Abbie Reid is a Senior Party Wall Surveyor for EK McQuade, our Party Wall team.
She is passionate about learning and applying that knowledge to help people, as we found out during the interview.
Q. what made you decide to become a Party Wall Surveyor?
I began working in the head office for a prominent London estate agency, training new agents in ethics and company values. As part of my training, I had to sit the Propertymark exam which included modules in Building Construction and Defects which I found highly interesting.
I then made the decision to switch career paths, decided to go back to school to get my master’s degree in building surveying whilst working full time within a general building practice to gain experience whilst learning.
It was within this practice that I was introduced to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and from an early stage in my career was involved in a large number of party wall projects. I found that I enjoyed the process, the legal element and the negotiations involved with progressing projects. After a few years of general practice, I made the decision to specialise in Party Wall and have since joined the amazing team at EK McQuade.
Q. What is the most unexpected discovery you’ve made on a site visit?
When carrying out a building survey on a long-time vacant property, my colleague didn’t have any batteries for the damp meter and so left to go the shop leaving me at the property to continue the survey. The property was already giving me the heebie jeebies but I soldiered on so that we could leave as soon as possible. I came across a suspicious door that had several hasp and staple locks for padlocks which were unlocked. Upon entry to the room, I noticed the walls were charred with what looked like handprints and claw marks. As a horror movie buff, I swiftly left the property and waited outside for my colleague to return!
Q. What has been your proudest surveying job or project to date?
There is no one particular job but generally helping owners navigate the sometimes difficult to understand party wall process whether they are a building owner or adjoining owner. Getting their thanks for the way we have explained or handled matters on their behalf is always a proud moment.
Q. What is your favourite building in the world?
My favourite building is my parents current house because I helped my Dad who has a construction company to build ourselves. We spent a lot of evenings and weekends working together on it and it was amazing to be involved in the project from conception and holds a lot of really special memories.
Q. What types of surveying work do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the legalities and problem solving within Party Wall work the most, I like the ensure that the clients whoever it is we are acting for are well informed and up to date throughout the process.
Q. Describe EKM in 5 words!
Energetic, supportive, experts, dependable & fresh.