How To Calculate Consulting Fees for Professional Quantity Surveyors and Construction Estimators

How To Calculate Consulting Fees for Professional Quantity Surveyors and Construction Estimators

A quantity surveyor/professional estimator is responsible for managing the costs of a building project, from project inception to completion. Throughout the project, the client will be responsible for paying the consulting fees for services rendered by a quantity surveyor. The amount of professional fees charged by a quantity surveyor depends on the method used / contract between the consultant and the client. There are many factors which influence the fee structure within a contract. This includes the type and value of project, type of client, the type of estimate and valuation method used in the pre-contract and post-contract stages respectively.

For quantity surveyors and professional construction estimators who are registered with a regulating body such as the institute of quantity surveyors, the professional body will devise its own fee structure or guideline for charging fees. If a cost estimating consultant is appointed to manage projects / tenders run by a high level client such as the government, state-owned enterprise or major corporation, the fee structure used by a QS professional body is usually adopted. This fee structure is often displayed in annual government gazettes published by the Department of Works and Infrastructure, known by different names depending on your country.
Method 1 – Tariff of Professional Fees Charged by a Quantity Surveyor (Set by a Professional Body of Quantity Surveyors)

In this case, a construction project (Building Works) is divided into 4 or 6 stages. We shall use a 4 stage example. This starts with the planning and estimating stage, followed by the documentation stage, contract administration and ending with the final account stage, also known as project close-out.

The ASAQS 1996 Guide for Quantity Surveying Appointments defines the stages as follows:

Service A – Estimating & Cost Advice Stage

Service B – Documentation Stage

Service C – Contract Administration Stage

Service D – Final Account Stage

In the SACQSP (South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession) 2015 Guideline Tariff of Professional Fees, a construction project is divided into 6 stages:

Stage 1 – Inception

Stage 2 – Concept and viability

Stage 3 – Design development

Stage 4 – Documentation and procurement

Stage 5 – Construction

Stage 6 – Final Account

In the ASAQS 1996 Guide, Service A is a combination of Stage 1, 2 and 3 of the SACQSP 2015 Guide.


Apportionment of Total Fees Throughout a Project

A client will pay an apportionment of fees due to the Quantity Surveyor in all stages of the contract until the project close-out. The apportionment of the total fees for quantity surveying services rendered throughout the project is shown below:

BOQ Contract:

For a contract based on Bills of Quantities (BOQ), the total fees are apportioned in the following manner:

  • Service A (Estimating & Cost Advice Stage) – 7.5%
  • Service B (Documentation Stage) – 42.5%
  • Service C (Contract Administration Stage) – 30%
  • Service D (Final Account Stage) – 20%

Provisional BOQ Contract:

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