What does a quantity surveyor actually do?

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Usually we know the simple answer of what does a quantity surveyor do in construction question’s like cost and material estimation, monitor and control cost throughout the project and measure and value the work done on site. 

But this blog will explain to you this widespread question in detail what they do and here in this another what is a quantity surveyor  provide other information about the job. 

When you want to tackle a project as a stakeholder you will realize the importance of a quantity surveyor and what he/she do from beginning to complete it. 

Whether you want to mate sure that your construction project is on time and on the budget or want to bensure best quality of things for your money all of these achieved is not possible if you do not hire a professional quantity surveyor as it is his/her job to ensure receiving maximum value for your money with strong interest in keeping up with new developments.

Working in a project also includes  draw up projected budget, involved with various team builders, archtects, engineers and other contractors,and noting any design changes and their effect on cost besides help you acquire premium quality materials and labor at the most cost-effective materials and labor with rates. 

With years of experience a quantity surveyor know that virtually any project can at any time be subject to expected costs. To keep things running smoothly whatever it is dispute between two parties or others.

Here’s a list of the main things a quantity surveyor would do during any construction project:

Quantity take-off


Cost control and management

Contract Management

Risk management


Project management

Let’s take a look at each one in isolation.

1. Quantity take-off:

Before stating any construction the QS prepare tender and others documents and claimed that to get permission to work.

Using drawing and design with required amount of materials and work items that need to be performed in order to complete the task, yet this needs years of experience  and abilities to think.

Once the measuring task is completed the QS transfers them into a bill of quantities to make a shopping list. These materials list will need to be completed in time.

At the time of making list reviewing construction plan and quantity requirements while analyzes the drawing and specification of the new building which is providing by architects and engineers. Here, the QS calculate  the quantity of the materials  and labor cost used in the building. 

Only  a quantity surveying relies on technical measurement tools for accurate result to maintenance to project work smoothly.

As example, making sure as this best deal the QS analyze building cost historical data and give the early cost advice,budjet the bench market projects and prepare the life cycle plan. 

To do this he/she must have perfect knowledge understanding of building regulation in order to hold on to them and make sure the building project passes predetermined plans.

It is the foremost duty of a quantity surveyor to keep eye on the cost,updating budget and design, and maintaining profession relationship  during the whole construction of the building.

As the quantity surveyor is an essential part to help  o any new building construction or renovation project you should hire one with years of experience and academic certificates to ensure value of invested money.

Though a quantity surveyor tasks or responsibility in a construction project depends on the organization where actually he works, but a key role is managing the finance for it and make things cost-effective and for this estimating and financed experienced they earned a lot of attention in recent time not only for building project rather other civil engineering sector too.

Yet, the primary role of a quantity surveyor includes calculating the budget based on the consumer’s requirements and preparing an effective budget estimate for each stage of the construction process with better understanding whether it is a housing development, shoping mall or new civil engineering schere. 

In simple and straightforward words the principle of a quantity surveyor is developing a deep understanding of the building and construction industry.

2. Estimation:

Construction estimating should be accurate to keep the project on track from beginning to ending. While  a quantity surveyor working on the design stage of a project can significantly influence the project’s cost by analyzing the various construction options available keeping consideration to improving both quality and safety.

Furthermore,a quantity surveyor is responsible for identifying the costs and managing the budgets of a building project from outset to completion.

When the bill of quantities is done a quantity surveyor can use it to build the rates in the list of quantities to move to the next level of project.

As model, if the BOQ shows that there is 10m3 of cement to be filled an establishment, the assessor works out the expense of playing out the errand which incorporate the cost of the concrete,the labor required to put the concrete in the right place and the plant required to do the job thoroughly.

3: Cost control and management:

For different stages of project roles and responsibilities of a quantity surveyor changes even being fully employed by an organization or working on a project by project basis.

The QS do this at any stage during the project. As soon as a construction project has initiated, the challenge of the cost control and management starts ,and with it comes another key role for a quantity surveyor where controlling the cost from the very start is vital if the project is to be completed within  a particular budget.

Once  a quantity surveyor involved in setting the budget for a project it is his responsibility to make sure that the budget remains realistic as the project progresses.

There are always risks hidden which can increase cost and the quantity surveyor’s job is to minimize these costs throughout the project. These unforeseen hurdles from various parties allocating and solving them easily also part of a quantity surveyor role.

4. Contract management:

A quantity surveyor more or less work for consultancies to be office based and work typical office hour or temporary offices on construction site he/she act as a negotiator during the construction.

For example, if certain changes in the projects which can affect overall  costs,while the quantity surveyor may negotiate with the party concerned and reach a mutually beneficial solution in any hassle.

Moreover,in some cases the owner is running short of cash,a quantity surveyor can work with the bank to acquire extra financing for the project reviewing the predetermined budget and liaising with banker’s.

5. Risk management:

When it comes to risk management in a construction project a quantity surveyor plays an important role.As we already said that allocating risk of any project is the QS responsibility which needs experiences and knowledge of the challenges that have faced former projects.

While identifying risks is a challenge in itself within an industry notorious for having so many and a professional quantity surveyor manage smoothly and wisely.

On the contrary  a quantity surveyor should have the ability to understand and take steps to compensate for any impact and risk may have on the project. 

When the project starts a quantity would generally populate a risk register  managed throughout the construction process with his/her strong analytical and critical thinking skill faced the absolutely unforeseeable risks such as key subcontractor going out of business- arising during the project and the QS  can tackle this type of situation from extra contact or adjustability with their payments.

6. Procurement:

After making the list of purchasing of all the elements required in order for the project to go ahead, and the quantity surveyor will generally be tasked with putting together subcontractor packages, scopes, lettings and procurement schedules to keep the project on track. Also, Free work estimate templates to speed up your workflow from contractor estimate template.

From preparing the correct project documentation to information to be sent out to the other parties for pricing and other issues.

When the owner won the tender the quantity surveyor reviews the prices and deals with any items that need clarification with their finance experience from previous completed project.

Once they made decision onthe best value for money then quantity surveyor negotiates a contract with the winning bidder and complexities.

While this process can take long time such as one day to six months depending on the complexities of the items being procured, a quantity surveyor always not be successful but most of the time they did this accurately.

7. Project Management:

In construction companies for project management a quantity surveyor analyze from the begging to ending while he/she can really get a hold of it and make sure this runs properly. With rightly project management a quantity surveyor makes demand on all his skills discussed so far.

Undoubtedly The QS is one of the most valuable members on any construction project team who keep an eye throughout the work.

An experienced quantity surveyor should have all needed  qualities in order to succeed in the field we have mentioned above which actually make him valuable asset for any construction team.

No matter he is working in a small project or larger helping in tender winning, reviewing construction plan and preparing quantity requirements, laising with various parties, adving manager and client on improvement and new strategies, documenting changes in design and budget and maintaining a good relationship with others along with solving different complexities between them.All of these project managing task done by a talented quantity surveyor.


There can be some overlap about what does a quantity surveyor do in construction with negotiation and estimating for the project improvements.

Making an effective team for any construction project a quantity surveyor should have some requirements as good knowledge on engineering, surveying, management and or similar. With excellent interpersonal skill as well as ability to organize, plan and strategize.

As a quantity surveyor anyone should have quantitative skills helps to prepare accurate budget and repots that help stakeholders keep up to speed with projects spending. 

And with state-of-the-art construction projects being initiated in the year 2018 a quantity surveyor can play an effective role in the country’s economy.

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