Types of Quantity Surveyors
The quantity surveying industry is small, there are less of us than there are engineers! That being the case, you do tend to get different ‘breeds’ of quantity surveyor, and they are not all alike!
PQS – Professional Quantity Surveyor
This guy works client side for the large commercial developers as an independent consultant.
The PQS firm is usually very large and has branches around the world and nine times out of ten is working on complex commercial projects creating tender packages and schedules of quantities, and then also running the jobs – this means completing the variations and payment claims – representing the developer.
Often the developer is independent, but these guys also regularly look after government agencies and the like too.
Construction Estimator / QS
These are the guys that usually work for the large construction firms who are on the opposite side of the PQS on large commercial jobs.
They will be the ones who price the tenders the PQS put out, and then work on behalf of the building contractor during the project.
This means you will frequently find meetings between the two sides where the QS’s will battle for their clients around a table… and this is why you want a QS working on your side!
Sub Trade QS
These guys are super specialised….. they generally have chosen a niche industry in the sub-trades such as mechanical services, or plumbing, and they only work in that space.
They work directly for the sub-trade company and know the ins and outs of it intimately.
They are often not the guy you want to measure your timber framing if they haven’t done it in a while, but their value within their field is high as they are not easy to find.
Full respect for these guys, they are the ones who work for themselves from a small office or a room in their homes, and they help to look after the SME builders.
They are generally competent in residential pricing and measuring and have been doing it for a while. It only takes a few builders on the books to keep these guys busy, and only so many hours in a day so their timeliness can be an issue.
Also double check they carry Professional Indemnity insurance, as that is always a good sign they know what they are doing and have the qualifications to back it up!
Well, we don’t really fit into any one category above, we are a hybrid of all of them!
A bit unusual, but we like it that way!
We have the organisation, professionalism and timeliness of the PQS firm, but the grass roots approach and accessibility of the Backyard QS.
We also have lots of different quantity surveyors with different skills, so can help out an electrical contractor with pricing as easily as we can an SME builder.