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Quantity surveyor

The Role of a Quantity Surveyor

When doing any kind of building work on your property, whether it’s adding an extension or building an entirely new home, you’ll need a variety of skills on hand. An architect will draw up the plans for the project, working with you to determine exactly what you need and how best to execute your vision. A building company will likely be contracted, depending on the size of the project. However, one of the unsung heroes of any build is the quantity surveyor. In this post, we take a look at this role and the person who fills it.


It’s the job of a quantity surveyor to estimate how much things are going to cost. Using the information at hand, they will determine the price of the materials being used and how much labour costs will be over the budgeted length of time. This is a vital task for any build. Without it, it would be impossible to budget for construction, with jobs running over and slowing down work—or even scuppering it altogether. However, it’s not just about estimation, as @Prospects details:

“You’ll seek to minimise the cost of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality. You’ll prepare estimates and costs of the work and when the project is in progress, you’ll keep track of any variations to the contract that may affect costs and create reports to show profitability.”


The quantity surveyor will offer advice on all sorts of legal issues, from contracts to regulations. These can often be a little confusing to lay people, so it’s imperative to have someone who knows their way around the occasionally labyrinthine rules.

Likewise, should a problem with a contractor emerge, perhaps even a dispute, a quantity surveyor can offer expert advice on contract issues and try to make things clearer, as well as help determine the viability of the claim being made. They can act as independent arbiters to bring both parties to the table and offer solutions in a negotiation.

Coordination and management

On a building project, you’re likely to have several different moving parts, including a team of builders or contractors. The quantity surveyor will help coordinate and manage this group of people, while keeping running tallies of costs and expenses to keep the project on budget.

Time management on a project is key, so the QS will try to keep everything on schedule. If the project is set to overrun, they will work to find ways of bringing it back into line with estimates.

Client requests

If a request is made during the planning or even construction periods, the QS will perform feasibility tests to determine if the request is possible and affordable. Any report will also take into account the current building projections and the area itself. It may even include additional information gathering, like surveys, so a feasibility study can take longer than initially thought.

A quantity surveyor isn’t just a useful person to have working with you—they’re a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to building projects. To find out more, contact a member of our friendly team of specialists.



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Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
T: 01638 662393
The Role of a Quantity Surveyor