Archive for January, 2010

We are moving… One floor up!

Everyone has their moment of fame so I’m told, so I thought I’d try and promote myself a bit more if that’s alright with you! If you go to the About page you’ll find a short video clip of me from when we got involved with CareerStructure.com on their Real People Campaign. Mind you it was in the heady days of when it was difficult to find quantity surveyors. Was that only 2008? When, as someone said to me yesterday, QSs were as difficult to find as rocking horse _____! (I think you can fill in the blank!)

We’ve recently been greeted with news from our landlord that we need to move out of our offices here in Bedford. After searching the local market and viewing what’s on offer I’ve decided to go with the landlord’s option of moving upstairs to the second floor! So we’re not moving far but it does mean we’ve got to have a bit of a clear out as we need to move by the end of March!

By the time you read this, the news will be out that we are officially out of recession and the economy is growing again. I don’t know if you’re like me, but it just doesn’t feel like that in the construction industry. We’ve noticed a bit of a tail off in activity in the last week or so. Everyone here says it’s the fallout from Christmas and the snow we had recently. We haven’t seen much activity in the disputes area – the feedback we’ve been getting is that everyone is settling up their accounts commercially and taking the cash now. I still think there is a lot of trouble brewing as the anecdotal evidence I’m hearing is that bids are going in at crazy prices just to win work. The thinking is that the supply chain will increase prices when things get better in the second half of the year and contractors just won’t have the cash to pay them.

It was sad to read about Multibuild and Lancsville recently, as they’re two companies that we have worked with in the past. I suspect they won’t be the last in a line of companies that will get into difficulties in the coming months.

Anyway, this all sounds a bit downbeat considering January is nearly over! I saw a fun Recession Quiz on the Guardian website yesterday morning. I did it and got 4 out of 10, which apparently means the recession is something in the dim and distant past for me! Well I’ll take that; never mind about the score!

Staying upbeat on this, the most depressing day of the year…

Hello to everyone on what is (according to the radio this morning) the most depressing day of the year! No wonder I’m finding it difficult today. I hope everyone hasn’t been listening and letting themselves be conditioned to think that way!

So I thought I would take a look at what’s in the news today and found the following:

But the strangest bit of news I saw was about a hotel chain offering human bed warmers – !!!!!

Things perhaps are not as bad as they will have us believe then!?

The snow has gone from our corner of the world and we are back to normal… but then wait for Wednesday as there is more snow forecast! And that’s the day I’m supposed to go to the Emirates to see the Arsenal take on Bolton again that was postponed because of the snow before.

Two fingers up to construction!

Well its week 2 of my blog and I was one of the people who tuned in to hear Chris Evans on Radio 2 this morning. It all sounded a bit calm and polite to me, not like the days when I used to listen to him on Radio 1 on my way to work for Willmott Dixon. But then we all change over time don’t we!

I watched the Piers Morgan programme on Las Vegas last week and, having seen pictures of the project in Building Magazine on Friday of the soon to be completed Veer Towers, I couldn’t help but think it reminded me of them sticking two fingers up to everything! Spending some £5.3bn on a scheme in a city that will allegedly run out of water before it can get a new supply on seems, well, bizarre! But then I couldn’t stop myself from making comparisons with Dubai after having been there a couple of times in 2008. And did you see those guys base jumping off the Burj Dubai, sorry Burj Khalifa too? Quite a publicity stunt!

We got off lightly with the snow at Bedford and managed to continue as normal with people either working in the office or being able to work from home on the odd day. I suspect a lot of sites will have suffered and a lot of people will be reading through their contracts to see what they are entitled to claim as a result. If anyone needs any help on that score get in touch!

We have started the year much the same way we finished it off with a continuing demand for our bills of quantities production service, so still a reasonable amount of work around for us. We have seen, apart from schools and social housing projects, an industrial development, a hotel refurbishment, an office development and some retail refurbishment projects recently come through the office. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

Welcome to my world!

Welcome to my world, won’t you come on in! Miracles I guess, still happen now and then! Isn’t that the line from an advert we’ve been hearing over the Christmas break for Thomson Holidays to jet us off somewhere nice and warm? Anyway welcome to my blog, I’m new to this but decided that it’s a New Year and I’ll try something different!

I am a contractors quantity surveyor that has spent, dare I say, 33 years in the industry now, so I’m your typical middle-aged professional that has somehow made it to the position of owning my own business.

I won’t give you all the details of my career straight off as I’m sure it will bore you all, and besides I won’t have anything to tell you over the coming weeks… if you are interested that is!

So it’s the start of a new decade, and what are we to call it? The terrible teens, the teenies, the tenners? Who knows, who cares, just as long as our industry gets back on its feet again. We had an awful 2009, it was the worst year for us I’ve ever known, but we’ve somehow got through it and we are looking forward to a brighter 2010 (I’m calling it twenty ten, not two thousand and ten).

So here’s some of my predictions for the coming year:

  • House building will take off again in the middle of the year after a Tory victory in the general election;
  • The new high speed rail link to Scotland and the north will get the go ahead;
  • Hotel refurbishment and new build will start a mini boom in and around the London area as the run up to the Olympics kicks off;
  • The new rules of measurement will make no impact at all (but we will have to learn about them anyway though);
  • Prices will remain very tough in the first two quarters of this year after that there will be a rise as we all become more settled about the future and the industry will become far more stable;
  • ……Oh and England will win the world cup after Arsenal have done the double! Well you can dream can’t you!

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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