How to get the most out of your QS spend

Clarify with a call

A quick phone call between builder and QS can help lay out how the builder plans to tackle the construction, and this understanding makes the pricing more accurate.

The QS can understand site specific information and conditions, and ask questions around the order the building will be constructed.

Have clarity around what you want to get at the end of the service.

Asking to “QS this project” means something slightly different to every builder, depending on their experience.

So be clear about your requirements, even if you have used a QS before. If you can be clear about what you need, you are less likely to be over-quoted on your QS service, for example, if what you really want is elemental pricing (or ball park building costs looked at holistically), then don’t pay for (and receive) a more expensive, detailed measure and pricing exercise.

You can look at example pieces of the broad types of QS work if you haven’t got a clear idea to help show you what’s possible.

Ask yourself, what does the end result of the QS work look like?

What info do I need it to tell me?

Have the handover chat when you receive the pricing, while it is fresh in your QS’s mind

It is common for a builder to receive a pricing exercise, repackage it for their client, and then forget about it until it is time to build it.

This can be many months later.

If you can sit with the QS report in front of you and make a quick call to the QS when you receive it, that is a last chance to understand how the build has been imagined by the QS and then make tweaks to the report or construction plans that fit the report.

This helps make sure you are happy with what the QS has done, and can get any clarification of the report while it’s fresh.

Check in on the unusual items

Make sure they haven’t been overlooked and the labour allowed reflects how You the builder will construct it.

Although it is a quantity surveyor’s worst nightmare, we are unlikely to miss the flooring or the roof!

But the unusual, not standard or unique items need to be adequately included.

The large ticket items are seen all the time, and will be well taken care of, but check in with the QS how they are treating the non-standard items like a pergola, louvres, privacy screen etc.

There won’t be a labour constant for a non-standard item, so have some explanation and any tags or limited around how this item has been priced, so you understand on site what has been allowed for and so the QS understands how you want it to work on site.

The QS can work with the builder’s experience here, and then you both have confidence the materials and time allowed, and therefore the pricing, is accurate.