Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Quantity Surveyor??

Quantity surveyors are the financial consultants of the construction industry whose training and experience qualify them to advise on cost and contractual arrangements and to prepare contract documents. They act in liaison with architects, consulting engineers and contractors to safeguard the client's interest. They are independent experts who operate in a specialised area of the construction industry. Quantity surveyors are required to comply with a strict code of professional conduct which includes responsibility to their employers or clients and to their profession having full regard to the public interest, conducting themselves so as to uphold the dignity and reputation of the profession and discharging their duties to their employers and clients in an efficient and competent manner with complete fidelity and without undue delay.

What are the responsibilities of a quantity Surveyor?

The quantity surveyor covers a huge number of roles from working for both Clients and contractors. For Clients he will advise the very initial costs for schematic drawings and develop this through the design development process. He will administer the procurement of the contractor, value the works as the site progresses and agree the Final Account. For Contractors he will calculate the materials required for the project, procure the sub contractors, agree the monthly valuations with the client and ultimately the final Account.

Why use a Quantity Surveyor on your project?

Contrary to common thought, quantity surveyors don’t “just count bricks”! quantity surveyors have vast construction knowledge and a high standard of technical understanding. Primarily acting as a ‘construction accountant’ from cost planning/ estimates to final account stages, a quantity surveyor can accurately advise on all aspects of expenditure. By using a quantity surveyor you will also be employing an experienced construction professional, who can advise on most aspects of construction including procurement, methods of construction, contractual issues etc. A quantity surveyor is an imperative member of the team. A quantity surveyor will manage all your costs keeping them to a minimum. The role of a quantity surveyor has changed dramatically over the past 20 years as, not only will the quantity surveyor handle your costs but can also create strategies, plans of works, programs and much more.

A quantity surveyor can also assist with contractual matters, as building contracts can be complex, especially if the contracts with amendments to the standard form. As your quantity surveyor, we can guide you through your legal and contractual responsibilities to ensure both parties are acting fairly and reasonably. As quantity surveyor’s we can provide a number of different services to a construction project. These are thing such as Cost Planning, Forecasting, Producing Bills of Quantities, Bills of Materials, Cost Monitoring, Variation proposals, Re-measurement on site, Pre Construction Estimates and Financial Management of Contracts.

What is a Bill of Quantities?

The Bill of Quantities (sometimes referred to as the 'BoQ') is a document prepared by the cost consultant (usually a Quantity Surveyor) that provides project specific measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications in the tender documentation. The quantities may be measured in number, length, area, volume, weight or time. Preparing a Bill of Quantities requires that the design is complete and a specification has been prepared.

The Bill of Quantities is issued to tenderers in order for them to prepare a price for carrying out the works. The Bill of Quantities assists tenderers in the calculation of construction costs for their tender and since all tendering contractors will be pricing the same quantities (rather than taking-off quantities from the drawings and specifications themselves), it also provides a fair and accurate system for tendering.

Contractors tender against the Bill of Quantities, stating their price for each item. This priced Bill of Quantities constitutes the tenderer's offer. As the offer is built up of prescribed items, it is possible to compare both the overall price and individual items directly with other tenderers' offers thus allowing a detailed assessment of which aspects of a tender may offer good value or poor value. This information can assist with tender negotiations.

The priced Bill of Quantities will also:

• Assist with the agreement of the contract sum with the successful tenderer.
• Provide a schedule of rates assisting with the valuation of variations.
• Provide a basis for the valuation of interim payments.
• Provide a basis for the preparation of the final account

What is the difference between a Quantity Surveyor and a Cost Engineer?

Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering have similar and highly overlapping functions however; Quantity Surveying relates more to building design and construction whilst Cost Engineering relates more to engineering projects and processes.