Construction Cost Estimator vs. Quantity Surveyor: What the Difference Is and How They Do It

According to Seeley I.H Quantity Surveilling Practice, 1st edition (1984), the history of the profession of Quantity surveyors dates back to the 18th Century in the United Kingdom when construction projects were valued and measured after they had been built. After the building was built, the “measurers” would value the work and negotiate with the architect and client on behalf of the tradesmen.

In the early 19th century, there was a new contractor system that allowed for price competition before construction. Quantity Surveyors were skilled at pre-measuring quantities using drawings and assembling them into “bills” before construction started.

Quantity Surveyor

A quantity surveyor works on all phases of a project, from inception to final accounts. Sometimes they even go beyond that.

What A Quantity Surveyor Excels At…

Quantity surveyors are a valuable asset to any project. They can conduct feasibility studies, negotiate, deal with Bill of Quantities and prepare contracts. Their role involves interacting with clients and personnel as well as pricing. You might find this level of service excessive on some projects, especially if you are paying a premium.

What Is Quantity Surveying And What Does It Cost?

Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering have many similarities and overlaps. Quantity Surveying is more concerned with building design and construction while Cost Engineering is more concerned with engineering projects and processes. Both Quantity Surveyors and Cost Engineers are often found in the same area.

What Are The Advantages Of Hiring A Quantity Surveyor To Help You?

Now that you know what quantity surveyors do, why would anyone hire them? First, construction is always expensive. It is one of the most costly.

Surveyors can help you avoid the pitfalls and risks associated with unreliable ballpark figures and back-of-the-envelope calculations. You can plan your budget in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises by using accurate cash projections

We can help you:

  1. Estimate refining and updating costs
  2. Forecasting budget variances
  3. Budgeting project timely
  4. Perform cash-flow analysis
  5. Identifying recourse quantitatively
  6. Estimating the preliminary cost and contingency
  7. Analyze Earn Value Development and Maintenance

What are the SIMILARITIES?

One thing unites quantity surveyors and estimators: both are responsible for ensuring projects run smoothly. They each help project managers reduce risk and keep costs under control by creating accurate estimates. This helps builders realize their visions within the budget and timeframe they set. Both quantity surveyors and estimators are crucial to the success of any project.

An estimator works within a supply chain and prepares the financials for contractors. The estimator is expected to not only be skilled in pricing and estimating the works, but also to have the construction skills to find more cost-effective methods to build their company.


  1. Construction Cost Management
  2. Valuations and Payment certificates
  3. Project Management
  4. Construction Plan Takeoffs
  5. Prepares Tender Documents
  6. Management of Contracts
  7. Site Measurements and Re-measurements
  8. Prepares Cost Estimates
  9. Prepares Detailed Cost Estimates

There Is A Difference Between A Quantity Surveyor.

A Quantity surveyor is different from a Cost manager because they are specialists in financial analysis, cost management, and budgeting, no matter what the size or type of construction work.

While it’s possible for non-quantity surveyors to act as cost managers on a construction project, this is not recommended.

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