Dominic joined Bewley in February 2018 having spent the previous 11 years as a self-employed bricklayer and builder, working across many projects including new build developments, extensions, renovations and restorations.
“I’ve been working in the industry since I was 17” says Dominic – “many of my friends dads were in construction and I was always interested in what they had been working on and what methods they used to complete different tasks. In 2007, I started an apprenticeship for a bricklaying firm, also one of Bewley’s subcontractors, so I have known of, and worked alongside the Bewley team, on and off for my entire career. I have watched as Bewley has evolved and grown into the successful company it is today. I believe they are one of the only company’s who refuse to compromise quality with quantity and I really wanted to be part of that.”
Being involved in the construction side of the business, Dominic is perfectly placed to make this observation but, for him, it is not just about creating quality homes, it is about a sense of personal pride and accomplishment in what he is achieving on a daily basis.
“One of my best days was the first time I experienced a buyer moving into their new home. Their excitement, as they began the next chapter of their lives was just infectious and they were incredibly grateful to all the team at Bewley for building their new, dream home. It’s a good feeling, a proud moment, a sense of achievement – that you’ve helped someone.”
The diversity of the job is what makes it both exciting and challenging.
“No one day is the same” says Dominic. “Weather conditions can be one of our biggest challenges – whether it’s battling with long periods of rain which can really slow down the external build schedule of a house; to a heat wave where it temperatures can be so high it becomes unsafe to continue working. This all has a knock on effect on the build programme and it is down to site management to communicate with the different stakeholders involved – whether that’s the trades to follow up work, suppliers to re-arrange deliveries, or the sales team to provide an update on progress.
“Health and safety is also a daily challenge. One of our main priorities is to ensure that the work area is safe for our staff, subcontractors, visitors and members of the public and, of course, from the perspective of my job, ensuring each and every one of our team goes safely home at night to their family.
“Maintaining health and safety on site is a core part of my remit. It includes site inductions, ensuring every visitor signs in and out, monitoring PPE, undertaking plant and machinery checklists and certificates and issuing permits, to name but a few. Maintaining a positive relationship with trades and providing regular toolbox talks really helps to ensure everyone on site follows the site rules and helps to keep everyone safe.”
Every day brings a variety of visitors, suppliers, colleagues and clients into contact with Dominic. “Each day we have a multitude of different people coming to site” he says. “This can include visits from health and safety inspectors, premier warranty inspectors and building control inspectors. In addition, there are weekly meetings with our on-site sales team and the very rewarding job of assisting potential buyers as well as those who have bought and are moving in. Each of these important tasks can be time consuming, so the ability to time manage, prioritise and organise is key to my role and the overall success of a site. These skills also help when it comes to arranging deliveries and arranging trades to complete the works programme.
“One of the areas which Bewley has been focusing on over the past year has been the improvement of waste management. This is an important part of the building management process helping to keep wastage and costs down, ensure all waste is disposed of responsibly and safely, optimises recycling and, in turn, helps us to reduce our environmental footprint.
“I really feel I am being given the opportunity to develop my skill set and, so far, have had a very positive experience. I have had the privilege of working alongside some very experienced site managers, from whom I am learning a great deal. In my role I have worked on a number of Bewley sites around Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire and, whilst it can be challenging to build a rapport with an entirely new team, it has been incredible to see the different, but equally successful ways, different site managers work. This means that when one day, I am managing my own site, I can put the methods I believe are the best into practice.”