In looking for a Project Manager for the ground works phase of our build, we wondered ‘Does the perfect man exist out there?’ We knew that the Project Manager would be a critical lynch pin in the whole operation, so making the right choice really counted here. What essential qualities should we look for? It’s hard to evaluate someone’s credentials for a project, even with glowing recommendations. Looking for ‘the right chemistry’ might sound a bit simplistic, but we knew we needed a good fit of personalities for a challenging project such as ours which is aiming for zero carbon credentials. We learnt the importance of interviewing widely (sadly no female contenders) and comparing quotes line by line until we found someone with excellent references, integrity, motivation, knowledge, a problem solver, trustworthy, unflappable in crises – and reasonably priced, of course. As employer, we also needed a good technical understanding of what our project entails and the time-frame we need to achieve. This felt a bit chicken-and-egg for a while as we searched for someone to help us define these very answers!
The list was narrowed down to four people. Once again the prices varied more than 300%! Philip Burgess was here helping us in this process, bringing his own extensive building experience. He said, “You will know it when we meet them”. Sure enough, within a few minutes of meeting Joe Eriksson, Philip turned his head and lip-synced, “He’s your guy”.
Joe ticked the boxes for us. A Scandinavian who understands timber-framed houses inside and out, he’s built houses and done extensive renovations across Sussex and beyond, and has a hands-on approach to getting things done. He came highly recommended to us, having worked on another local eco house project (where the project manager happened to be female). As our ground works manager, Joe is in charge of excavation, foundations, landscaping and preparing the site for the house delivery from Germany in June 2014. Off-duty he’s a father of four, lives near Herstmonceux and is partial to rollmops and schnapps. Great to have you on the team, Joe!