A day in the life of a main contractor Quantity Surveyor (QS)

Whether you are embarking on a career change, studying at university, or just generally thinking about becoming a QS, you may be wondering what a typical day may look like for you and what you would be getting involved with throughout a project. Well, if that is the case, you are in the right place. This video is going to delve into what a typical project may look like for the Quantity Surveyor…

Pre-Works – Tendering and Estimating

At the start of a new project, all of the architect’s drawings should be stamped with the office stamp and the date of receipt ready for the QS’s careful examination.

· Figured dimensions on the drawing should be checked, and any omitted dimensions calculated and inserted on the drawings.

· Any queries on the drawings should be entered on query sheets for further clarification from the Architect.

· It is sometimes the practice on large projects to subdivide the taking off work between different quantity surveyors or separate groups depending on the size and complexity of the project.

The main elements that require a take-off or Bill of Quantities such as, Structure of the building, joinery and finishes, services and external works are ideally undertaken by a single group of Quantity Surveyors, generally under the supervision of a senior Quantity Surveyor.

The final documents then need to be dispatched to tenderers, with a covering letter stating:

  • The date / time / place where the tenders are to be delivered.
  • Where and when the contract drawings can be inspected.
  • How the contractor can visit the site.
  • Request for acknowledgement of receipt of document.

Construction Cost Management – During the Works

During a project, Quantity Surveyors must keep extensive cost records of daily activities on site and produce accurate cost forecasts at various stages of the project.

The client will need to know the likely sums which he will be required to pay the contractor and when they will occur. To meet this need, the quantity surveyor will prepare a schedule of the likely amounts due and their timing by using the most up to date and agreed programme of works. Any issues of variations to the scope of works or duration must also be flagged up by the QS, reported and then assist in the necessary contractual mitigation procedures.

Normally the quantity surveyor is notified of such changes before they are implemented on the site. Therefore, he should have adequate time to prepare detailed cost comparisons and can inform the client of the likely cost consequences of the changes and what may be the best option. Throughout the project, assessing subcontractor applications and approving payments will become a monthly norm, it is always good practice for a QS to liaise well and build a good relationship with the subcontractors working on their project.

Post Construction Works

Upon completion of a project, the Quantity Surveyor will be tasked with producing a ‘Final Account’. The final account is the conclusion of the contract sum (including all necessary adjustments) and signifies the agreed amount that the employer will pay the contractor. It includes any works that are paid to the contractor through the main contract. Typically, the final account includes any loss and expense associated with any extensions of time and any other claims the contractor feels he or she is due under the contract. It also indicates the finalisation of any disputes that may have arisen and in that sense draws a line under the financial obligations of both parties.

Moral and Ethical Obligations

Quantity Surveying is profession and so QS’s are expected to uphold certain ethics throughout all of their day-to-day tasks on a project. Be it before during or after the physical construction.

Quantity Surveyors are expected to act with honesty, dedication, care, and trust in all professional relationships including clients, subcontractors, third parties, other surveyors, the general public, and they must avoid making decisions which are morally wrong.

All QS’s have a moral duty of care when dealing with clients and their affairs. And to exercise the utmost honesty and integrity in all of their dealings. Clients can rightly expect that professional men and women will possess a reasonable measure of competence and skill. Within the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors rules of Conduct they state: Members of the institution shall discharge their professional duties to their client and to wider public interest in accordance with the objectives of institution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More To Explore