Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Table of Contents

Experienced quantity surveyors’ services are two types (estimator or costs consultant), cost as little as £100 with average £350 to £1200 for smaller projects or for full quantity surveying services on larger projects covering cost planning, tender documentation, contract administration, and final accounts, fees are generally 2% of the total project with average margins of 0.5% to 2% or 3.5% of the total construction budget and provide detailed cost breakdowns and analysis, reducing the risk of cost overruns by 25-40%.

For example, a £150,000 project, 2% fees would equate to £3,000, or a £300,000 project, 2% fees would equate to £6,000.

Experienced surveyors are trained to oversee all financial aspects of building and engineering projects. They provide accurate cost projections, helping to prevent budget overruns. Their role includes both office-based tasks and on-site supervision, aiming to minimise expenses while adhering to high standards.

Cost consultants optimize project value through cost-saving measures and value engineering, potentially saving 10-20% and preventing budget overruns on total project costs.

A person stands at a desk examining documents related to quantity surveying services in a well-lit room with large windows.
A person stands at a desk examining documents related to quantity surveying services in a well-lit room with large windows.

Cost consultants provide cost planning and management services throughout the construction process, focusing on optimizing project value and controlling costs. They reduce the risk of cost overruns by 30-40% through detailed cost analysis and proactive management.

Estimators deliver precise cost estimates based on plans, specifications, and scope of work, ensuring accurate project budgeting in 85-95% of cases. Their expertise helps prevent underestimation, which occurs in 20-30% of projects without professional estimators.

 

George Nicola recommends engaging cost surveyors with expert knowledge from the early design stages to allow for proactive management and preventing 80-90% of potential cost issues. Their expertise in contract administration and claim management helps resolve disputes efficiently, minimizing delays, bungee effects, and additional costs in 70-80% of cases.

A person wearing a reflective vest and helmet observes a construction site at sunset, with cranes and incomplete buildings in the background, ensuring efficient Construction Cost Management.
A person wearing a reflective vest and helmet observes a construction site at sunset, with cranes and incomplete buildings in the background, ensuring efficient Construction Cost Management.

Cost and value management in construction, renovation, and makeovers is more than important, but many make one main mistake. Failing to engage a Construction Cost Consultant or Cost Planner early in the project planning stages often leads to project cost overruns, missed opportunities for growth, and value optimization decrease. 

Hiring a quantity surveyor for a material take off (MTO) or quantity surveying take off keeps your construction project within budget without compromising on quality.

Cost control service is vitally for small and large construction; managing costs is crucial the suceess. A quantity surveyor brings expertise in cost management, ensuring that every penny is well spent.

A construction worker in a helmet and vest observes a multi-story building under construction, with cranes and scaffolding visible under a clear blue sky, considering the benefits of Quantity Surveying Services to ensure effective cost management.
A construction worker in a helmet and vest observes a multi-story building under construction, with cranes and scaffolding visible under a clear blue sky, considering the benefits of Quantity Surveying Services to ensure effective cost management.

Good to know:

  • Early contact with a quantity consultant firm during the design and planning phases can help understand and save budget and optimize project value (value engineering)
  • Understanding how project costs are connected with design upfront is crucial. If you’re planning a project, contact a estimation firm to discuss cost estimation, project team expenses to ensure your project stays within budget from the start. This can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Quantity surveyors are experts in what they do. These services are essential to ensure construction projects stay within budget and deliver optimal value. The shortest route to becoming a qualified quantity surveyor is through an undergraduate degree, followed by the APC (RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) process, which would take approximately 5 years.

