Helen Mackenzie

Senior Inspector, HouseScan

A Conversation With...

Helen Mackenzie

So Helen, could you tell us about your general background and how you got into the construction field and property inspection?

"Raised on the Moors in Derbyshire, I was always much more interested in building dens out of branches and heather as a young child than being at home so I guess you could say I’ve always been interested in construction!

Attending a very academically focused school in my teenage years, it was made clear that art and design, despite my love of it, was not an acceptable career so the combination of construction and design interests progressed me into Architecture.

The bug of buildings has never left me and after many years designing, I was keen to get out and into them, hence I found myself on construction sites inspecting properties. It was a natural progression for me towards snagging inspections after seven years with the NHBC and Housescan was the company I wanted to work for. I have never looked back!"


Was there any specific training or a route you took to get to where you are as such an experienced Inspector?

"Initially training in Architecture, I moved on to Site Inspection and gained my NVQ Level 6 in Senior Site Surveying. Working in the field of construction, there is continual updating of training, as Standards and Regulations evolve.

The opportunity to increase knowledge of construction methods has given me extensive experience of processes on site and considerable training with the NHBC has been invaluably put to use when snagging properties.

I am also a huge believer in practical experience and the knowledge and expertise gained by being out there on the coal face. I have been inspecting on construction sites across the country for many years now and knowing what is behind the walls and ceilings of a property, how it should be constructed and what it looks like when it isn’t constructed properly, is invaluable experience as a snagging inspector for Housescan."

How long have you been at HouseScan and how have you found your experience over the years?

"I have been a snagging Inspector with Housescan for over two years and initially the company stood out to me as the one that I wanted to work for. The value that Housescan put on the past experience and expertise of the inspectors that they employ, aligns with my own values and the ethos and integrity of the company provides the highest end of service for homeownwers.

I am told at inspections time and time again, how supportive, helpful and friendly everyone they speak to in the company is and how they feel we go above and beyond to take the process of a snagging list off their hands and deliver. Personally, I consider my work family to be a top class group of people and I am proud to work for Housescan."

Is there anything in particular that you enjoy the most about being an Inspector?

"The thing that I value most about being an Inspector is that I am assisting homeowners, with their snagging report, to achieve the quality of finish in their new build property that they were anticipating. Buying a new build can be a rollercoaster of a ride in some cases and with my vast experience, I can reassure them that their initial expectations are not only justified but can be achieved.

They no longer feel alone or daunted with the prospect of having their snags resolved and it gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction that myself and Housescan are providing them with that support."

To wrap up, are there any career highlights or cases that really stand out?

"Over my career as an Inspector, I have highlighted many breaches of Standards and Building Regulations that have turned, through snagging resolution, properties into safe, warm and quality finished homes. There have been numerous instances of fire doors not closing, drainage discharging onto no-where and insulation lacking in lofts to name just a few, where my input has made a huge difference to homeowners positive outcome of their home. It is wonderful to read glowing reviews of where my inspection techniques and report presentations have been so valued, that is a real highlight in my career.

I have also worked with developers themselves on site, noting areas within their properties where standards of construction and quality could be improved and I was honoured to be called up on stage at the prestigious NHBC Pride in the Job awards to receive an award on one of my developer’s behalf. A truly spectacular night and a very proud moment for me.

I was also thrilled to be asked by HNBC to sit on their Diversity Group and address issues such as promoting ‘Women In Construction’ a subject very dear to my heart and one that I am actively involved in progressing further with Housescan."

How To Apply

We are constantly looking to expand our team throughout the UK, specifically in regards to widening our coverage and reducing inspector’s travel time. If you have the skills and experience detailed above, please complete the webform here. For any other questions or queries email us at: