Why You Need a Construction Cost Estimator / Quantity Surveyor to Manage Your Building Project

Ask some random people at your workplace, your friend or an ordinary person in the streets what a Cost Estimator is. More often, they have no idea what that job title means .At least, the word Cost Estimator is self-explanatory for most people. Ask them what a Quantity Surveyor is and they are even more puzzled. Most of them have never heard of such a career. A majority of people often confuse the name for Land Surveyor, which is a more popular profession than Quantity Surveying.

QS Builders Measuring Tape For Site Measurements

So a client who has never heard of a Construction Estimator will wake up in the morning and do the obvious thing i.e. contacting building contractors to get quotes. He or she might be planning to build a duplex house, apartment, shopping mall or office block on land that was purchased a year ago. In order to get the best contractor, the client may ask friends, neighbours and colleagues to recommend a contractor who did similar work for them. Friends will happily recommend an XYZ construction company in town and the client will set out to hire them, leaving everything in their hands.


A business savvy construction company will quickly offer to get the client some building drawings if the client doesn’t have them, and they will give a quote based on a rough in-house estimate. Note that most clients don’t like the hassle of being kept busy with a project, they just want to leave everything in the hands of experts i.e. the construction firm.


The hypothetical firm XYZ Construction Inc. has years of experience and they know how to deal with different types of clients. They have been involved with lots of personalities, ranging from the submissive ones, the professional ones, the busy ones to difficult ones who like taking control. The client Mr. Railroad will only show up at the site when the project is almost finished, but after a brief inspection of the works, he won’t be smiling. The project didn’t match the specifications he had in mind, the workmanship was sub-standard and above all, the project was delayed by three months.Mr Railroad paid what was asked by the contractor at each stage of the project, even though the contractor was liable for the costs. He has to foot the bill for delays, variations and many other claims put forward by XYZ Construction Inc to extract the maximum possible profit from the project. The project costs have ballooned by a higher percentage even though the local construction index remained constant over the course of the project.Mr Railroad has no idea about cost management and the construction index. To make matters worse, he has no clue about the type of contract he signed.


The above scenario illustrates the consequences of not hiring a Construction Cost Estimator aka Quantity Surveyor to manage your building project. You need an Estimator for the following reasons:

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