Who wants to spend money on a QS when you can do it yourself?
We completely appreciate that the idea of using a quantity surveyor is a bit foreign, and perhaps it is unclear as to what use we have when so many of you price jobs yourselves and don’t know any different.
Let us explain…
One of our QS' favourite things to do is to cook. One of their boys is a coeliac, so they end up in the kitchen making things he can eat and find the process super relaxing… when things go well of course!
Alton Brown is a cross between a mad scientist and a chef, and he is SO fascinating to watch. He uses scientific explanations to show you WHY your muffins rise lopsided, or why the cream splits and how to bring it back.
Now, it’s not like eating a lopsided muffin is going to kill you, however, it is definitely an imperfect outcome.
Giving it a go
The take away from watching Alton Brown? There is simply a difference in being trained at what you do and having a crack at it.
So, if the job is putting a roof over someone’s head, the difference between us completing the task, and you completing the task is massive. We would get a bit of tin and try to rig something up and probably injure myself in the process, whereas you guys would measure and cut and fix and know exactly which power tool to use and when!
Well, we both would achieve a roof, but we can guarantee what you put together would last longer, be safer, look better, and the person receiving the roof would be much happier than they would with my attempt!
Quantity Surveying is no different
Except that the imperfect outcome means you guys losing money, which is a bigger deal than a lopsided muffin or someone needing to grab a brolly.
SO OFTEN the builder’s response to the question – ‘how do you do your pricing?’ is, ‘ah well y’know, I just have a crack at it.’ All well and good, so do you make money? ‘Oh well, y’know, you win some you lose some.’
That seems pretty vague when you consider that is a livelihood on the line.
The thing we find is builders don’t understand who are not in the habit of using a QS every now and then is the up-front protection the initial pricing exercise can provide, and the fact the exercise is like a roadmap to running the job profitably.
Even if the dollar value you come to is the same as what we would, the difference between having that protection and that roadmap is enormous and can directly affect if you make money or lose money on a job.
Give a Quantity Surveyor a crack
So even if you don’t really care if your muffin is lopsided or not, my suggestion is you give using a QS a crack.
See what you think of the process, and even if you only do it once a year at least you will be able to use the formatting from what we have done to help with the next job that you price yourself.