Who are quantity surveyors and what do they do?

Costek Alma Insights

Quantity surveying is a profession that blends engineering, construction, and economics. The emphasis is on the last part, albeit there are many other tasks that these Quantity Surveyors perform.

What do surveyors do?

In a nutshell, quantity surveyors manage all costs associated with building and civil engineering projects. Their work is both office and site-based and the primary goal is to minimize expenses (and keep them within the limits of a budget). What is more, they aspire to do it without compromising on the quality of end results or failing to adhere to the building, health, and safety regulations.

Furthermore, they take part in projects and work with contractors/clients right from the start, preparing comprehensive project estimates. Often, they also gather tender and contract documentation, conduct feasibility studies, and undertake risk control. Once the building process starts, quantity surveyors keep close tabs on any variations that may lead to cost fluctuations.

Over the course of the project, key tasks are related to outcome analysis, work evaluation, and progress reports. But, it is not uncommon for surveyors to take on additional responsibilities, such as distributing work to subcontractors, ordering construction materials, and arranging payments. The list of tasks they can handle goes on and depends on the type of the project and employer.

Apart from collaboration with commercial businesses, local authorities, consultancies, and property developers, quantity surveyors also offer services to small business owners and residential clients. They also assist in various services, such as conducting a detailed building insurance valuation, which shields against any potential natural disasters.

What are the benefits of hiring a quantity surveyor?

1) Construction is always a costly endeavour; one of the most expensive there is. Surveyors help you avoid the risks and pitfalls linked to unreliable, back-of-the-envelope calculations and ballpark figures.
2) Surveyors provide accurate cash projections which allow you to plan your budget ahead of time and prevent any unpleasant surprises.
3) They enable you to steer away from unnecessary financial hurdles like overpaying for construction materials.
4) Quantity surveyors are well-versed in uncovering opportunities to save money – opportunities that fly under the radar of most people. It also helps to receive an estimate on how long the project will take. After all, surveyors closely monitor processes and supply you with reports on the progress made. This significantly reduces the risk of delays and other setbacks.
5) Any homeowner or business can decide to outsource some of the tasks that would consume too much time or require special expertise. This is a way to get things off your plate and focus on other business or project aspects that are vital.

All in all, reputable surveyors add value to the building process and optimize expenses more often than not.

Having a professional managing your construction project economics is something that should always be on the table. You can choose to do most of the work yourself, but what you pay for a quantity surveyor is nothing compared to the wealth of benefits that await you down the road.

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