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#073 Day 13: How to Improve Your Measurement Skills as a Quantity Surveyor 📏

Measuring is one of the most important skills to develop as a developing Quantity Surveyor.

This is the skill that differentiates you from the person on the street who is managing their own home project. As a QS you are entrusted by your client to measure three things:

  1. the progress on site

  2. the amount of materials used on site correspond to what has been priced and allowed for in the design information

This post will focus on the second point - measuring what's on design information and confirming the installation on site!

What is measurement?

Measurement refers to the ability to extract quantities from drawings.

These days measurement is undertaken by quantity surveyors using software like CostX, Bluebeam or Cato. To the average person, when they see a door on a drawing, it is exactly that - a door. But to a QS, a door represents one of several things that must be accounted for as part of the final construction. For example, for every door, the QS must take into account:

  • The door itself

  • Ironmongery (locks, handles, hinges)

  • The door frame

  • Architraves

A door is a simple example, now imagine having to do that for every component of construction.

How to improve your measurement skills!

Unfortunately, measurement is not one of those things that you can improve by just reading about it. Here are the top four things you can do to get better:

  1. Site-Visits: If there is ever an opportunity to go and visit the site, do so. You will see the reality of what you are building and the design will start to take shape in your mind. During the site visit, take the opportunity to ask questions to the design team and the site manager. The design team can be useful as they will be able to tell you things to allow for in your estimates which are absent from the drawing!

  2. Software: Depending on the type of software you are using, sign up to additional training to learn how to get the best out of it. Software like CostX has an auto measure function which can reduce the time it takes to measure large drawings. This is dependent on the quality of the drawings but knowing how to extract quantities quickly can leave you the time to consider the extras which are not shown on the drawing.

  3. Previous Estimates: Look at your firms previous estimates. If you work a large firm, everything should be properly organised, including the measurement files. Looking at how your peers have measured complex items like steel work or groundworks can give you an edge. Software like CostX have a linking function where the quantities shown on the estimate are linked to a measurement. This is invaluable if you are reviewing the work of others and you need to identify the source the quantity.

  4. On-site verification: Once you are in contract, your job is to confirm that the supplier has delivered everything your client has paid for. Receipts, invoices, evidence of purchase and installation are essential to your job. Ask for and then file them. If there is a site manager or clerk of works on the job, use them. Ask them to confirm whether the supplier has installed the 100 doors listed on the contract. Only then should you pay them.


That's all for this post folks, if you have any queries give me a shout on LinkedIn.

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