From Estimation to Contract: Diverse Roles of a Quantity Surveyor

  • August 20, 2023

From Estimation to Contract: Diverse Roles of a Quantity Surveyor

The construction and property development sectors thrive on precision, cost-effectiveness, and timely execution. At the heart of these imperatives lie the pivotal roles of a quantity surveyor. These professionals bridge the gap between architectural vision and tangible, cost-effective results. They ensure that the financial aspects of construction projects are well-managed from inception to completion. With the various roles of a quantity surveyor encompassing cost estimation, contractual management, and more, their influence is undeniably vast and vital.

In the rapidly evolving Irish construction market, the roles of quantity surveyors become even more pronounced. This surge in demand underscores Necto Selection’s commitment to scouting and placing the best talents in these roles, appreciating the intricacies and importance of the profession. As we delve deeper, we’ll uncover the multifaceted roles of a quantity surveyor in ensuring projects’ financial and contractual soundness.

The Pre-construction Phase

In the vast world of construction, even before the initiation of any physical work, a myriad of pivotal tasks await. Many of these crucial responsibilities fall squarely on the roles of a quantity surveyor.

Feasibility Studies

  • Role Insight: One of the central roles of a quantity surveyor at the outset of a project is to conduct feasibility studies.
  • Details: Through rigorous analysis, they assess whether a project is financially viable, considering costs, potential returns, and inherent risks.
  • Outcome: Ensuring projects can be completed within the allocated budget without skimping on quality.

Cost Planning and Estimation

  • Role Insight: Estimation serves as the financial foundation of any construction project.
  • Details: Encompassing not just material costs, the roles of a quantity surveyor stretch to cover labour, equipment, and unforeseen expenses through precise cost planning.
  • Outcome: Their proficiency ensures stakeholders remain informed about financial commitments, mitigating unexpected financial surprises.

Advice on Procurement Strategies

  • Role Insight: Beyond pure numerical considerations, the roles of a quantity surveyor also venture into strategic advisory.
  • Details: They provide guidance on the most effective procurement strategies tailored to a project’s unique demands — from suggesting apt contract types to recommending vendors and subcontractors.
  • Outcome: Their strategic insights optimise procurement processes to align with both the client’s goals and the project’s fiscal boundaries.

The Construction Phase

The Construction Phase

As a project evolves from paper to reality, the roles of a quantity surveyor become even more pronounced. They navigate the financial landscape of the ongoing project, ensuring every step aligns with the outlined budget while mitigating potential risks.

Cost Control

  • Role Insight: A primary function during the construction phase involves diligent cost monitoring.
  • Details: By regularly comparing the forecasted budgets with the actual expenditures, a quantity surveyor ensures the project remains financially on track.
  • Outcome: This vigilance aids in preventing cost overruns and facilitates timely corrective actions if discrepancies arise.

Contract Administration

  • Role Insight: Contracts are the binding promises of a project, and their administration is pivotal.
  • Details: The roles of a quantity surveyor here involve validating that all involved parties are upholding their contractual obligations and managing claims, variations, and potential disputes.
  • Outcome: Their oversight ensures a smooth workflow, honouring both the letter and spirit of the agreement.

Valuation of Completed Work

  • Role Insight: As the project progresses, evaluating the completed work becomes imperative for financing.
  • Details: The quantity surveyor assesses the value of finished segments, which becomes the basis for progressive payments to contractors and subcontractors.
  • Outcome: This ensures that payments are fair, timely, and in line with the actual work achieved.

Risk Management

  • Role Insight: Construction projects are rife with potential financial pitfalls.
  • Details: By identifying these potential risks early, from market fluctuations to material shortages, the roles of a quantity surveyor also encompass proposing preemptive measures.
  • Outcome: Their expertise helps in averting financial calamities, ensuring a project’s financial stability from start to finish.

Post-construction Roles

Even after the completion of the construction phase, the roles of a quantity surveyor continue to be indispensable. They ensure financial settlements are transparent, mediate any lingering issues, and guide clients in recognizing the value of their assets.

Final Account Preparation

  • Role Insight: Finalising a project financially is as essential as its inception.
  • Details: The quantity surveyor meticulously reviews all costs incurred during the construction phase, summarising them into a cohesive final account. This account depicts the full financial story of the project.
  • Outcome: Through this, clients gain clarity about the total expenditure, ensuring all financial obligations are settled appropriately.

