Quantity Surveyor vs Valuer

When a strata property needs an insurance valuation, many people turn to a Valuer. They do this because they assume the name speaks dividends, and the namesake align with their requirements, however this is not actually the case. A Valuer and a Quantity Surveyor are educated and trained very differently, as their professions differ substantially. Many people don’t actually understand the difference between the two, and often provide Insurance Valuation Reports to them, instead of a Quantity Surveyor.

Quantity Surveyor

Regarded as a professional who specialising in building measurement, and estimating the value of construction costs

Affiliations with the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) 

Obtain their qualification via a Bachelor’s Degree via a bachelor in Construction Economics, work experience signed by a QS

Trained to assess the construction cost of a building


Affiliations with the Australian Property Institute (API)

Obtain their qualification via a Bachelor of Property Economics, work experience signed off by a Valuer, and/or through a VET course at TAFE 

Trained to assess the market value of a property

Based on this information alone, there is a clear distinction on the speciality of both professions. To further illustrate this, consider the following scenario.

A residential apartment block is built in the most expensive street in Vaucluse with impressive harbour views, while the second residential apartment block is built on the parallel street surrounded by other apartment blocks. Let us assume that they are identically built, down to the bricks, roof tiles, level of finishes, built at the same time, etc.

A Valuer will consider the following criteria:

Position or location e.g. proximity to public transport, shops, and schools

Aspect and views e.g. one may have favourable Northern aspect in comparison to the other Southern aspect, and one is harbour facing in comparison to behind large trees and surrounding apartment blocks

Size and shape of the land e.g. one could be larger than the other and have further development opportunity, and the other may be an irregularly shaped lot of land with less potential

The market value of each property and the building itself

After factoring these calculations, a Valuers insurance valuation figure would place the residential apartment block is built in the most impressive location higher than the second residential apartment block built on the parallel street surrounded by other apartment blocks. 

In direct comparison, a Quantity Surveyor will consider the following:

The measurements and billing of quantities

The rate and the cost per square meter, considering factors such as material supply, material handling, labour, access and the likes. This figure is also based upon years of experience and shifting trends in the construction market. When materials and methods of construction change, so do their associated values. It is a Quantity Surveyors obligation to ensure they remain up to date with the latest costings to ensure the reports they provide are accurate and true

Method of procurement i.e. the contracts chosen for a project e.g. design and construct contracts, construction management contracts, lump sum contracts and the likes

Construction program i.e. the construction period and methodology associated with the construction. This includes any site accessibility issues, flat or sloping land, having or not having a tower crane can impact the speed of construction etc.

All the above factors are considered by a QS when putting together the construction cost for the building. Although the aspect and access to various amenities vary, these two buildings were built at the same time, within the same suburb, and the same materials and handling. Therefore, essentially their construction cost would be approximately the same.

Shop 3, 350 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022

E: admin@archi-qs.com.au

T: 02 9586 4401

Certified Quantity Surveyor - Samuel Star Reg. No. 2752 CQS, AAIQS

Nominated Architect - Sarah Bozionelos Reg. No. 10024 RAIA

© 2020 Archi-QS Pty Ltd. Created by STERNDALE

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