As one of the newest recruits at JD Joinery and Building Services, Shea Grimsdale has joined the firm at a key time for growth. We sit down with the site manager to learn more about his plans for the new residential homebuilding division, JD Homes.
What attracted you to a career in site management?
I actually graduated with a degree in structural engineering from Newcastle University but I knew fairly early on in my degree that I’d never really be happy sat in an office all day long. I come from a farming background and have always helped with the day to day responsibility of managing a working family farm so I’m used to being active and working outdoors. I was looking for a way to incorporate my engineering and project management skills into a career that meant I was working direct with the client and contractors and site management seemed a natural fit.
Is JD Joinery your first position since graduation?
No, actually I worked for two years with another construction firm directly out of university. Initially I was working in London but I was keen to return to the North East and worked as a trainee site manager on large residential developments in both Morpeth and Birtley. Late last year I started realising I was more interested in managing smaller, bespoke projects which demanded a more flexible approach to project management.
What attracted you to JD Joinery?
Well I was very proactive in my approach to JD when considering a new challenge in my career. I’d spent two years managing large-scale residential developments and I knew my passion was really for more bespoke builds which required real skill to create. I’m an avid Grand Designs fan and I’ve always harboured career aspirations to be involved in the kind of projects to really push the boundaries of construction in a way that challenges you professionally. I researched construction firms operating in this area with a particular focus on eco-homes and JD Joinery was the only firm in the North East where the portfolio of projects was exactly what I was looking for.
What are your plans for your role at JD Joinery?
I’m looking forward to gaining new skills and experience as part of the team. There is a lot to learn from a firm producing some of the most forward-thinking residential schemes I have seen in the region. My hands-on approach to project management mean I will be very involved with managing sub-contractors and health and safety on site as well as quality control.
I’m going to have a good mix of projects to work on. There are some really exciting commercial schemes on the horizon as well as domestic projects but the most important part of my new role is to grow the new residential homebuilding division – JD Homes. The Stables in Stannington will be the first development from JD Homes and the first properties will complete towards the end of 2018. Given my background in residential site management, I’m really looking forward to taking the JD Homes brand forward and creating the kind of bespoke and contemporary family homes that myself and the team can be proud of.