What is the difference between a quantity surveyor and a cost consultant?

Published: April 1, 2022
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Ensuring the success of your construction project isn’t an easy job. There are a lot of moving parts to ensure work together, costs to manage and regulations to follow, all of which can cause issues including unplanned expenses and delays.

One of the best ways to ensure your project runs smoothly is by hiring the right consultants. This can mean enlisting the services of a quantity surveyor or a construction cost consultant.

But which is the best option for your project and what is the difference between a cost consultant and a quantity surveyor?

What is a quantity surveyor?

Quantity surveyors can work across several industries, including construction, property and land management. They calculate the costs of a project and manage them throughout the life of the project, from initial estimates to the complete budget.

Typically, quantity surveyors are involved from the start of a project, as they assess its feasibility. They can then remain involved in the project to oversee the actual costs and real-time cost forecasts. They will also react to any issues or changes in specifications to provide updated feasibility reviews and costings.

A quantity surveyor performs a number of functions, including:

  • Preparing tender document
  • Preparing contract documents
  • Carrying out cost analyses
  • Assessing and monitoring cost variations
  • Assessing value for money
  • Undertaking feasibility studies
  • Making payments
  • Preparing bills of quantities
  • Helping define the project project
  • Assessing tenders

Whatever the type of project, quantity surveyors are relied on to ensure that the final outcome of a project offers value for money.

What is a construction cost consultant?

Construction cost consultants work to actively manage costs for your construction project to ensure the best possible return on investment. Cost consultants are often also quantity surveyors, meaning they have great knowledge of the construction sector and trends, which allows them to provide estimates and advice related to a project.

Cost consultants ensure that you have full visibility of the costs of a project both at the start and throughout, ensuring project feasibility and that costs don’t spiral. They help to analyse potential issues that may occur to provide advice and potential salutations to reduce costs and limit delays.

A construction cost consultant can provide a range of services, including:

  •  Helping to determine a client’s requirements
  • Undertaking feasibility studies
  • Benchmarking requirements
  • Defining the budget of a project
  • Assessing project value for money
  • Preparing cost plans
  • Preparing estimates
  • Detailing cash flow projections
  • Undertaking risk management  exercises
  • Providing procurement strategy advice
  • Putting together tender pricing documents
  • Preparing bills of quantities
  • Issuing tender documentation
  • Completing the final account

Cost consultants are typically brought on at the start of a project but can be hired once the project has started to help assess costs and documents if it looks like the project will be delayed or go over budget.

Do I need a quantity surveyor or a cost consultant?

Both quantity surveyors and cost consultants are beneficial to construction projects. They can both provide you with an expert view on the costs of your project and ensure that it is delivered within budget. This means that the service you require often depends on your project, how far into it you are and the amount of support you need.

While quantity surveyors are generally employed right at the start of a project, cost consultants can help at any stage – even if a project has started. This means a cost consultant can be beneficial if you are facing cashflow issues, are worried about going over budget or need to renegotiate with subcontractors.

Here at Multiproject, we offer both quantity surveying and cost consultancy services, so we can take you through what each entails to allow you to decide on the best course of action. Either service benefits from years of experience, in-depth industry knowledge and comprehensive methodologies that are designed to get you the best results.

To discuss which service is best for your business and project, get in touch with our expert team today by calling 020 7096 8235 or by emailing office@multiproject.org.