Delivering dream homes is my dream job
Published: 12 Jun 2015
Name: Alan Whitelaw
Job title: Project Manager
Company: CALA Homes (North)
Upon waking each morning I always look forward to beginning my busy day’s schedule working as a project manager for CALA Homes (North). Every single day is different, but that’s exactly why I love my job.
I’m currently project managing our Rosefield Gardens development which is located in the Cults area of Aberdeen. We are constructing 73 of CALA’s Signature Collection four and five-bedroom detached homes there.
Situated at the foot of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, on the site of a former rose growing nursery, Rosefield Gardens has stunning views across the Aberdeenshire countryside – it’s a fantastic backdrop to have at work each day.
In the past 15 months we have completed 38 homes with eight currently under construction. Interest in Rosefield Gardens has been phenomenal which drives my team and I to consistently deliver impeccable standards whilst meeting the high demand.
I tend to ensure that I arrive on site early as possible and this is when I can catch up with my team before the rush begins. We currently have around 56 operatives from various trade backgrounds working on the development.
I work with a team of five and manage their workload, as well as the rest of the operatives, on site on a daily basis. We usually all catch up early morning and late afternoon to cover ongoing work phases.
With a total of nine different house types available at Rosefield Gardens there’s always something to discuss, chase, deliberate or improve.
CALA Homes (North) is currently expanding with several new developments on the horizon, therefore we’ve also been recruiting recently. At the moment I have a new infrastructure manager shadowing me throughout the day so I can help him get to grips with the operating procedures of the company ahead of work beginning at a new site in Milltimber.
Plans for Oldfold Village, Milltimber include a total of 550 homes so this will be a major development for us over the coming years.
My mornings tend to be interspersed with site visits from our clients, senior management team, NHBC Inspection Managers and Building Control Managers.
We also carry out a lot of training both on site and at Head Office so all of this has to be fitted into our daily routines.
I tend to just grab lunch on the go when I can with Friday being the exception. We always make sure that we bring all the team together for lunch on a Friday. We treat ourselves to a pizza or sandwiches and have the chance to catch up with everyone on a personal level but the conversation does usually end up being about work!
My sales colleagues tend to schedule our meetings with our customers for the afternoons. We work very closely with our customers, organising regular meetings where they get the opportunity to see the working drawings of their new home, ask any questions they have about the build process and decide on a timetable for finishes for their home.
We also organise demonstration meetings for customers about to move into their new home where I give them a guided tour of their property and show them how to operate everything from the heating system to their doors and windows.
After they’ve had the tour, we next meet our customers during their handover meeting during which we run through discussions from our previous meetings and hand over the keys to their new property. This is always a fantastic meeting to be a part of.
I really enjoy taking our home buyers through the journey of their house being built.
I finally have time to reflect on the day and look ahead to the next on my drive home.
After a busy day, I enjoy relaxing after dinner and often read, catch something on television or spend time gardening.
With CALA Homes (North) celebrating its 140th anniversary, the phenomenal interest from house buyers at Rosefield Gardens and CALA North employing ten new recruits across its sites so far this year, there’s a fantastic buzz amongst all the staff. I strongly believe that everyone should enjoy their job and I’ve enjoyed every day I’ve worked for CALA. I hope that I’ve passed this ethos on to my team and colleagues and contributed towards the great atmosphere on site.
CALA are in the midst of a very exciting period of growth and are currently recruiting for a number of vacancies in Aberdeen including Sales Advisors, Surveyor, Customer Service Manager and Assistant/Site Managers, as well as accepting speculative applications for future positions. Visit www.cala.co.uk/careers to find out more and apply.