Dispute Resolution

  • Role Insight: Disagreements, especially concerning finances or contracts, aren’t uncommon post-project.
  • Details: In these scenarios, the roles of a quantity surveyor often pivot towards mediation. They act as neutral figures, equipped with detailed project knowledge, assisting in resolving disputes amicably.
  • Outcome: This facilitates smoother project closure and fosters a positive environment for future collaborations.

Asset Capitalization

  • Role Insight: Recognizing the value of the new asset is critical for clients.
  • Details: Post-construction, quantity surveyors guide clients in understanding the worth of their constructed assets, considering both their market value and potential revenue generation.
  • Outcome: This insight aids clients in making informed decisions about the asset’s future, be it for utilisation, leasing, or selling.

Specialised Roles in Ireland

Specialised Construction Roles in Ireland

In Ireland, where construction and renovation meld with tradition and sustainability, quantity surveyors often find themselves taking on specialised roles tailored to the unique needs of the region.

Sustainability and Green Building Evaluations

  • Emerging Need: With environmental concerns at the forefront, Ireland is rapidly adapting to sustainable construction practices.
  • Details: Quantity surveyors are pivotal in this shift, playing an active role in green building evaluations. They assess the cost implications of sustainable materials, energy-efficient technologies, and eco-friendly construction methodologies.
  • Outcome: Their evaluations ensure that while projects are environmentally responsible, they also remain financially viable, striking a balance between green initiatives and budget constraints.

Historical and Conservation Projects

  • Distinct Significance: Ireland, steeped in history, boasts numerous heritage sites and structures that require restoration or preservation.
  • Details: In these specialised projects, the roles of a quantity surveyor go beyond typical cost management. They need to consider the unique challenges posed by conservation work, such as sourcing rare materials, adhering to preservation guidelines, and ensuring the historical integrity of structures.
  • Outcome: With their expertise, these projects not only uphold Ireland’s rich heritage but also ensure that restoration works are done within set budgets and timelines.


Navigating the vast landscape of construction and property development, the roles of a quantity surveyor stand out as pivotal. From the early stages of feasibility analysis to post-construction evaluations, their expertise shapes the financial trajectory of projects, ensuring viability and value for all stakeholders. In Ireland, with its blend of modern developments and historic preservation, this role gains even more significance.

The Irish construction sector, witnessing a resurgence, hinges on the proficiency of quantity surveyors to ensure projects are both economically sound and aligned with regional considerations. As the demand for these professionals grows, it’s a golden era for those equipped with the right skill set.

How Necto Selection Can Help?

For those ready to make their mark in this flourishing field, Necto Selection awaits. As a premier recruitment agency, Necto connects aspiring quantity surveyors with top-tier opportunities, setting the stage for a rewarding career in Ireland’s construction industry.


Q1. What are the primary roles of a quantity surveyor?

A quantity surveyor (QS) plays a pivotal role in construction and property development, ensuring projects remain financially viable. They conduct feasibility studies, provide cost planning and estimation, oversee contract administration, manage risks, and determine the value of completed work, among other tasks.

Q2. How do quantity surveyor job roles differ from one phase of construction to another?

During the pre-construction phase, QSs focus on feasibility studies, cost planning, and advising on procurement strategies. In the construction phase, their attention shifts to cost control, contract administration, valuation of completed work, and risk management. Post-construction, they handle tasks like final account preparation, dispute resolution, and asset capitalization.

Q3. What responsibilities does a quantity surveyor carry throughout a project’s lifecycle?

A QS is responsible for ensuring that a project stays on budget, adheres to the contractual terms, and delivers value. This encompasses tasks like conducting feasibility studies, budgeting, monitoring project finances, overseeing contracts, managing risks, and valuing completed work.

Q4. What does a QS do in the construction industry?

A QS acts as the financial and contractual bridge in the construction industry. They manage costs, ensure contracts are adhered to, determine the value of completed portions of the project, and play a significant role in risk management. Their expertise ensures that projects are economically sound from start to finish.

Q5. How integral are QS roles in the construction process?

QS roles are vital in the construction process. Their expertise ensures that projects remain economically viable and that all contractual terms are met. They work closely with contractors, architects, and clients, ensuring that projects progress smoothly without financial hiccups.

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