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  • Writer's pictureRachel Haines

When is the best stage to engage a Quantity Surveyor?

Quantity Surveyors can be one of the most valuable assets to your project by identifying the key cost centres of any project and assisting you to maximise value for money and minimise over expenditure. Quantity Surveyors are able to provide costings at any stage of design, so when is the best time to engage one?

Let’s first start with the most commonly adopted stages that we are approached to provide project cost advice on:

  1. Feasibility/Master planning: This could be a hand drawn sketch on a napkin, to a site or floor plan showing the intended scope. In most cases, the information is limited and are used to assist with establishing a realistic project budget.

  2. Concept/Schematic Design or Town Planning: This is typically the equivalent to what is submitted to council as part of a Town Planning application. We would expect to see floor plans, elevations, site plans and indications of external finishes.

  3. Design Development/Detailed Design: During this stage, we would expect to see a document set that is approximately 80% complete. It would include most of the required information including preliminary engineering designs and specifications.

  4. Pre-Tender/Tender/Construction: This is typically a complete set of Tender or Construction documents with all of the required information to complete the Build.

In the initial stages it can be beneficial to engage us to:

  • Provide feasibility and master planning costings

  • Establish a realistic project budget

  • Identify potential project specific risks and contingencies

  • Provide value management suggestions and cost alternatives

As the project evolves and further details are specified, we can:

  • Provide ongoing cost advice and updated Cost Plans as the design evolves to ensure your project stays on budget

  • Review the project before applying for planning approvals to confirm that the project is still within budget – this way you can avoid having to re-submit or re-apply for permits if the project is not financially feasible.

Once the project is ready to go out to tender, we can help by:

  • Preparing a Tender Cost plan to help provide an accurate and current cost analysis for the project. These costings are also beneficial in understanding and forecasting the costs over the lifespan of the project, while also being a valuable tool to assist in reviewing the builder’s tender submissions.

  • Providing tender assessment reporting, which breaks down each Builder’s pricing to understand where each may differ. While also spotting potential, risks, shortfalls, exclusions, or overestimates. We can help to provide a recommendation based on the financial analysis of each Tenderer.

Once the builder has been chosen, we can:

  • Advise you throughout the contract negotiations, assess any variations as well as assist with progress payments, project management and super-intendent services.

It is never too early to have us involved in a project, particularly if your budget is fixed. When we are involved earlier in a project, it enables you to have realistic budget expectations and limit the amount of costly redesign fees that may be required should your design be unknowingly bigger than your budget.

A Quantity Surveyor is an integral member of your team when building, helping to ensure a cost-effective and efficient build from the initial concept to final completion.

If you are interested in any of our services or would like to enquire how we can help with you project, please feel free to contact us on (03) 9086 3950 or email


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