Do I need a quantity surveyor?

Big or small, construction projects are seldom straightforward. Whether a seemingly simple home extension or a multi-storey shopping centre development, the smallest of errors or delays can cause a domino effect, having a big impact on costs and timescales.

And with even relatively minor builds usually requiring several contractors, the more parties involved, the more likely those errors and delays are to occur.

So surely hiring a quantity surveyor would just add to your cost and supplier management headaches?

Well, no – in fact, quite the opposite!

Quantity surveyors are experts in managing costs, timelines and keeping relations on good terms with previously agreed contracts that set out clear expectations
A QS helps to bring your project in on time and within budget – sometimes even under budget!
If you’re unsure whether a quantity surveyor could help you, ask yourself these questions first:

Do you want to save money?
Brought in at the early stages, a QS can provide cost estimates to help you understand what your budget can achieve. Perhaps it’s not as much as you had expected. Or more than you thought. Either way, knowing this before you start work, helps to give you more control and adjust your plans prior to, rather than during the build.

Throughout a project, it’s crucial to tightly manage the tender and procurement process, obtaining multiple quotes and scrutinising the detail to ensure best value for money. But this process can be time-consuming and confusing. A QS can use their considerable experience and contacts to not only identify the best suppliers to approach, but also ensure each quote is like for like while identifying any scope gaps and risks.

Plus, we’re experts at identifying cost saving and value engineering opportunities and will monitor costs as work progresses to ensure expenditure is on, or below target.

Do you want to finish the project on time?
Missing just one deadline can be the undoing of a project. It can hold up other elements of the work and also cause costs to spiral to try to get back up to speed.

A QS will oversee all contractors involved in a project. They’ll keep a close eye on timescales, foreseeing any potential hold-ups and provide solutions to claw back time if unavoidable delays do happen, managing any associated costs.

Would you like help understanding and drafting contracts?
Without legal expertise, contracts can be a minefield. It’s essential to fully understand your obligations before signing on the dotted line. Contracts are often put to one side to read later, filed away on a shelf or even used to prop up a computer screen!
Likewise, preparing one for a subcontractor must be done correctly to ensure it is legally accurate and reflects the true intentions of the parties involved.

A QS can not only prepare and check any contracts before they are agreed but will also challenge and negotiate the terms to ensure they are fair and minimise your risk.

Should contractual issues arise, your QS can step in to handle any disputes, potentially avoiding the need for legal involvement, preserving relationships along the way too and ultimately saving you money.

Do you want to avoid risks?
There are a variety of potential pitfalls with any build project – missing or incorrect specifications or drawings, not enough resource, disagreements over responsibilities, lack of planning for risks, scope gaps, statutory delays – the list goes on.

An experienced QS will have seen them all. But on occasion, unforeseen issues do occur that could not have been foreseen. As well as identifying and helping you plan for known risks, a QS will help you prepare for the unknown too, ensuring any surprises along the way are quickly remedied. If extra cost is necessary, they’ll provide measured and realistic options to minimise impacts and if needed, identify savings in other areas.

Do you want to maintain good relationships with your team?
When suppliers and contractors have worked together before and know and trust each other, projects run much more smoothly. So, building and maintaining good relationships is vital for your reputation and future success. As a neutral third party, a QS can manage all the commercial elements and contracted parties involved to resolve problems quickly and fairly. In short, a QS can ensure everybody is still friends once a project is over!

Do you just need expertise in a particular area?
There might be times when you only need assistance with a specific element of your project. You might just need someone to cast their eye over your contracts, help with tendering, review a growing variation account or to chair meetings and report on progress.
A QS can step in at any time to offer help and advice. However, ideally, they will be involved at the planning stage through to the end. That way, they can ensure everything is correctly managed from the very beginning.

If you’d like to talk about how Hawk Surveying could help with an existing or future project, feel free to contact me on / 07548 130854.