Getting a good quality surveyor is paramount if you want to get a building project up and running. A good quality surveyor is very skilled at financial management, while also being quite practical. The reason this type of job needs this special combination of skills is that a quantity surveyor is in charge of all possible costs that are involved with a building project. That’s why a quantity surveyor needs to have a practical mind that knows exactly what you need for a project, and how much it will cost, while at the same time be financially savvy enough to plan out and calculate everything in advance.

If you want to know more about quantity surveyors, perhaps because you are in need of one on a building project, or you actually want to get into this profession, read below.

Why do you need a quantity surveyor

A quantity surveyor has a number of obligations he needs to fulfill. However, they all boil down to managing all costs of building or engineering projects. This means everything from the very first calculations to the final, black on black, numbers. What a surveyor aims for is to minimize all the costs as much as possible, while not sacrificing quality or efficiency. They want to get as much value out of the money that has been invested as possible, while still holding up the relevant regulations and standards.

A quantity surveyor needs to be up to date with all standards and building regulations. While some work in offices, more often than not, they will need to be present at a building site. Quantity surveyors will draft up some initial calculations at the beginning of a project, but will also need to update and change them up relatively often. So, in situations where a sudden financial issue would derail the whole project, a quality surveyor would help you handle and minimize it. They can minimize any damage and loss of work hours caused by a problem like this.

Responsibilities of a quantity surveyor

You can find a good surveyor by contacting professional quantity surveying firms, or get a freelancer. But, no matter where you get your surveyor, the tasks they need to perform are pretty much the same.

A quantity surveyor should give you advice on any and all procurement planning. So, what do you need to get, how to get, at what price, etc. They will also analyze the expenses that would follow any necessary repairs or maintenance projects. They will help with financial risk analysis, as well as cost control. A quantity surveyor will employ subcontractors if he or she thinks that will lower the costs of the whole project.

They will also need to be completely up to date with all possible documentation. This means tender documents, contracts, as well as the latest necessary standards. They need to be familiar with all the bills of quantities they have set up with architect and clients. Finally, they need to undertake feasibility studies and see what the client’s requirements actually are.

Some more experienced quantity surveyors can even assist with getting extra and special sources of funding, and give advice on better property taxation.

How to pick a good quantity surveyor

There are several traits that a quantity surveyor needs to have. We already mentioned these, but if you want to hire one, you need to look for more proof.

You should always get a fully qualified surveyor, not just a trainee. To get one, you should see if they have taken the proper programme and course. So, for example, in the UK, you should find one that is affiliated with the RCIS. In Australia, the AIQS (Australian Construction Service) may post some recommendations to proper quantity surveyors.

You should also watch out for people who have a lot of certifications. Now, of course, somebody right out of college may be an excellent surveyor too and just didn’t have the time to get all the certifications. But, these documents can really serve as proof and guarantee that you will get your money’s worth.

Also, know that some quantity surveyors special in different fields and areas. Some are focused on project management, others at procurement. Some really have a lot of experience with one type of project, like residential buildings, others are better with shops or factories. Know exactly what you want to achieve, and then try to get a surveyor that fits your needs.


We hope this quick guide on quantity surveyors has been informative. A good surveyor is hard to find, but once you do get your hands on one, you will notice just how time and money you can save. Your project will go much more smoothly, and many financial issues may be solved in advance before they occur.