My name is Jo Jennings and I’m an experienced Quantity Surveyor. I work for CLPM in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

My alarm goes off at 6.15, every day is different, so whilst still in bed I work out what I have to do. Two days a week are easy – I get up, shower, eat some breakfast and leave for work. The other three days it’s my job to not only get myself ready, but to get my 2 daughters out of the door and off to school. This may sound simple, but includes looking for lost shoes, recorders, football boots, swimming kit, keys, phones, and laptop homework (this list is not comprehensive!). On ‘special days’ such as World Book Day or Children In Need I sometimes need to rustle up a fancy dress costume, batch or cakes, or cash. Today’s challenge was a costume for the school Christmas play – luckily for me it wasn’t my day in charge!

To be honest, I’m not really a morning person. I have porridge every day (in my mind) but I quite often opt for toast with loads of butter or sometimes I forget altogether. I always remember my tea though. In my dreams, I do a 5 k run every morning, but in reality I feed the dog and occasionally take him for a quick 20 minute walk if he’s going to be on his own for a long time.

My working day begins with checking my diary, then emails and adding all the actions into my notebook. This often results in actioning some things that are urgent and this can sometimes eat up the whole day. We have a weekly meeting of the CLPM commercial team where we go through each project, new work and process stuff. Personally I use a to do list in my note book where I record the tasks I have to do. I try and cover all items on each project at one time.

Most of the time I work in CLPM’s Rickmansworth head office, but when I’m out and about I drive my Ford Smax, or I take public transport if I visiting a site near the tube. I do try and visit site on every project at least once. On larger projects I visit once a month for a meeting with the client. For me, visiting site and meeting the contractors is the best part of the job. You understand the work involved much better, and build a better relationship if you meet face to face.

For lunch I have salad and fruit everyday, normally from M&S. Except the days I have bacon sandwiches, crisps and cake! Jules and Matty in our head office are talented bakers and there’s usually something tempting on offer so it would be rude to refuse…..

My advice for clients who want to get the best cost certainty and cost control is to spend more time of finalising your scope of works and your design so that you limit the amount of change. Make sure your information is sufficient to cost accurately. Don’t assume the builder is trying to rip you off.

The things I enjoy most about being a Quantity Surveyor at CLPM is seeing beautiful homes being completed, saving the client money, visiting sites during construction, and meeting and negotiating with the contractors.

Unlike many of my colleagues here at CLPM I am rubbish at DIY. I can manage to construct Ikea furniture but that’s about it. I did however have an extension built which I project managed. Surprise surprise, it was on budget, with very little change and we are still on good terms with the builder!

Most people I meet want to know what a Quantity Surveyor actually does. The answer is a lot of different things! My day to day tasks involve tendering and analysis for new projects, preparing building contracts, making valuations and agreeing variations for existing projects.  As the manager in charge of the CLPM cost management team I also get involved with internal process improvements and team management.

After work and at the weekend, like many other mothers across the country, I turn in a Jo le taxi. The main challenge is remembering who is where (tube, school, rock climbing, cubs, scouts, golf, friends, after school club, Spanish, forest school, or tennis). For the last 5 years I have been a scout leader at out local troop which is immensely fulfilling and enjoyable – if a little time consuming. This all sounds worse than it is, as I do actually get to play a little bit of golf myself. I enjoy eating out and a glass of wine or two. I also love to travel and am looking forward to a trip to Thailand to meet my sister, who lives in NZ over Christmas.

Are you looking for a Quantity Surveying Services? If you’d like to find out how CLPM can help you save money on your building project then get in touch. Call 01923 896550, email info@cl-pm.com or complete a contact form.

CLPM Project Managers cover London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex. Energy Consultancy and Cost Advice services available across the UK.