Why do I need a Quantity Surveyor?

do i need a quantity surveyor
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When you start planning to build a home from scratch or undertake a major renovation in Byron Bay and surrounding areas, there are a lot of different people involved outside of your architect and builder. 

One of these is the quantity surveyor. If you’re wondering, do I need a quantity surveyor?, take a look at what this person does and why they may be essential to your project. 

What is a quantity surveyor?

Your home building process starts with designs and plans from your architect. These come in 2D or 3D form and represent what the home will eventually look like. 

The next step is to bring them to life but you need to make sure that everything is feasible and that it will match your budget. 

Architects and home designers have a great deal of expertise and won’t design outside the realm of what’s practical and affordable. Your quantity surveyor brings an extra layer of knowledge by reading and interpreting the plans and specifications from a build cost perspective. After they have had a look at the plans, they will apply their knowledge of the construction process and the materials used to help estimate and monitor costs. 

The benefit of using a quantity surveyor is that they will estimate the construction costs of your project. This isn’t a skill architects can apply in specific detail. 

Your quantity surveyor brings a ‘mix’ of skills, with an understanding of property design, engineering, construction and material costs. 

When you use a quantity surveyor, you get the benefit of a build cost estimate which doesn’t have any bias. For example, a builder may quote low in order to win the job, then find ways to increase the price (although at Zaher Architects, we recommend reliable builders who we know won’t do this). 

The result of hiring a quantity surveyor is that you have the best possible clarity around the costs involved with your project. If you need to, you can go back and review your designs to make sure your new home stays on budget. 

Your quantity surveyor will be able to collaborate with your builder and architect when it comes to getting more out of every dollar you spend. 

Why engage a quantity surveyor?

Here’s a hypothetical:

Let’s say you approve designs and send them to a builder, who gives a quote. Your budget is $1.2 million.

However, the builder, after starting the build, comes back and tells you that certain parts of your project are going to cost more. This is because they aren’t experienced with estimating. 

The only solution is to revisit the designs. This costs money as you paid a flat fee for your home to be designed and changes will be charged for by the hour. 

Meanwhile, because your project has stalled, your builder goes to work on another home. You now have a half-built house sitting open to the elements and the builder may not be free again for months. 

What’s more, you don’t know if the costs the builder is telling you are accurate. The result is a project which exceeds your hopes in terms of money and time spent. 

Of course, to answer the question, Do I need a quantity surveyor to help with build costs?, the answer is not necessarily. However, for a major project, including the services of this professional will ensure you get accuracy and value. Your project will be more streamlined and more likely to be completed according to your expectations. 

At Zaher Architects, when working in Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterlands, we aim to deliver sustainable, beautiful architectural designs and help you confidently navigate the mystery that is architectural practice. If you’d like to discuss your project, please contact us for an obligation free consultation.


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