What is a Quantity Surveyor?

And what do they do?

According to RICS www.ricsfirms.com 

“A quantity surveyor is an expert in the art of costing a building at all its stages.” 

There are endless amounts of costs to manage when planning a construction build. There are plenty of risks to analyse and a great deal of logistics to plan for. 

But the job does not stop there, being able to communicate with all members of the project team is vital and negotiation skills are necessary. 

The point of a Quantity Survey, familiarly known as a “QS”, is to quantify everything of the build project and to evaluate the best course of action, reporting the costs and the savings that can be made where possible. 

Not only do QS’s need to be up to speed with current market prices but they also need to keep an eye on the economy and any fluctuations as well as modern building regulations. 

The diagram below highlights some of the job functions a QS will execute. 


The following table lists the phases over the course of a construction project, from start to finish, where a QS is involved and executes their responsibilities.

Initiation – Programming & Feasibility PhasePre-construction Phase Construction PhasePost-construction Phase 
Consultation process – understanding the project Creation and execution of bid tenders to search for right contractors Monitoring of project expenditure and report to client Prepare and draft report of Final Accounts 
Pricing scope of works Researching and reviewing contractors to be shortlisted Produce reports for funders review Review and certify payments 
Analysis of drawings and working with various industry professionals to agree plans are within budget Procurement of contractors Evaluate costs when changes are made in the project and suggest more cost-effective strategies Assessment of work executed by the contractor and report to client 
Analyse and report on feasibility study Researching alternative supplies for cost effective budgeting Preparation and payment to contractors and suppliers Monitor any issues during rectification period, otherwise known as ‘defects period’ 
Interrogate the design scope to identify risk Negotiations between contractors and client Resolve disputes between contractors, sub-contractors, and client if necessary  
Creation of a High-Level Budget Cost Plan Production of in-depth Bills of Quantities Prepare instalment payments throughout the project  

A QS has a very varied job role, whilst being an analytical process it also takes excellent communication skills to achieve what is needed within the role. The client instils a great deal of confidence when hiring a QS as they rely on their knowledge and competence to provide a cost-effective solution with low-risk action plan and a suitable direction for the project. 

Need more information?

If you need any more information or maybe you would just like to have an informal chat about your project, please do get in touch…

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