Quantity Surveying Methods that can give you overnight success

Are you looking for ways to raise the ability of your construction work and decrease conflicts with effective cost control system? If yes, then these quantity surveying methods can make certain value for money at all times.

Whether you’re a quantity surveyor, a construction professional, a worker, or you’re running a construction company; you’ve to ensure effective financial management to execute project plans successfully. These quantity surveying methods will help you significantly on all sorts of construction projects during all phases including documentation contract, tendering valuations & procedures, cash flow forecasting, financial reporting, interim payment, settlement of contractual disputes, preliminary cost advice, and cost planning.

Your success in construction industry lies heavily on effective financial management which can only be ensured by a competitive quantity surveyor.

Quantity Surveying Methods

  1. Unit Method
  2. Superficial Floor Area Method
  3. Elemental Estimate
  4. Approximate Quantities


Unit Method

The unit method estimating consists of choosing a standard unit of accommodation and multiplying an approximate cost per unit. Estimate the building cost base on the depends on the population unit. The unit cost method of estimation is used for project design estimates and bid estimates.

Superficial Floor Area Method

Superficial area method is the most popular preliminary estimating method. This method is an approximate cost obtained by using an estimated price for each unit of gross floor area. The main reason for the popularity of the area method is its simplicity.

Elemental Estimate

The elemental method is an approach towards calculating the total estimated cost of Construction projects. It considers the major elements of a building and, if properly implemented, provides a cost estimate based on an elemental breakdown of the building.

The elemental cost analysis method uses elemental cost analyses of previous projects as a basis for the estimate. The cost is on a superficial basis but the superficial unit cost is broken down into elements and sub-elements, which allows for cost adjustment of variations in the design of the new project compared with the previous scheme. The method is flexible, easily understood by all parties, facilitates comparison between projects and facilitates analysis of cost implications of design decisions. However, it is a time-consuming process and requires a high level of expertise.

Approximate Quantities

The only safe and sure way of estimating construction costs is to take out quantities of works under the different items and  multiply these quantities by the prevailing unit rates at the geographical location of the construction project.

However, this can be done only when drawings, specifications, and bill of quantities have been prepared and made available to the contractor.

When accurate cost of construction is not yet required and a rough idea is sought at some stage to help decision makers decide whether to proceed or not, approximate estimates of construction cost are used.

The approximate cost estimating methods are used to serve either of the following purposes:

To give a rough idea of the probable expenditure: At the early stages of the development of a project it is necessary to ensure whether the project can be financed. A rough idea of the probable expenditure has to be obtained and if this appears feasible, then further details may be considered.

For example while you’re renovating your office building or some commercial property you have to find the cost of flooring to see if a change at this stage is feasible or not. You can hire commercial flooring estimators who can prepare a quantity estimate to help you out in the cost analysis.

Administrative approval: In the case of government and other public works, proper sanction has to be obtained for allocating the expenditure required for the detailed investigations and preparation of plans and estimates. This sanction is given based on approximate cost estimating method.

Valuation and rent fixation: Sometimes it is required to estimate the cost of an existing structure, for one or more of the following reasons: for sale or purchase, for rent fixing, for framing tax schedules, or for insurance requirement. In these cases the approximate methods are adopted.

The bottom Line

From all these quantity surveying methods, elemental estimates and approximate quantities methods are highly recommended for getting accurate estimates.

Saad Iqbal is a professional civil engineering and freelance write. He's passionate about structures, construction management, and home improvement topics. He's been working as a Senior Engineer in a consultant firm for over 8 years. Besides he loves writing informative and in-depth content focused on construction and home-related topics. You can catch him at his linkedin page or reach out via our contact us page.

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