From a childhood spent on building sites to becoming an RICS Chartered Surveyor, Josh Weston, lead director and co-founder of Fourth Wall Building Consultancy, is on a mission to change a misunderstood industry.

As a traditionally archaic industry, building surveying is not widely understood, but we’re on a mission to change that.

We want to re-imagine surveying – cutting the jargon and speaking to clients in clear, plain language.

A building survey is essential for anyone purchasing or leasing a house or commercial property – but a lot of people don’t really understand what a surveyor does. I’ve had people show me a report from elsewhere that just doesn’t provide them with clarity or guidance, so why would they think it’s essential?

From a childhood spent on building sites to becoming an RICS Chartered Surveyor, I’ve been immersed in property and construction. I’ve always been passionate about creating new spaces and bringing life into old ones – much of that probably began by being given my own toolset aged four and seeing my dad at work.

When I began my career as a surveyor, it quickly became clear to me there was an opportunity to bring my northern honesty to the industry and transform the way building surveying services are delivered and communicated, so I can help people to truly understand the buildings they use – whether that’s an asset, workplace or home.

We’ve stripped things back, developing a bespoke report with our clients’ needs in mind, focusing on high quality service, and an executive summary perfect for solicitors and asset managers. We make sure that, no matter what condition the property is in, our clients feel confident and supported in dealing with any potential issues.

We create not only great value for them as a service, but ensure they avoid unnecessary stress and delays and are more likely to complete on their purchase.

Fourth Wall wants young people to seek this out as an industry to be proud of, and anyone buying and selling property to know how essential measured professional advice is. Surveyors go through years of education and training, so are incredibly knowledgeable in spotting and highlighting numerous issues. The property industry can seem confusing and technical, but we’re determined to change that and make it much more accessible.

Our personal touch is what really makes it for me. We speak to every client directly to go through questions before and after their survey, and at any other stage, meaning we have repeat customers, recommendations and are also instructed on architectural work.

Clients trusting us is paramount. We launched in Sheffield earlier this year as, born and bred here myself, we’re passionate about the region and could see a gap in the market for a dynamic practice offering the personal touch. We’ve seen seismic change in the property world over the past few years, from COVID-19 changing the way retail and office spaces work, to the Grenfell disaster forcing change in the residential market and highlighting the need for property due diligence and a sharper focus on what makes this profession so valuable: integrity.

This is an incredibly important time for the property and construction industry, and we all need to adapt moving forward as we continue to see changes in the use of commercial property, and continued demand for residential.

We want to evoke change in surveying and are driven to do things differently, including the value we give to our team where everyone sees the rewards from their hard work and commitment.

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