Many self-build clients find themselves feeling ambiguous over potential costs at the point of commitment to their project.

Whether the work is renovation, extension or new-build the client has a need-to-know at all times where decisions are likely to lead, relative to risk in cost and contract liabilities. This is especially true where the work is large or complex (or both).

Online estimating and quotation services are inexpensive but often found to be unreliable, inaccurate and do not offer a professional level of service. Designers will provide all the drawings and specifications to make ‘the dream’ a reality on paper, however it is sometimes difficult for the design professional to predict accurately the detail and potential development of cost through the project. Often, ‘indications’ are given which can be heavily qualified and caveated, meaning they will be inaccurate too.

All this means at the critical moment of commitment to proceed, many clients are left confused and uncertain when they should be confident.

Clients can do better than ‘fingers crossed and hope for the best’ when it comes to managing their risk in a self-build project. Quantity Surveyors (QS) can bring clarity and detail to all stages of the process, building confidence and offering the client a long view over beginning-middle-end of their decision to commit to the work.

The QS will work with client and design team to define the scope of works, understand expectations and develop a series of accurate forecast costs which fully represent the potential commitment at each stage of the project process; from conceptual budgets, to detailed finalised design into contractor pricing and on-site cost control and valuation of works completed. Communication is central to the role at all stages of the process; the key to making figures as accurate as possible is often asking the right question of the right person, at the right time.

Alongside cost control, the QS will take a robust approach to contractual risk management to ensure the most appropriate legal framework is established, protecting all parties to the contract within a structured, predictable working relationship which remains flexible and secure when changes come along. By understanding the client’s objectives and taking a bespoke approach to delivery, the QS can tailor a solution to suit – whether you prefer the main-contractor route, sub-contractor packages or a largely DIY strategy.

All services are scale-able to reflect the clients needs and optimised to the nature of the project, a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for all and each project will be addressed as a unique opportunity.

Many clients will find that the fees-cost of using a QS is often more than balanced by the economies which are realised as a result of their work in defining, challenging and resolving cost issues surrounding the proposed works.

Useful links:

RICS: Quantity Surveyor Services (rics.org)

Quantity Surveyors: Do I Need One for My Building Project? | Homebuilding

The QSi – for Quantity Surveyors

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