The Joy of Quantity Surveying

7th February 2020

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From the very first plans, all the way through to completion, Quantity Surveyors play a part in every aspect of building work. So, what is it about their job that keeps them motivated and eager to get back on the building site? For Ben Coombs, Director of Quantity Surveying at MacConvilles, it’s a little bit of everything.

From the Beginning

The joy of surveying begins with that very first phone call, when a client has an idea but is unsure of how to proceed. We offer the necessary professional advice to help them get their project off the ground. 

Recently, we helped the Food Partnership in Brighton and Hove create a unique community space in which they are able to teach people to cook. When they first called us, they knew what they wanted to do, but they didn’t know how to start. They were worried about costing and timescales and how they would bring the project together. We discussed all the immediate issues and made a plan of action.

When you get that call, you know you are about to be part of something special. Whether we are taking part in care home refurbishments or working on ‘The Big Park Project’, our role helps create something that will bring others happiness. It is hard not to get excited about that.

Overcoming the Challenges

Once work has begun, there can be unforeseen obstacles. Overcoming these hurdles so that work can continue within the agreed timescales and budget is incredibly satisfying. Budget is one of the biggest issues for most projects as costs can quickly spiral out of control. Our job is to ensure the project comes back within budget, while also carefully managing the expectations of the client and stakeholders. Things can change, even on the shorter projects and sometimes a budget is no longer sustainable. It is our role to stay on top of this, so that everyone is always aware of the issues and how we are working to solve them.

Reading between the lines.

It is about more than just money, however. Quantity Surveyors have to look beyond the obvious issues, reading the initial drawings and designs and looking for essential elements that are not depicted. By costing these elements and taking them into account from the beginning, we help to prevent any potential problems, saving our client time and money in the long run. Our extensive knowledge and experience of how a building is put together allows us to consider every tiny detail, from door handles and hinges to excavations and architraves. On-site, we look at what might be happening behind the walls, considering structural and electrical elements. Identifying hidden costs and pinpointing any further possible issues before they arise.

Learning New Tricks

One of the most important/exciting parts of our job is that we are always learning new tricks. It is important to transfer these skills from job to job, even if they seem industry specific. For example, if we have found a way to make a saving on hospital renovation, that same saving might be applicable for work on a primary school or office build. The size of MacConvilles means that we regularly work in many different industries, so we gain valuable experience and knowledge on every single job.

Of course, the best part of a job is the end. After all that hard work and effort, we are able to hand over the completed project to the client. Seeing the joy on their face and having a building project come to life is what really puts the joy in surveying.

If you are planning a building project, why not make our day and give us a call? Our professional QS team can’t wait to get their teeth stuck into another building venture!

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