What does a Quantity Surveyor do?
When I decided to study Construction Economics, there were not too many students enrolling in the course. Unlike Architecture, which attracts thousands of students, there were only a few people
signing up. For me that was good because it meant less competition.
I think the reason for lack-lustre enrolments was because students didn’t understand where the qualification could take them. They didn’t know what quantity surveying involved.
When people ask me at dinner parties, “What do you do?” Even today, I generally say I’m a valuer.
Why? Because people still just don’t get what quantity surveyors do. And it’s easier to say I’m a valuer of construction costs.
We get so many calls from people wanting valuations on their properties or wanting us to go out and survey their property.
So let’s dumb it down and explain the differences:
• A Property Valuer is someone who will value what your property is worth or what the units in your development will sell for.
• A Land Surveyor is someone who can work out where the boundary of your property is and even set out where your property will be built. They are those funny people
walking around with theodolite thingamajigs!
• A Quantity Surveyor is someone who tries to work out what the construction cost of your property is likely to be. I say ‘try’ because as you can appreciate, lots can go wrong during construction, such as weather conditions, industrial disputes.
A quantity surveyor works within the construction industry. We are the ones who estimate the costs of construction and all related expenses. From the moment you think of constructing a building, an apartment block, an office tower or whatever you want to build, you should consult with a quantity surveyor.
In general, here are some of the services provided by a quantity surveyor:
• Cost planning and commercial management during the entire life-cycle of the project, from inception to completion
• Value engineering
• Risk management
• Procurement advice and assistance during the tendering procedures
• Commercial management and contract administration
• Assistance in dispute resolution
• Asset capitalisation.
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