Michael Burden

Senior Building Surveyor

Initially coming from an engineering background one learns the importance of detail and accuracy, from inception through to completion on any type of project undertaken, being either work or home related which I trust I’ve managed to carry forward and enhance upon within my career at Frankham.

My move to the professional side of the construction sector was gradual through various companies ranging from drawing up property extensions, design and development of bespoke conservatories to property maintenance.

Having been made redundant (once again) at the age of 38 I had reached a crossroad in my working life in that do I continue to move from job to job with little security or do I take stock of where and am, identify where I want to be in years to come and how do I get there while achieving my goals. This is the point where I took the decision to return to higher education.

Following college an employment opportunity rose with AJP Frankham for a draughts person / surveyor to join their team based in Chislehurst which I managed to secure. Within months I was given the opportunity to attend university; one of my goals from my schoolboy days. With a support structure in place at Frankham, I obtained my degree at the tender age of 43 followed by entry onto the RICS Professional route for membership. Once again the support structure, through dedicated councillor and supervisors and mock APC panels was in place, thereby ensuring that all the support and encouragement was there for me to become a member of the RICS, at the age of 45.

As for my achievements, these appear to me to be hard to quantify and measure, however, there are a couple that spring to mind, both personally and professionally. Personally, re-learning the act of leaning when returning to education and managing to continually develop skills learnt through to my professional career. Professionally, both clients and contractors have mentioned to me that when issues arise I look for the positive in any situation and provide answers in that I explain why certain works / procedures can’t be achieved in the way envisaged and provide solutions, all of which helps to ensure that projects run smoothly while reducing potential cost confrontation between parties.

It’s the nature of our profession that there will be ‘ups’ as well as ‘downs’, however with this in mind I can honestly say that working with the Frankham team has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding career moves I’ve made and long my it continue.

As to the future; professionally continue to develop and grow the Frankham brand while meeting the needs of the client. Also a move into either research and development, property development and sustainability / self-sufficiency; as I strongly believe that homes can be self-sufficient when it comes to power and water. Personally, and I expect this is common to those of us in the construction industry – find land, design and build a future proof home for my family.