We’ve pulled together our tips for choosing the right quantity surveying firm for your project. A decision which could determine the success of your project right now and for future developments.
1. Understand exactly why you need a quantity surveyor
Setting realistic timelines and financial budgets is essential in all construction and development projects and it can be tempting to do as much as possible by yourself and your own team to save on both. This is often counterproductive. Whatever your role in the project, it’s very likely that your skills, experience and energies are required elsewhere. This means that bringing in a reliable and trustworthy QS firm is essential, allowing you to get on and do your own work.
Appointing the right QS can save you time and money – if you get the right firm of quantity surveyors in place from the outset. A good QS firm will find ways to maximise on efficiencies and value, analysing compliance, legal and project documentation and regularly testing and checking budgets and deadlines.
When you get the right QS firm in place at the start, you are freed up to focus on other things.
2. Stay on top of the budgets
You won’t always have time to keep your attention on the finer details. Finding the right QS firm for your project means you can expect updates when you need it most. A good QS will work the numbers and manage the finances throughout. They’ll give you budget forecasting, and financial reports. This keeps you ahead of potential risks and weak spots, and keep project costs realistic, even if there are bumps in the road.
3. Prepare for conflict resolution
It is possible there will be some conflict during your development. Contracts and large-scale construction projects are prone to issues around contractor miscommunication, contract misunderstanding, financial pressures, cash-flow worries and personnel problems.
Conflict resolution can be costly – in both time and money – and it pays to have a great quantity surveyor in place to work with you to resolve them. A good QS can’t predict future conflict, but they will ensure that the contract they set up, and you enter into, will prevent issues arising, and if they do arise, include suitable mechanisms to mitigate your risks from them.
4. Research the right QS team and meet them face to face
You’re relying on your QS team working with a number of key people throughout the construction project including main contractors, sub-contractors and consultants, within the public and private sectors. To truly feel confident they are going to contribute effectively, get a feel for how they communicate on a face to face level. Learn as much as you can about the QS team – particularly about the staffing record and turnover. It can be unsettling to introduce new people into a project halfway through. Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to meet as many of the key members of the QS team as possible.
5. Case studies, referrals and testimonials
A good firm of quantity surveyors will make great connections on every construction project they work on – which is how word of mouth can work so well. When you’re speaking with a potential QS firm, ask for case studies or examples of their previous work before you appoint them. Testimonials are vital – they should be from real clients and should be based around developments similar in the sector, size and complexity to your own. Great quantity surveyor firms will feel positive about the idea of you contacting their clients so you can ask questions.
Case studies should include the following details – and if they don’t highlight this information it’s worth asking about them:
- What challenges have the QS firm faced on projects similar to yours?
- How did they overcome these challenges and what would they do differently next time?
- How did this benefit the client?
6. Ensure they match your needs
It may sound obvious but if the QS you’re considering doesn’t tick all of your boxes, then it’s time to look around for another. As well as the key factors discussed above, ask if a potential QS firm can:
- Work to your timescales?
- Work within your budgets?
- Carry out in the work in the geographical area?
- Show experience of working on similar sized projects?
- Provide examples of working in your sector?
- Take on every aspect of the work that you need?
- Demonstrate a high level of knowledge and expertise?
- Work on more than one project for you at a time?
Choosing the right quantity surveying firm… how about us?
When you hire the right QS firm, you’re essentially adding to your own team. A shared vision and goal mean your project will run smoothly within time constraints and on budget. It’s a vital role to fill within any construction project and it pays to do your research and source the right QS for the job.
BDG Thomson Gray have been Quantity Surveyors for over 130 years across a vast range of projects and clients in the construction industry. Our history means that our experience and skills take us way beyond that of a good quantity surveyor firm. We offer a full range of construction consultancy services, including:
- Cost management
- Principal Designer/CDM Advisor
- Risk & value management
- Whole life costing
- Procurement advice
- Conflict and dispute resolution
- Full consultancy services
If you would like to access our decades of professionalism and expertise then contact BDG Thomson Gray today.