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What is a Quantity Surveyor, and why do I need one?

Embarking on a large construction project can be pretty daunting at the best of times. There are many factors and concerns to weigh up to ensure your project goes off without a hitch. ‘Have I picked the right contractor?’ or ‘Have I budgeted enough for the build?’ are just a couple of the many questions that we often find ourselves asking when taking on such a challenge. That said, a lot of these worries can be mitigated when taking on a quantity surveyor. But what exactly is the purpose of a quantity surveyor?

What can a Quantity Surveyor do?

In short, the role of a quantity surveyor is to oversee the construction project from concept right the way through to the completion of a project, managing the operations and finances. This involves:

  • Buying (procurement) of works, goods, services and tender management.
  • Cost estimation and advising on the feasibility of a construction project.
  • Protecting your project’s overall cost from exceeding its budget and spiralling out of control.
  • Ensuring that your project is built to meet legal and quality standards all while remaining the best value for money.
  • Dealing with contractual & legal matters in the construction project.

A good quantity surveyor will work with you on your construction project every step of the way. They should be highly knowledgeable about building materials, construction methods and construction contracts, as well as possessing the skills of a financial advisor, able to save on costs whilst having high standards on quality and design.

 

Why do I need a Quantity Surveyor?

A good quantity surveyor will take the reins of your construction project, going to great lengths to strategically deconstruct the steps to be taken from start to finish. They will divide the tasks of your project and award them to different, individually specialised workforces to get the best deal and ensure each section of your project is completed to the highest standard, all while keeping the cost within budget.

In the vast majority of contractual or legal disputes, your quantity surveyor can also see to the matter and resolve it in a fair and ethical manner to minimise any disruption to your project. Upon completion of any work, they will be the one to arrange payments and settling final accounts.

 

Where can I find a Quantity Surveyor near me?

So now you’re thinking of looking for a quantity surveyor to assist with your construction project. Without being biased, I would highly advise you look no further than RICS to find a regulated quantity surveyor in your local area. RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) are the independent professional body set up to represent a wide host of chartered surveyors who are checked and approved, giving you peace of mind.

 

How do I know I have chosen the right Quantity Surveyor for my business?

This is a loaded question, and it ultimately comes down to what your needs are. It can be hard picking the right quantity surveyor to work with, and as your construction project gets underway, it’s natural to wonder if you’ve made the right choices. When you think you’ve found the right quantity surveyor for your project, it’s important you do your research. You want to feel fully confident that your quantity surveyor is capable of managing your project and making the right calls, with your interests and preferences at heart.

Although the pandemic has altered the way we meet with other people, you should meet your chosen quantity surveyor face to face to get a feel for how they communicate and how they operate. Try to learn as much about them as you can. It bodes well for you if the quantity surveyor in question is experienced in dealing with all the challenges that come with projects like yours. Find out what challenges the firm faced, how they overcame them (as well as what they might have done differently) and how their choices benefitted their client. It also helps to reach out to their clients and get their first-hand account of how they found the quantity surveyor helped them. This will help you greatly in deciding if they are a good fit for your project.

At the end of the day, your quantity surveyor is there to help you. You need to establish a good synergy between both you, the client, and the quantity surveyor. If you feel that they won’t tick all the boxes and meet your needs or you’re having doubts, it’s worth your time & money in looking elsewhere to ensure you’ve got the best firm for the job. If you want to know if you’ve chosen the right quantity surveyor, ask yourself the following questions and be honest.

  • Are they working to your timescales and within your budgets?
  • Are they managing the finances throughout, and anticipating any potential problems?
  • Are they actively seeking ways to improve efficiency and get the best value for money?
  • Have they ensured the contract they set up will prevent issues arising?
  • If issues do arise, have they put systems in place to mitigate your risks from them?
  • Do they demonstrate a high level of knowledge and expertise of the contract as well as contract law?
  • Can they work on more than one project for you at a time?
  • Do they communicate, and report clearly and accurately?
  • Do they understand you, and understand exactly what you require?

If you are unsure about any of the questions above, take them to your chosen quantity surveyor and get a solid answer from them. Ultimately, you need to feel completely comfortable that your quantity surveyor will give you peace of mind, keep you regularly updated with your project’s progress and free up your time so you can focus on other important things that require your attention.

If you need a quantity surveyor for an upcoming project, or you’d like to know more, feel free to get in touch by leaving your details below:

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