When it comes to home building, people experience financial issues for certain reasons. Either the project has obtained unforeseen costs or the architectural design is extremely ambitious. However, the main reason is a lack of solid financial planning. When you have a quantity surveyor, you can prevent this problem by watching closely the project finances and contractual relationship.
What Is a Quantity Surveyor?
This is someone who is a professional in the construction industry with great knowledge about contracts, costs, and more. Their role is to produce the overall cost estimate for the home building project. Their services can vary depending on the project and its specific requirements. Also, a quantity surveyor often works with an architect and contractor.
Looking at the initial designs, the surveyor will produce a budget cost plan at the start of the home build project. After the initial figures, the surveyor will create a Bill of Quantities, including the elements of the construction process. The process is broken down into different trades, which are used by builders to get individual costing or to price the whole project.
A surveyor who is fully engaged with a project prepares contract documents, manages the entire process of tendering, negotiates figures, analyzes quotes based on tender details, deals with payments to suppliers and builders, and manages the budget all throughout the project.
Is Using a Quantity Surveyor Worth It?
Keep in mind that home build projects seldom progress without any problems. Budgets and timescales can quickly and easily exceed. Fortunately, the quantity surveyor can obtain the best materials available and market prices, helping the project proceed in line with the budget. This maintains the cost information in real-time by managing the financial plan during the build.
In case problems occur, the surveyor looks for the most cost-effective solution and communicates it with you concerning what changes to make to the project in order to lessen the impact on timeline and budget. While working with your architect, rest assured that the surveyor has the contractual knowledge and expertise to accomplish the desired results and deal with issues.
The more details you can give your surveyor at the outset, the more accurate the early estimation will be. Your project should have all the necessary planning drawings, surveys, and Building Regulations, as these are important to obtain cost quotations.
Moreover, a quantity surveyor is well-versed in uncovering opportunities that fly under the radar of most people, helping you save more money. Also, the surveyor keeps track of the processes and gives you reports on the progress made. For this reason, it can significantly lower the risk of setbacks and delays.
What Stage of the Project Should You Involve Your Quantity Surveyor?
To enjoy the benefits of using the services of a surveyor, make sure to involve them starting at the earliest stage of design. In general, the surveyor should be present at all stages of the home building project from pre-construction to completion.
Usually, when you have an architect and discuss your expectations in design and budget, a surveyor also gets involved during this phase. At pre-construction, the surveyor will establish the procedures of the project and its reporting. They will meet with you, together with the contractor and architect to reach a joint decision.
The quantity surveyor works as a Contract Administrator when the home build project gets to the one-site phase. The surveyor makes sure that the project proceeds according to plan while cooperating with the main contractor and designer. As the Contract Administrator, the professional will monitor the quality and progress of the project by doing regular meetings and site visits.
The main contractor will submit a monthly valuation and assess if all identifiable parts are in line with the specification. The surveyor will give the final certificate during the last part of this phase.
The quantity surveyor will conduct an inspection to find out if the house is all set for the handover. This includes ensuring the right paperwork is in place so you can stay in your new home fast.
If the budget and design are completely different, it is better to determine it from the outset. This is essential if you seek an unusual design as the quantity surveyor can find out if there is anything similar to draw comparisons from regarding the costs. This allows for cost risk assessment. The surveyor can create a more comprehensive cost estimate when the project gets to the Building Regulations phase.
Any changes to designs and plans will inevitably impact the cost and this rarely causes a reduction. The earlier you finalize the design, the less likely there will be time delays and cost increases.
A change may be more expensive to incorporate through a project partway, than if it had developed part of the original design. If changes occur, it is smart to consult with your quantity surveyor, as they are experts at analyzing the cost impact of any changes and can use their experience to lessen that impact and stay close to budget as much as possible.
How About a Renovation Project?
Home renovation projects can be cost volatile as new home builds or extensions. But, the decision of whether to use a quantity surveyor when renovating a house will depend on the nature and scale of the particular project.
Keep in mind that if the renovation project is more extensive and invasive, including structural changes, there is a higher chance of coming across unknown issues that lead to time delays and cost increases.
Involving a quantity surveyor can be extremely beneficial especially when planning the building renovation within a conservation area, in which you will deal with limitations on the kinds of materials available and permitted. The allowed finishes may be more costly compared to other options and would have a huge effect on the budget if priced incorrectly at the start.
Having a quantity surveyor who manages the economics of your construction project is important. You may choose to do most of the things yourself, but what you invest in a surveyor is nothing compared to the many benefits that you will get down the road. Using the services of this professional does more good than harm.