When embarking on a major construction or renovation project, it is absolutely crucial to keep track of your expenditure. A quantity surveyor’s job is to do just that, providing constant cost analysis and ensuring that a project stays within budget, that everyone is paid on time and that all work adheres to Building Regulations.
That being said, a quantity surveyor’s role can be extremely varied, covering a number of different responsibilities in everything from accountancy to law. They are a vital Pro to have for a large scale project and those who specialise in individual sectors can often provide invaluable experience.If you are planning a sizeable project and want to make sure that not only does the work stay on schedule but that is also done to a good quality without breaking the bank, a quantity surveyor is one Pro that you cannot do without.
From the term ‘quantity surveyor’, you might assume that they just count things for a living. In fact, the role is both complex and surprisingly varied. In short, it is a quantity surveyor’s job to make sure that a project has a reasonably sized and well allocated budget while also ensuring that all work done complies with Building Regulations.
At the start of a project, a quantity surveyor should be able to tell you whether the proposed work is feasible for the money that you have. They will usually study the work of a structural engineer or architect, typically by using Building Information Modelling (BIM). This will help them calculate the quantity of materials necessary for the work, as well as estimate the labour costs. The surveyor will then be able to create contracts for the materials, as well as a life cycle of cost plans for the project as it moves forward.
Once things get started, the quantity surveyor will provide an ongoing cost-analysis for the project while also analysing completed and ongoing work. This will benefit you in two ways:
From making initial estimates to working out the final costs, a quantity surveyor will guarantee that your project is finished to a great standard without making too large a hole in your pocket.
A ‘chartered quantity surveyor’ is a surveyor who has passed an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
To put it simply, becoming ‘chartered’ gives a surveyor an internationally-recognised stamp of experience and expertise. They are some of the most qualified surveyors out there and are usually brought in for the largest and most expensive projects.
While quantity surveyors will usually have qualifications that have been accredited by RICS, it is still worth checking a candidate’s background before hiring them. RICS keeps a record of all of its chartered surveyors and, if necessary, will be able to confirm for you whether or not a candidate for your project is as qualified as they say.