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The Benefits of Using a Quantity Surveyor

With any construction project arguably the most important consideration is in relation build costs. Current 'Basic Build Costs' (BBCs) for an architecturally designed decent spec one-off house can be excess of €200 per square foot if built through contract (by a Building Contractor). The rates for extension/renovation can be higher than this again. These kind of cost rates are based on what we are seeing in the market at present - costs have soared in the last 3 years. We would argue that construction cost inflation in the Northeast over this time is in the region of 40%. The ‘Basic Build Cost’ covers a fully serviced, insulated, painted finish but doesn’t include what we call 'supply items' (Kitchen, sanitary-ware, floor coverings, tiles, stoves).

For example if you had an outline brief for a 2,500ft² house and multiply it by €200 it gives us a figure €500,000. On top of this you need to allow a budget to cover the 'supply items'. This can vary hugely based on taste and specification.

In addition to the above you would also need to allow for financial/development contributions (payable to the council), legal fees (solicitor), construction professional fees (architect/engineer/QS), utilities (ESB, Irish Water, etc.), furniture, curtains/blinds, and of course potential inflation.

Our challenge as Architects is to deliver a project that meets both the brief and the budget. Sometimes it can be difficult to marry both. Currently the market is extremely volatile and it is extremely difficult to estimate the cost of a project. Cost estimation is a very specialised skill & qualification. We recommend that a Quantity Surveyor is engaged as part of the design team at an early stage to advise on estimated costs and then assist with controlling costs throughout the project. In the absence of a Quantity Surveyor accurate cost estimation & control cannot be guaranteed. A QS brings great value to any project. Click here for a Guide to the Benefits of Working with a QS. Finally here are some useful sites for more information....

Society of Chartered Quantity Surveyors

Irish Examiner Article

Waterford Institute of Technology Article

by Richard Hatch

The Benefits of Using a Quantity Surveyor

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