Often, before starting a build or renovation, the client or project manager will question whether they can afford to hire a quantity surveyor.
But, clichéd as it sounds, the real question is, can you afford not to?
Before doing so though, it’s helpful to understand how the different roles a QS perform can really help make the most of your budget and to highlight how including their fee in your budget can make a huge impact on your cost savings.
These are the top five ways a QS can help get you more bang for your buck:
Experts at budgeting
The best time to bring a QS in, is before a project starts. They’ll sit down with you during the estimating and planning stages, taking time to understand your vision and objectives. Using their vast experience and contacts, they could help you to save money before you even begin by helping to make sure you have best value for money and identify any potential gaps early.
A QS can help identify potential risks and opportunities which could mean the difference between a project going ahead or not. This will also allow you to accurately prepare and have contingency in place, should the need arise.
A building project is often complex, involving multiple suppliers, trades, materials and deadlines.
Keeping an eye on every expense is no mean feat! A QS will closely monitor expenditure throughout the project, so that costs don’t spiral, recommending areas to cut back on, compromise on or slim the budget down on, if any unforeseen expenditures do arise.
The right suppliers at the right price
Sourcing and comparing quotes can be a time-consuming task. A QS can take this on for you and will ensure that quotes cover every possible cost, including those you might not have anticipated.
Nobody likes to be surprised with an unexpected cost further down the line that ‘wasn’t included in the quote’!
They can also help break down building elements into manageable packages to ensure competitive pricing while still maintaining a profit.
As well as value for money, they’ll scrutinise suppliers to make sure that no corners are cut and that all work and materials are of the specified quality.
A QS will check your contracts are water-tight
There are many elements that need close consideration when issuing contracts – are you using the right form, has it been drafted correctly, does it reflect your requirements accurately?
Likewise, when signing a contract, are you confident enough in your legal acumen to be certain of the obligations you are agreeing to?
Have you read the small print – often at the root of disputes.
QS is highly skilled in the legal and financial aspects of contracts. They can help you prepare legal documents and check any over before you sign on the dotted line.
What’s more, they’ll challenge the terms, negotiating a deal that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved while ensuring compliance. Careful consideration at the draft stage can help avoid disputes and therefore unnecessary costs in the long-run.
A QS can help manage your project
A QS has the experience and expertise in every area of managing a build. They know the processes and pitfalls at each stage and can predict issues before they become a problem. Should the unexpected arise, they are well-equipped to offer solutions and get you back on track as soon as possible.
As well as monitoring the budget, they can forecast potential costs of different scenarios and help to reallocate funds or make compromises, if necessary.
They will factor all these different elements into your timeline, carefully manage every deadline and help to save time if any overruns occur.
Having an expert in charge with their eye on the clock and hand on the purse strings can definitely impact your bottom line with a project that’s not allowed to slip away from budget or timeframe.
With so many different parties involved in a project, not everyone will always see eye to eye. Minor disputes are inevitable – often they can be resolved with a conversation, easily and amicably. On occasion, however, disagreements can escalate, jeopardising relationships and the future of the project.
A QS can help prevent these situations happening in the first place with upfront involvement at the contract stage. Should a dispute occur, however, they can act as a neutral third party, helping to resolve issues quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.
If a dispute cannot be amicably resolved, it can delay or even put a halt to a project, extending the time period and therefore the cost. In this event, a QS can help you pursue settlement through alternative procedures.
Having a QS on-hand to mediate in this way can not only save your budget and timescale from running out of control, but it can help maintain good working relationships, which is vital for future collaborations.