to the industry, and operate in a niche marketplace. I take immense pride in my work, and I believe every client has the potential for repeat order business. I use my own "double-checking system" where material schedules are rechecked on blank sheets of paper on a different day to when they were first scheduled ~ this is my way of limiting potential mistakes.
My aim is to provide a complete service to the roofing and cladding industry that is tailored to suit my client's requirements. I aim to provide a service that is always professional, on programme and above all, second to none. Please take time to browse through the various pages of this website for a comprehensive view of the services that I offer.
Consider the various elements of the design team in any construction project as individual pieces of a jigsaw ~ all the various "pieces" have to work together [or in jigsaw terms, fit together] to achieve the desired result : a successful construction project!
The concept behind the logo was that each orange jigsaw piece represents a member of the design team [Architect, Structural Engineer, Steelwork Contractor, M & E Contractor etc.], with the blue piece representing me. Simple.