Here’s a glossary of key terms and concepts based on the provided document:

  1. Quantity Surveying: A profession that involves managing costs and contracts in construction projects.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Achieving the desired outcomes while minimizing costs and maximizing value.
  3. Cost Estimation: The process of predicting the costs associated with a construction project.
  4. Value Engineering: A systematic approach to improving the value of a project by analyzing its functions and costs.
  5. Cost Planning: The process of estimating and allocating costs throughout the different phases of a construction project.
  6. Cost Control: The practice of monitoring and managing costs to ensure they stay within the project budget.
  7. Material Take Off (MTO): A detailed list of all materials required for a construction project, including quantities and specifications.
  8. Cost Overruns: When the actual costs of a project exceed the planned or budgeted amounts.
  9. Cost Consultant: A professional who provides expert advice on cost management and optimization in construction projects.
  10. Cost Planner: A specialist who develops and manages cost plans for construction projects.
  11. Contract Administration: The process of managing contracts, ensuring compliance, and resolving disputes.
  12. Tender Documentation: The documents prepared for potential contractors to bid on a construction project.
  13. Final Accounts: The financial records and statements prepared at the end of a construction project.
  14. Feasibility Studies: Assessments conducted to determine the viability and practicality of a proposed construction project.
  15. Procurement: The process of acquiring goods, services, and materials for a construction project.
  16. Value Management: A structured approach to enhancing the value of a construction project by balancing costs, quality, and functionality.
  17. Risk Mitigation: The process of identifying, assessing, and minimizing potential risks in a construction project.
  18. Contractual Compliance: Adhering to the terms, conditions, and obligations outlined in a construction contract.
  19. Building Information Modelling (BIM): A digital representation of a construction project that facilitates collaboration and information management.
  20. Cost Forecasting: The process of predicting future costs based on historical data, market trends, and project requirements.

With their extensive knowledge on construction work, cost managers offer invaluable advice on cost-saving strategies. Professional take off services lead to more efficient resource utilization including, team management and reduced overall expenses. For anyone involved in the construction industry, the services of a skilled quantity surveyor are an investment in the project’s success.

Role and Benefits of Quantity Surveying

One of the main role of QS is financial management through control of building materials.

Wide range of homeowners, builders, contractors, interior designers, architects and engineers all hire quantity surveying (QS) to ensure efficient cost management and enhanced success of construction project

QSs prepare detailed cost plans and budgets, for projects to be financially viable with costs kept under control; these are the foundations of construction development.

The role of a quantity surveyor is similar to that of a cost estimator, construction cost analyst, or value engineer in other countries. All are experts in range of construction economics,quantities  and project management preparation.

Here are some specific examples of their analogs across continents:

  • Canada: Cost Estimator
  • Australia: Quantity Surveyor (QS) or Cost Engineer
  • United States: Cost Estimator, Construction Cost Analyst, or Value Engineer
Illustration of four construction workers in orange protective gear and helmets, standing on a job site with building materials and tools in the background, showcasing their expertise ready to be hired for various services.
Illustration of four construction workers in orange protective gear and helmets, standing on a job site with building materials and tools in the background, showcasing their expertise ready to be hired for various services.

Role of a Quantity Surveyor

  • Procurement and tendering: They manage the tendering process, evaluating bids from contractors and subcontractors to ensure value for money.
  • Contract administration: QSs prepare and administer construction contracts, ensuring that all parties comply with their contractual obligations.
  • Cost control and change management: They monitor project costs, identify and manage any changes that may arise, and negotiate variations with contractors.
  • Dispute resolution: QSs provide expert advice and support in resolving disputes that may arise during a project.
  • Financial reporting: They prepare regular financial reports for clients and other stakeholders, providing transparency and accountability in project finances.

Value engineering is a key function, where they find cost-effective ways to achieve the same quality and function. They prepare detailed cost plans and assess project feasibility, advising clients on potential financial impacts. They are also involved in procurement processes, ensuring competitive pricing and managing tender documentation.

Benefits of Quantity Surveying

  • Cost savings: QSs help clients achieve cost savings through effective cost planning, procurement, and cost control.
  • Risk mitigation: They identify and manage risks that could impact project costs and schedules, minimizing the potential for financial losses.
  • Improved project outcomes: QSs contribute to the successful delivery of projects on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
  • Enhanced stakeholder communication: They facilitate effective communication between clients, contractors, and other project stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is informed and aligned on project goals and objectives.
  • Increased client satisfaction: QSs help clients achieve their project goals and objectives, leading to increased satisfaction with the overall project outcome.

better Project Value

Quantity surveyors add a range of value to construction projects by optimizing costs and ensuring efficient resource allocation. Through their expertise, they identify opportunities for cost savings without compromising on quality.

