Meet KK, our production estimator
We caught up with Kwok Kit Tse, our production estimator, who is known around the office simply as KK.
What is your role at Comdain Homes?
I’m a production estimator. This involves accurate take-offs of materials, preparing labour rates and calculations for trades. I raise the purchase orders for suppliers/trades in preparation for the site supervisor to call up and arrange delivery of the goods/service to site.
How long have you been with Comdain Homes?
I’ve been with Comdain Homes for two years now. I’ve worked in commercial and residential areas of the construction industry, but have settled on residential.
Why did you choose to work in the residential side of the building industry?
Early in my career I worked on both commercial and residential sites back in Hong Kong, my birth place. Due to the inconsistency of commercial workloads, impacted by economic factors, I decided to focus on residential works as the long term prospects were more attractive.
What roles have you had in the industry and how did you learn the skills required to be an estimator?
Initially I worked on setting out buildings in Hong Kong and trained to become a construction technician. I then progressed into a management role overseeing the refurbishment of both commercial and residential buildings. When I moved to Melbourne, I studied at RMIT and after graduating with a Construction Management Degree (Hons), I worked as a quantity surveyor determining the feasibility of undertaking a project based on the estimated construction cost.
Sales estimating or production estimating, which do you prefer?
My preference is production estimating, but sometimes it’s nice to do some sales estimating to break up my workload. Sales estimating is not quite as detailed as production estimating but it’s still as equally important as we calculate overall construction/contract costs. Here at Comdain Homes, we pride ourselves on providing an accurate calculation of the total build cost.
When you’re not crunching numbers, what interests do you have outside the office?
I play competition table tennis. I play both singles and doubles with a team from the High Street Road church in Mount Waverley. I also enjoy spending time with my family, and particularly my 9 month and 3 month old grandchildren.
You were born and raised in Hong Kong, what is it about Melbourne that brought you here?
My wife and I holidayed in Australia in 1990, we visited Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We fell in love with Melbourne and decided to emigrate here in 1996.
And what’s the best thing about living in Melbourne?
We love the environment here: the parks and gardens, the flowers and greenery.
Which dialect of Chinese do you speak?
I speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is my mother language, but I’m able to speak both.
Do you get back home to Hong Kong often?
Yes, we like to go to Hong Kong at least every 12 months to visit mostly family, but also to catch up with good friends. My father and father-in-law are now in their early 90s and sadly their health is starting to deteriorate, so we plan to travel back more often in the future.
What’s your favourite holiday spot in Australia and why?
We love the east coast of Australia for its beauty and wonderful beaches. We haven’t been to the west or central Australia yet, but we hope to one day.
Have you adopted an AFL team since you’ve lived here?
No, I have no interest in the footy. Despite Rod’s many attempts to get me to barrack for Melbourne and James’ equally rigorous attempts to get me to barrack for Collingwood, I’m still a neutral supporter
How would you describe the differences working at Comdain Homes with other building companies you’ve worked at?
There are a couple of distinctive things. First as every home is custom designed, it really challenges me with my estimating. Nothing is duplicated and I like that challenge.
Plus it’s the work environment here at Comdain. All my work colleagues are very friendly and helpful and happy to share their knowledge. It’s a good recipe for us all to learn and make ourselves better at what we do.
If you were to build a house for yourself, what would you build?
If I were to build a house, it would be two traditional style, low maintenance units. One for my wife and myself and the other for the kids – they’ve moved out now, but they could live in the second unit when they stay for a visit.
Posted: 22nd March 2019