You Can’t Afford Not to Use a Quantity Surveyor

Friday, December 11, 2015

We work with quantity surveyors on all of our projects. I’m entirely confident in our ability to design a house but – the same way I need an accountant for the business – I need a quantity surveyor to advise and monitor the costs of building one.

Occasionally, I meet resistance from clients who don’t see why they should hire a quantity surveyor. The short answer is very simple: they save you money, far more than what you will spend on their fees. Every time one of our projects has used one they have provided an excellent return on investment.

For the long answer, I got in touch with Rob Cole, Managing Director of Cole Management, one of the best quantity surveyors we work with. Below are his three top reasons why you should use a quantity surveyor.

Thank you Rob,

John Dyer-Grimes

We set you a realistic budget

A quantity surveyor shouldn’t be a quiet bean counter in the corner, we should be involved in a project from its earliest stages so that we can play a central role in its development.

We can start making cost estimates from the roughest of sketches. This lets you set realistic expectations for what can be achieved within your budget. Perhaps it’s not as much as you thought and you need to adjust your plans or put them on hold while you save, or, perhaps you realise you have some extra head room and want to spend it wisely.

Either way, this Initial Cost Estimate is based on current industry benchmarks for building costs, along with projected rises when you actually start building and data from similar scale projects. Much better than gauging your budget from a friend’s build from a few years ago in a different area or relying on contractors quotes.

Every project comes down to the same triangle of cost, quality and time: you can have cost and quality by taking your time, quality and time at a high cost, or cost and time at the expense of quality. By being honest about where you lie on this triangle, we can plan your project accordingly.

Then we help you stick to that budget

Construction is a series of prototypes. No two builds are identical, which means that without a detailed Schedule of Works it’s almost guaranteed that you will either overspend or go over time on your build.

We write a Schedule of Works for the architectural elements, the structural elements and the mechanical and engineering elements. These are based from the architectural drawings and information from various consultants.

This Schedule of Works is then used in the tendering process to find you the best contractors for the job. If you skipped us, then you lack the information required for a competitive tender process and – even if you could enter in – you probably wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of the multitude of quotes provided.

The most valuable thing about the Schedule of Works is that is allows us to negotiate contracts with contractors based on detailed information about the build and budget, so that construction costs can be set and agreed to before works commence. Then, unless you request a change in the build, it’s up to the contractor to prevent additional costs.

Most importantly, we save you money

This was John’s short answer but I do want to go into more detail.

There are hundreds of people involved in building a new house: one group doing the excavating, another pouring the concrete and another laying the bricks – the list goes on and on. All of them are looking after their own interests, and while they might do a great job, without a quantity surveyor you won’t know if they’re doing it for the right price.

The same goes for materials. We have exhaustive logs for the current and projected costs of every common and uncommon housebuilding material, along with who supplies them. Simply cutting out a couple of middlemen in the supply chain can cover the costs of a better bathroom or a cutting edge kitchen.

As I said, no two builds are identical, but we commonly provide a return on investment at least five times our fees. Saving you money is our raison d’être, so it’s entirely in our interests to save you as much as possible.

If you want any more information on the services we provide, get in touch at [email protected] and find us online at

Thank you,

Rob Cole