Office Tools and Furniture for a Construction Cost Estimator / Quantity Surveyor

laptop-estimators office-qs

A Construction Cost Estimator is a qualified professional who spends time in the office working on papers as well as in the field, taking site measurements at each stage of a construction project. So basically, an estimator needs two types of tools – office tools and site tools. Office tools allow the consulting estimator to prepare documents. Field tools allow the estimator to collect site information that is required for preparing valuations and estimates.

High quality tools will allow a Quantity Surveyor to produce high quality work. They should enable the QS to work faster and efficiently, as well as make accurate deliverables. Accuracy is a very important factor in the estimating trade. There are tools that allow you to do just that. The following is a list of essential tools and furniture for an office estimating task.

Estimator’s Office Tools and Instruments:

Computer or Laptop

A modern computer or laptop is required when you are working in a Quantity Surveyor’office.A computer is used to run estimating software that helps in producing cost estimates and programs of work. Besides estimating programs, the most common programs that are used on a computer by an estimator are Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. You will also need a computer to download or open building specifications, get supplier quotations, and above all interact with the Architect, Engineers and other consultants via email or office clients. There is a lot of information that you can gather from the internet that is related to quantity surveying.

Architectural Scale Rule

A 6-sided architectural scale rule is needed when you are doing a plan takeoff. This scale rule allows you to take dimensions where they are not shown. Most engineering drawing rules come with the following scales – 1:10, 1:20, 1:50, 1:100, 1:250 and 1:500


A protractor allows you to measure angles, for example the roof incline or pitch. Angles are used in trigonometric formulas to calculate actual dimensions, volumes and areas.


A Triangle is a three-sided measuring instrument that allows you to draw perfect perpendicular lines. As an illustration, if you want to find the height of a gable wall or truss where dimensions are not given, you can use a triangle to draw a vertical line that is perpendicular to the floor. In this case, the base of the triangle will rest on the floor line while you draw the perpendicular line. You then draw another line at eaves level that is parallel to the floor. Finally you use a scale rule to measure the gable height. This is an accurate method of measurement as opposed to arbitrary drawing.


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