Introducing: Eve, our Estimator & Quantity Surveyor

Careful control of costs from the very start of a project enables us to deliver the best value to our clients. That is why the Estimator part of my job is so important.

When a tender comes in, we first check whether it is the right kind of project for our skills and experience. I work from drawings, taking into account every piece of skirting board and architrave, doors, ironmongery, brickwork, lintels, roof coverings and gutters, etc. I measure everything and then apply a rate to it. I send out enquiries to any specialist trades and suppliers, such as mechanical & electrical, glazing, etc. We visit the site and check for anything that you wouldn’t see from the drawings, such as poor access issues or overhead cables.

A good Quantity Surveyor is someone who is really well organised.

We often win projects where we are not quite the cheapest because the client has seen that our quote is the most thorough and this gives them the confidence that we offer the best value.

Sometimes projects come in above the client’s budget and we then suggest areas where savings can be made so that their project can still go ahead.

Once the project is running, my job becomes that of a Quantity Surveyor. Every month I assess the value of the work completed and issue the clients with a valuation for them to approve and then we issue an invoice. I also sign-off any of our Sub-Contractors invoices for payment.

From the customer’s point of view, my role is to keep control of costs and identify any risk items as early as possible so that there are no nasty surprises. Variations to a contract are common, say if a client wants to change a softwood staircase to an oak staircase. It is important to let them know figures in advance so that they can make a clear, informed decision.

A good Quantity Surveyor is someone who is really well organised. They need a good memory and really good attention to detail, documenting every decision that is made and keeping everybody in the loop. I started as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor and did day-release for seven years working towards an Honours Degree whilst gaining practical experience.

It is rewarding when I help win a project and then see it progress to completion. I have seen it on paper and eventually, there it is! Every project is different and I learn something new every day so my job is never monotonous.

Outside of work, I have a husband, two children and a sausage dog. I volunteer as a youth worker at church and love being outdoors in nature.

Words and pictures by Eric Orme with thanks to Eve Fellingham B.Sc. (Hons), MCIOB