They assist in selecting the best materials and methods, which enhance the project’s overall value. Additionally, they employ techniques like value engineering to improve project efficiency. Their guidance ensures that projects meet budget constraints while maximising returns for clients and stakeholders.

Mitigating Financial Risks

Contract Administration: QSs prepare and administer contracts, ensuring that all parties adhere to their obligations and that any changes are properly managed.

Dispute Resolution and Risk Management: QSs act as mediators in resolving conflicts that may arise between different parties involved in the project. They identify and assess potential risks that could impact the project’s budget or timeline and develop strategies to mitigate them.

 

Cost Management Expertise

A man sitting at a desk with architectural drawings on two computer monitors. He is holding a pen and looking towards the camera. The desk has papers, including notes on Quantity Surveying Services, and architectural plans are visible on the wall.
A man sitting at a desk with architectural drawings on two computer monitors. He is holding a pen and looking towards the camera. The desk has papers, including notes on Quantity Surveying Services, and architectural plans are visible on the wall.

Quantity surveyors bring valuable benefits to construction projects by offering expert cost management. They help with budget planning, financial reporting, and cost control.

Cost Planning and Budgeting: QSs create detailed cost plans and budgets that serve as the financial roadmap for the entire project.

Procurement and Tendering: They manage the process of selecting contractors and suppliers, ensuring competitive pricing and value for money.

By providing consistent financial reports, they ensure transparency. Reports typically include expenses to date, committed costs, and projected costs. This ongoing financial monitoring helps in identifying potential cost overruns early. Prompt identification allows for timely corrective actions to stay within the budget.

Optimising Procurement Processes

Optimising procurement processes in quantity surveying involves strategic material sourcing, effective management of suppliers and subcontractors, and meticulous contract negotiation and administration. These elements ensure projects remain on budget, on time, and up to the required standards.

Strategic Material Sourcing

A construction worker wearing a hard hat and safety vest operates a computer while using a headset in an office overlooking a construction site at sunset, demonstrating one of the many reasons to hire quantity surveying services.
A construction worker wearing a hard hat and safety vest operates a computer while using a headset in an office overlooking a construction site at sunset, demonstrating one of the many reasons to hire quantity surveying services.

Strategic material sourcing is about selecting the right materials at the best price and quality. Quantity experts analyse market trends and suppliers to ensure the materials meet the project’s demands and budget.

They create a procurement plan that outlines needed materials, identifies reliable suppliers, and sets delivery schedules. A detailed costs analysis helps avoid overspending and ensures the project stays financially on track. Using data and insights, they can negotiate better prices and terms, which ultimately boosts project efficiency.

Supplier and Subcontractor Management

Managing suppliers and subcontractors involves continuous communication and performance monitoring. Quantity surveyors ensure that these partners meet their commitments both in terms of quality and deadlines.

Effective management includes regular site visits, assessments, and feedback sessions. This ensures that any issues are promptly addressed, reducing the risk of delays. Maintaining a good relationship with reliable suppliers and subcontractors also means that surveyors can secure better terms and prompt deliveries, which is crucial for the timely progress of construction projects.

Contract Negotiation and Administration

Contracts are the backbone of any construction project. Quantity surveyors play a key role in negotiating and administering contracts to ensure all parties understand their obligations and rights. This includes drafting clear, comprehensive contracts that cover all aspects of the project, from scope and deliverables to timelines and costs.

Quantity surveyors also monitor contract compliance, manage any changes or disputes, and ensure that payment terms are fair and adhered to. By handling contracts effectively, surveyors mitigate risks and contribute to the project’s overall success.

Project Evaluation and Feasibility Studies

Accurate project evaluation and feasibility studies are crucial in construction. They help determine whether a proposed project makes financial sense and can actually be completed successfully.

Conducting Initial Feasibility Assessments

Quantity surveyors start by conducting initial feasibility assessments. They gather data on construction costs, timelines, and resource availability. This involves consulting engineers, architects, and contractors to get detailed project estimates.

Feasibility studies also consider various risk factors, such as economic conditions and potential project disruptions. The information collected is used to create a detailed report, providing stakeholders with a clear picture of whether or not to proceed with the project.

