Frequently asked questions?
Top Questions about Quantity Surveying.
When you need Absolute confidence in your numbers, we can help. Contact us today for a no obligation discussion to see how.
1. What is a Quantity Surveyor
Some people are unfamiliar with what Quantity Surveyors do. In laymans terms the Quantity Surveyor is like a Construction Accountant. Accountants count dollars and cents. Quantity Surveyors count materials and labour, arrange contracts and then administer the building process to reconcile the financial outcomes
2. Quantity Surveyor fulfill what Roles?
A quantity surveyor is specifically focused on the management of construction cost and value. No other professional has a firmer grasp on what all of the cost outcomes will become. This will include a QS performing all of, or parts of, or supporting roles in the following:
• A estimator
• A quantity surveyor
• A cost engineer
• A construction economist
• A requisitions officer
• A construction accountant
• A contracts manager
• A project manager
• A construction valuer
• A specification valuer
• A chattels valuer
• A disputes arbitrator
• A professional witness
• A tender manager
• A technical advisor.
Everyone wants to know what the costs of their project will be. And if the costs on a project escalate, how can they apportion the costs fairly. When composing a team of professionals to achieve a construction project there will always be the necessity to accurately define the cost implications of any decisions. Amenity, utility and service all come at a price. Quantity Surveyors improve the economic certainty of your projects dramatically.
Some people think that the role of a quantity surveyor can be a boring one. This is far from the truth. As a quantity surveyor gains experience his responsibilities and variety of work increase enormously. This brings about a large variety of work as can be seen in the list that follows.
3. When Do You Need A Quantity Surveyor?
- When you are quoting or competing for a job as a Builder or a Contractor
- When you are embarking on a new build as a home owner or a developer
- When you are considering the profitability and feasability of a project
- When you are doing a feasibility study on a housing development or multiple unit construction
- When you are an Architect or Draftsman that wants to provide a level of professional certainty to what you do
- When you need confirmation that your insurance claim is accurately costed
- When you need an independent valuation of any insurance settlement offer
Everything that revolves around construction has a cost. Your confidence that costs are controlled needs to be placed with the professionals most equipped to assess and control costs
4. How do you choose the right Quantity Surveyor?
- First, choose a member of the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors. For a significant or defendable solution look towards having a Registered Quantity Surveyor
Note: at last count there were only 19 registered Quantity Surveyors in Christchurch. Ask for confirmation of qualifications or look at the NZIQS website's registration page (look for 'NZIQS List Registered Quantity Surveyors').
- Look for a Professional Quantity Surveyor firm (PQS). The PQS is a professional who has dedicated his or her career to the practice of construction economics and the management of construction through effective cost control. To become a PQS,an individual must successfully complete the appropriate education requirements which is followed by several years of monitored experience in all aspects of practice. The designation Registered QS can only be granted by the NZIQS. Any breach of established ethical standards by a NZIQS member can result in disciplinary action, suspension or cancellation of membership
- Ask about their Professional Indemnity insurance cover. Insurance firms resist providing cover to non professional groups
- Ask what real world, practical construction experience these people have. A qualification is not in itself the complete picture
- Look at the level of reporting data they offer and ask if it will be fit for the purpose
- Ask about fees and turn-around times. Low fees will usually mean a low quality, corner cutting job that may fall well short of your requirements
- Visit the office and get a better feel for the quality and experience that is on offer
5. Why Do You Need a Quantity Surveyor?
Quantity Surveyors do what no other professional in the building and construction industry can do – accurately assess and report on the real cost of repairs and construction. If you do not use a fully qualified Quantity Surveyor, any assessment of repairs, rebuild or new construction is nothing more than a best estimate. Even a 10% under-estimate can result in tens of thousands of dollars (and we have seen estimating errors of hundreds of thousands of dollars) coming out of someone’s pocket.
At Asset Sure Quantity Surveyors, our Number One Objective is to do our professional best to ensure that every project is costed down to the last nut, bolt, 4 x 2 and bucket of cement. If this objective is not achieved, someone is out of pocket.
Our guarantee at Asset Sure Quantity Surveyors is to do our very best to make sure our clients are never out of pocket.
6. What Benefits Can I Expect From Using A Quantity Surveyor?
Do the benefits of using a Quantity Surveyor outway the costs? Why would you be motivated to engage a Quantity Surveyor? For two main reasons;
- You wish to avoid making losses
- You wish to amplify your ability to make or preserve money
Losses can occur at any phase throughout a project. The principle exists that the further into a project when a loss becomes apparent, the greater the loss will be. The counter-principle is that the sooner your professionals team is involved the more effective it will be at producing favourable outcomes. This is called Early Contractor Engagement. The overall costs of your professionals should be less. The downside is that more is spent on their involvement at the beginning than the end.
Material costs in a project will vary very little no matter who builds it. This leaves only the labour and organisational ability of those involved as a means of onsite efficiency (cost saving). It goes without saying that any project that is highly detailed can also be highly organised. Some highly organised sites achieve greater than 20% time savings. This fact has multiple benefits. The tenants are domiciled earlier. Lengthy time overuns are avoided which also avoids the need for penalties and disputes. The onsite costs are greatly reduced (this can amount to a lot of money). And the overall Labour requirements reduce to provide a cheaper building that yields a better return on investment.
These are the reasons that you should use a Quantity Surveyor for. They are also the reasons you should definately use a Quantity Surveyor if your project is likely to cost $1 million or more.
7. Who Needs a Quantity Surveyor?
- Builders when estimating, quoting or tendering for new work, renovations or insurance repair work
- Developers looking to contract build and sell options
- Home owners needing an exact figure for repairs, renovations or new work
- Architects who need to cost their design work and meet their clients’ budgets
- Lawyers needing irrefutable evidence to support or challenge an insurance pay-out
- Loss adjusters needing exact confirmation of damage and restoration costs
- Project managers wanting comprehensive and detailed reports
Contact ASQS today, or simply fill out the contact form for a return call:
- +64 3 281 7703