What does a Quantity Surveyor do?

So you have a plan for your construction work. There is an initial design in place, perhaps through using an architect, and now you want to make your extension, conversion, renovation or new build a reality. This is where a Quantity Surveyor comes in.

Essentially, the QS is hired to protect your interests and finances when it comes to the planning and carrying out of the construction work. The client can be any individual or business having the works carried out. The QS will be on hand throughout to oversee the project from creating the initial budget based on your needs, to agreeing final sums due to contractors and suppliers for completed work. Key aspects such as measuring the work, organising building materials, pricing and scheduling the construction are all part of the role of a QS.

First thing’s first

At the start of a project, the first thing a QS will focus on will be costs. This ensures that the construction work you have planned fits in with your budget, and if not, the QS will help the you tailor those plans to suit. Finances can often spiral out of control if they aren’t watched carefully, and the QS protects the clients’ interests and ensures the works are cost effective.

With the budget created, the QS will create a ‘control document’ or a schedule of work. Precise specification, material quantities and the terms of a contract will all be a part of that document, meaning every part of the construction is carefully planned and organised. This will be a huge help when selecting a contractor, as each will be pricing the works based on an identical basis. This makes the job of comparing quotes much easier.

From here, it will be the responsibility of the QS to set out a contract for the building works between the client and the contractor, which protects both parties and encourages a smooth process as the construction work begins. The QS will have a sound knowledge of construction contract law and the specific contracts used.

Managing and mediating

With all your ducks in a row, you will feel at ease knowing that the budget is controlled and there is a clear plan for their project. Moving forward, a QS’s expertise will ensure that the build costs are controlled, limiting problems further down the line during construction. The QS can act as a mediator between the client and contractor whilst the building work is ongoing in the case of unforeseen complications. Use of an effective QS could be the difference between a messy court dispute, and a project that flows smoothly and leaves both you and the contractor happy.

Ultimately, the level of involvement from a QS is completely up to you and some wish to have their QS effectively manage the project on their behalf from start to completion. However, alongside working to the clients’ needs, the QS’s main responsibility will always be to ease concerns regarding construction costs.

Midlands Office:
Ridgeway House, 1 High Street, Astwood Bank,
Redditch, Worcestershire, B96 6DB

01527 894514



London Office:
12 Melcombe Place, London, NW1 6JJ

020 3367 1379

Ridgeways Surveyors Limited, Registered Office, Ridgeway House, 1 High Street, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire, B96 6DB. Registered in England & Wales. Company No: 9145497