Careers in quantity surveying are all about managing costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, the aim being to build high-quality structures as economically as possible. A quantity surveyor is involved at every stage from initial bids to final accounts. In some of today's projects there may be many millions of pounds involved. A quantity surveyor could work for either the client or the contractor.
- Contracts & procurement
- Cost Forecasting
- Monitoring Profit & loss
- Client liaison
A Quantity Surveyor identifies and collates the costs involved in order to develop an overall budget for any project. They can then undertake cost planning which aims to help all members of the design team arrive at practical solutions and stay within the project budget. It is the final detailed estimate prepared by the Quantity Surveyors, in consultation with a project architect, which forms a basis on which subsequent tenders can be evaluated. Schedules of quantities translate the drawing, plans and specifications produced by the design team to enable each contractor to calculate tender prices fairly, on exactly the same basis as the competitors.
Once tenders have been accepted, the Quantity Surveyor can provide cash flow data to enable a client to programme his resources adequately to meet contract commitments. In other words, the Quantity Surveyor decides how much of a job should be paid for at any one time.
In most construction contracts, the contractor is paid monthly and the Quantity Surveyor can value the work carried out each month submitting a recommendation for certified payment.
The Quantity Surveyor can also be called on to assess cost effects when changes occur and agree on variation with contractors.
Following completion of a contract, the Quantity Surveyor prepares a statement of final account, summarising the cost charges that have occurred and arriving at a final contract sum.