Reviewing Project Viability

Reviewing project viability is another key role for quantity surveyors. Here, they assess the financial aspects to ensure the project can be profitable. They compare the initial estimates with market trends and historical data.

The surveyors also provide advice on possible cost-saving measures and value engineering techniques. This involves looking at alternative materials and construction methods. Their goal is to balance quality and cost, ensuring the project remains viable without compromising on integrity.

Construction Project Support

Quantity surveying services offer critical support throughout the construction process, enhancing efficiency and controlling costs. These services are essential for accurate budgeting, timeline management, and addressing unexpected issues.

On-site Surveying and Monitoring

On-site surveying and monitoring ensure the project adheres to design specifications. Surveyors measure and record data, verifying that construction aligns with plans. This helps in adjusting any deviations promptly.

By regularly monitoring the site, surveyors can detect issues early. This proactive approach prevents small problems from escalating into major delays or cost overruns. Continuous oversight from skilled professionals supports project engineers in maintaining high standards and keeping the work on schedule.

 

Project Delays and Complications

Quantity surveyors play a vital role in identifying and resolving delays and complications. When issues arise, they analyse the situation to determine the most effective solutions. Their expertise in cost analysis helps manage project budgets and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Surveyors collaborate with engineers and contractors to address any disruptions. By providing detailed reports and recommendations, they facilitate informed decision-making. This collaboration ensures the project stays on track, minimising delays and avoiding schedule slippages.

Effective problem-solving by quantity surveyors keeps the project moving, ensuring timely and cost-effective completion. Their involvement is crucial for navigating complexities and ensuring the smooth operational management of construction projects.

Compliance with Regulations

Proper compliance with industry regulations is crucial for any construction project. Ensuring adherence to safety, environmental standards, and other regulatory obligations can prevent fines, project delays, and reputational damage.

Adherence to Safety and Environmental Standards

Quantity surveyors play a vital role in ensuring that construction projects meet safety and environmental regulations. They make sure that building codes, safety standards, and environmental laws are followed. This includes monitoring hazardous materials, making certain there are safety measures for workers, and handling waste disposal correctly.

These professionals also help in securing the necessary permits and liaising with regulatory bodies. By doing so, they help reduce risks and ensure insurance providers’ requirements are met. Following these standards helps avoid costly legal issues and keeps the project on schedule.

Meeting Industry Compliance Obligations

Quantity surveyors ensure that all contractual and industry compliance obligations are met. This includes adhering to RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) guidelines and other industry standards. They oversee contract administration to ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied.

QS professionals keep track of documentation and certifications required for compliance. This helps in avoiding penalties and ensures smooth operational management. They also provide expert advice on regulatory changes that might affect the project, keeping all stakeholders informed. By managing these aspects efficiently, quantity surveyors contribute to a project’s overall success.

Technology and Innovation in Surveying

Technology and innovation are transforming quantity surveying by improving efficiency, accuracy, and insights. Key areas include implementing advanced surveying tools and leveraging data analysis and reporting techniques to deliver better results.

Implementing Advanced Surveying Tools

Quantity surveyors now use advanced tools like drone technology and 3D laser scanning. Drones allow for aerial surveys, capturing detailed site data quickly and reducing time on-site. These tools create high-resolution images and maps.

3D laser scanners measure spaces with high accuracy, generating precise 3D models of construction sites. These models help in identifying potential issues early, which can prevent errors and cost overruns.

Using Building Information Modelling (BIM), surveyors can integrate data from various sources, improving coordination and project planning. This integration leads to more accurate budgeting and forecasting.

 

Data Analysis and Reporting Techniques

Data analytics play a crucial role in modern quantity surveying. Advanced software tools process large volumes of data to provide insights into cost patterns, project efficiency, and resource allocation.

Surveyors can use these insights to make informed decisions, improving project outcomes. For instance, predictive analytics can forecast potential risks and allow for proactive measures.

Digital platforms have also enhanced reporting techniques, enabling real-time updates and more transparent communication with clients. These platforms streamline the data collection process and ensure accurate and timely reporting.

