What is a quantity surveyor?

We have now arrived at a design that we like.  Before we apply for planning permission we decide to have the plans looked at by a Quantity Surveyor. 

A Quantity Surveyor (or QS for short), is a professional that knows all about the cost of building. 

We want to get an accurate picture of the cost of our project before we continue to make sure that the design is still within our budget.  There’s not much point continuing along with the process if we can’t afford it.

what is a quantity surveyorWhat is a quantity surveyor? They'll help you determine the cost of your new home.

Our QS will also be involved in the tender process.  The exercise of figuring out what our home will cost to build puts them in a great position to assess the quotes that come in from builders when we go out to tender.

We’re also planning to retain our QS on throughout the duration of the project for a number of reasons.

  • To make sure that the billing throughout the project is fair.  This is to say that we pay a fair price for the work that is done.
  • To make sure that the costs attributed to any changes or works required due to unforeseen circumstances are priced fairly.
  • To act as an advocate on our behalf should there be any financial disputes during the project.

We found our QS through recommendations of friends.  You could also try talking to builders or contractors or architects to get names of a QS.   Remember that you’re trying to hire someone who’s independent of your contractor and architect to act on your behalf so while your own builder or architect may have a recommendation you can imagine how this might throw up a few conflicts of interest.

You could also use a professional body to find out 'what is a quantity surveyor' and to find your QS.

royal institute of chartered surveyors

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (UK)

This group have a worldwide influence.

USA Surveyors

USA Surveyors

The profession of quantity surveying doesn't seem to be represented by a professional association.  This site is more like a business listing. 

If you can point me towards a better organisation to reference please let me know.

What is a quantity surveyor? - Different types of surveyors in the construction industry

I just want to make sure that I didn’t forget to point something out to you.  There are two main types of surveyor in the residential construction industry.  Quantity Surveyors and Building Surveyors.  If you want someone to assist you with the budget and cost of your project then it’s a Quantity Surveyor that you need.  A Building Surveyor gets involved when you buy a home to check that there’s nothing wrong with it. 

I just wanted to point out the difference so that you get the professional help that you’re looking for.

It’s all good.  Our QS did the assessment and we’re within budget.  On we go to planning.

So I hope that answers the question 'what is a quantity surveyor'?  Using one was a great help to us on our project.


You’ll have read from the planning post above that we took ages to get through the planning process.  During that time the economy in Ireland has improved substantially and there’s lots of construction going on.  Builders are in demand so prices are going up!!  We got our QS to go through our costs again just to check.  Sure enough the price has gone up but the project is still doable.

More Remodelogs for you...

Remodelog index

1 - My Dream House

2 - My dream house - First Floor

3 - Dream House Floor Plan Inspiration

4 - Hiring an Architect

5 - Architectural Design Brief

6 - House Plan Ideas

7 - Architectural Floor Plans

8 - More architectural floor plans (coming soon)

9 - What is a Quantity Surveyor?

10 - My Building Permit

11 - Building Contractor Services

12 - The Demolition Starts

13 - Laying Foundations