From our offices in Worcestershire and Devon our land surveyors have been very busy again this year, so with poor weather and short days Christmas is always a great time to take a few days off. Our offices will be closed for business from 5pm on Thursday 23rd December and will re-open at 8am on Tuesday 4th January. Rather than sending Christmas cards we always make a donation to our chosen charity MACMILLAN cancer support. So from Andrew, Debbie and all the boys and girls at A D Horner Limited we wish all our clients a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2011.
December 10th saw A D Horner Limited celebrate 20 years of land and measured building surveys. The Company has always aimed to develop good working relationships with it’s clients , hence our first client in 1990 is still a client today. A D Horner Limited also believe in looking after and developing our staff in-house as they are the Company’s most valuable resource and again many of the staff have been with the Company since it’s early days. Although the last couple of years have been very challenging at times, we are all looking forward to the next milestone – the completion of our 3000 th survey, this should be achieved early next year.
So pretty it could be on the front of a Christmas card. This was taken by a team of land surveyors on site in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, where we have been undertaking a large topographic survey of a site for a national developer. Snow creates a major headache for land surveying , because even if you can get to site, you will not be able to see features to measure them ! Fortunately in the above case we are only taking levels across open ground and the snow is not compacted. At least measured building surveys are inside and not prone to snow disruption.
I have decided to make even bigger use of technology and link the A D Horner Limited Website to our Blog and also now our Flickr account, so we can show more examples of the types of projects we have undertaken.
Other exciting news is that we have just entered into framework agreements with two of the countries biggest housebuilders, as their preferred land surveying consultants, working on projects throughout the West Midlands and South West.
From our Worcestershire offices we work throughout the West Midlands and Birmingham undertaking all types of land surveys and measured building surveys, from grotty bits of wasteland to smart houses in the suburbs. One thing that caught our eye recently was the possible high speed rail link from London to Birmingham which might use the lovely Curzon Street Station building again, which we undertook a land survey and measured building survey of some years ago.
This building has a Grade I listing, but was sadly only used as a railway station for a short period. One of the big perks of the job of the land surveyor is knowing that in some small way you have played a role in the conservation and restoration of historic buildings and helped to put them back into a useful role.
As land surveyors we do go to some interesting places and sometimes play the game ‘spot the surveyor’. In the short dark days of winter it can really be an issue, especially if you are surveying in woodland or under tree canopies.
However there are clearly worse jobs out there than land surveying.
We have been measuring up a large country house and various barns and outbuildings in Devon recently. The surveyor turned on the basement light and was greeted by lots of groans and pulling in even tighter of the wings to keep the light out, but they had no objection to the floor plan survey being conducted around them. This is quite a rare sight even for measurement surveyors, we are much more used to rats and pigeons !
The same surveyor also encountered kangaroos whilst undertaking a land survey recently. Evidently they were kept as pets, but did not hang around long enough to pose for a picture !
With an office in Worcestershire flooding is never very far from our minds. When the floods hit in July 2007 we were fortunate that our office which is less than 100m from the River Avon did not flood. We had staff who like many others could not get home and spent the night in their cars. As a result of this and other similar events we are often called upon to assist by carrying out topographic surveys, so that flood contour levels can be plotted onto our surveys. This will allow planners and other interested parties to see what part of the site would be underwater should a flood event happen. We have also been involved in many surveys as a direct result of the damage caused by the flooding, including shops, schools and houses.
Of course I missed it all, having been on holiday in sunny Devon !
Hopefully though with the planners taking flood risks very seriously now, we are helping to minimise the risks of new developments becoming victims.
Underground services (tracing) surveys are often commissioned at the same time as a land survey. We could spend a few hundred pounds and get one of our surveyors to do it whilst they are on site, which is what many of our competitors do. However we believe that the data is much more accurately captured by a specialist company who invest in the best equipment and staff training in their field, because only in this way can the client be as assured as possible of no nasty expensive surprises.
We work with a company called Subsight Surveys Limited to create a seamless professional service and can either refer the client to talk to Subsight directly or can obtain their quotation on the client’s behalf. We will usually undertake our land survey, so that Subsight can then attend site armed with a copy of our land survey, on which to locate the underground services that they locate. A final digital survey drawing is then produced which will have both the land survey and underground tracing on.
Could you find the surveys cheaper ? Probably. Could you have a nightmare which costs you thousands of pounds as a result, because of missing information from the surveys ? Probably.