3 Reasons To Employ A Quantity Surveyor

If cost is a contributing factor to the delivery of a building project (when is it not?), we always advise our clients to employ a quantity surveyor or cost consultant. These skilled professionals play a key role in working out what a client can afford to build and keeping a close eye on project finances.

Here are three reasons why quantity surveyors are prerequisites for successful projects:

1. Realistic cost estimates from the start

Quantity surveyors have access to the latest construction cost data, enabling them to produce realistic costings during the design phase.

Choosing to employ someone local gives the added advantage of data from local projects, reflecting the local market and likely overheads and profit percentages.

2. No nasty surprises during the tender stage

Projects can (and do) stall after they go out to tender. Unfortunately, this happened to one of our clients recently. Their story illustrates the importance of using a quantity surveyor or cost consultant.

A garden plot site already had planning, but the developer wanted Cityzen to expand the property within the limits of the planning approved footprint.

We achieved approval for a larger family house and the developer secured project funding based on estimated build costs. They used our planning drawings to independently obtain a cost plan, and later firmed this up using our building regulations drawings.

For the tender process, we provided a construction package with all the detailing required by the builder, plumber and electrician. The property would incorporate MVHR and this was specified on the page ready for the tender. The finishes were not out of the ordinary, as they were focusing on the family home market.

When the project went out to tender, four prices were returned up to £90k higher than the cost estimates our client had been using. Suddenly the project wasn’t feasible.

So what went wrong? Our client had acquired build costs for the project but unknown to us, had used an online estimator. It was a risky alternative to using a quantity surveyor, and in this case had serious consequences. The site remains unbuilt while the developer sources another way forward.

3. Cost management right up to the finish line

Quantity surveyors are responsible for controlling the costs on a construction project. From their involvement in the initial cost estimation process through to the final acquisition of materials, they are focused on managing the project budget and achieving value for money for their clients.

So, if cost is critical to your project, a quantity surveyor or cost consultant is an essential member of the project team and well worth the investment.

We’ve worked with Cityzen on several projects and have always found them to be proactive, efficient and effective in their service delivery. Their inputs provided the client with confidence about project costs and quality. Communication is always positive and solution oriented. We would have no hesitation in recommending the Cityzen team for similar projects.

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