Godfrey Tarling, Surveyor, Cheltenham Office
I had an uncle who was a Quantity Surveyor who I used to do work experience for. It made me realise that I definitely didn’t want to be a Quantity Surveyor but gave me an interest in buildings and property so I followed that path to university.
How long have you been a surveyor?
A long time – I qualified in 1986!
What is the most challenging part of being a surveyor?
Boundary disputes are difficult but can also be the most rewarding. Trying to bring people together to find an amicable solution; it’s a lot of more about people skills than just technical surveying. It can however be thoroughly enjoyable when it’s all agreed.
What do you find most interesting aspect of surveying?
Getting into the detail of a building and investigating defects. The aim is to come up with the most appropriate, cost effective solutions which meet the client’s needs with a minimal disturbance to them.
Ultimately a surveying service is about the people not the buildings. It’s how the buildings are designed, altered and improved to maximise their potential to meet the needs of the users and their lifestyles. That’s why Grand Designs is so popular.
What’s the most unusual thing you have come across when surveying?
Converting a 4 metre high stable into a 2 storey dwelling. It required the roof to be raised in situ whilst the exterior walls were built up to the new roof level. It’s not the type of thing you have to deal with very often so it was a bit of a challenge.
What do you least like about surveying?
Nesting seagulls – they’re ferociously defensive if you happen to have to inspect the roof they’ve chosen as home!
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to keep busy. I’m a District Commissioner for Scouting in Cheltenham with responsibility to support 20 groups and the adult volunteers that lead them. I’m also Chairman of the Building and Fabrics Committee for Cheltenham Minster and St Matthews Church.
In my real spare time I enjoy sailing and indoor rowing.