By embracing these technologies, quantity surveyors enhance their ability to manage costs, meet deadlines, and deliver value to their clients.

Final Thoughts

Hiring quantity surveying services brings several significant benefits to construction projects. These services offer a competitive advantage by maintaining efficiency and providing recommendations from past testimonials, as well as ensuring long-term financial savings for clients.

Main benefit:

Quantity surveyors help in increasing a company’s reputation by showing a commitment to cost management. This includes efficient resource allocation and holding contractors accountable. By using professional surveyor services, firms can avoid potential malpractices like unfinished areas and budget overruns.

These services enhance trust with clients, leading to positive testimonials and recommendations. Firms that include quantity surveying in their process are usually more successful in attracting new business opportunities and maintaining client satisfactio

Long-term Financial Savings

The primary role of a quantity surveyor is to control project costs from inception to completion. By accurately estimating costs and managing budgets, they prevent financial surprises. This leads to significant long-term savings.

Investing in quantity surveying services early ensures that all contracts hold contractors liable for their work. This foresight avoids unexpected expenses and makes sure funds are used efficiently. Over time, this translates to notable savings and a more streamlined project execution, benefiting all parties involved.

 

What is project management preparation

Project management preparation refers to the activities and processes undertaken before a project begins to ensure its successful execution. It involves defining the project scope, setting objectives, establishing timelines, allocating resources, and identifying potential risks.

Here’s a breakdown of key elements in project management preparation:

  1. Project Initiation: This phase involves defining the project’s purpose, goals, and objectives. It also includes identifying stakeholders and their expectations, as well as establishing the project team and their roles.

  2. Scope Definition: Clearly outlining the boundaries of the project, including what is included and excluded, is essential for managing expectations and avoiding scope creep.

  3. Planning: This phase involves creating a detailed project plan that outlines tasks, timelines, resource allocation, and budget. It also includes developing a communication plan, a risk management plan, and a quality assurance plan.

  4. Resource Allocation: Identifying and securing the necessary resources, such as personnel, equipment, materials, and funding, is crucial for project success.

  5. Risk Assessment: Identifying potential risks that could impact the project’s timeline, budget, or quality and developing strategies to mitigate them is an essential part of project preparation.

  6. Communication Plan: Establishing clear channels of communication between team members, stakeholders, and other relevant parties is essential for effective collaboration and decision-making.

  7. Procurement: If external vendors or suppliers are involved, the procurement process should be initiated to secure the necessary goods and services.

  8. Kick-off Meeting: A kick-off meeting brings together the project team and stakeholders to review the project plan, discuss expectations, and address any questions or concerns.

What is Value engineering?

Value engineering is a key function, where they find cost-effective ways to achieve the same quality and function. They prepare detailed cost plans and assess project feasibility, advising clients on potential financial impacts. They are also involved in procurement processes, ensuring competitive pricing and managing tender documentation.

Value Engineering:

  • Scenario: A hospital project requires a high-end flooring material that’s pushing the budget over the limit.
  • QS Action: The QS investigates alternative flooring options with similar durability and aesthetic appeal but at a lower cost. They might propose a different brand, a slight variation in material composition, or a modified installation technique.
  • Outcome: The project achieves the desired quality and appearance of the flooring while staying within the allocated budget.

Detailed Cost Plans and Feasibility Assessment:

  • Scenario: A developer is considering building a mixed-use complex in a rapidly growing area.
  • QS Action: The QS thoroughly analyzes the project scope, local market conditions, material costs, and labor rates to create a comprehensive cost plan. They assess the project’s financial feasibility, considering potential risks and returns on investment.
  • Outcome: The developer receives a detailed report outlining the estimated costs, potential financial impacts, and recommendations for proceeding with the project.

Procurement and Tendering:

  • Scenario: A school district needs to renovate several buildings within a tight timeframe and budget.
  • QS Action: The QS prepares tender documents outlining the project scope, specifications, and evaluation criteria. They manage the tendering process, soliciting bids from multiple contractors and subcontractors. They then evaluate the bids based on price, experience, and technical capabilities.
  • Outcome: The school district selects the most suitable contractors who can deliver the project within the budget and timeline, ensuring competitive pricing and minimizing risks.