Last edited 28 Apr 2022

Cost consultant

Typically cost consultants are quantity surveyors by profession, but accountants and other professionals can also be effective cost consultants.

The cost consultant provides estimates, and advice regarding the cost of construction works.

The cost consultant's role might include:

There are very many different names given to cost planning documents. Cost plans are generally prepared by cost consultants (often quantity surveyors). They evolve through the life of the project, developing in detail and accuracy as more information becomes available about the nature of the design, and then actual prices are provided by specialist contractors, contractors and suppliers. They range from very early initial cost appraisals through to tender pricing documents and the final account.

As a consequence there area a great number of names that can be used for key cost planning information. On Designing Buildings Wiki we have standardised these as follows:

Other than initial cost appraisals, these all relate to the construction cost of the project (rather than wider project costs that the client might incur, which could include; fees, equipment costs, furniture, the cost of moving staff, contracts outside of the main works, and so on). It is important that the client makes clear what costs should be monitored by the cost consultant and what will remain within the control of the client organisation.

Initial cost appraisals are carried out without the benefit of a design for the project. They include client costs that may not feature in later cost plans and as a result will almost certainly need input from the client's finance director or financial advisers. Once the initial cost appraisal is completed, the client will decide the scope of costs that will in future be monitored by the cost consultant and those that will be monitored and controlled by the client organisation.

For detailed descriptions of the sequence of activities necessary to appoint a cost consultant, see the work plan stages:

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