March 10th, 2022

A day in the life of Quantity Surveyor Libby Cunnew

In the next of our posts celebrating International Women’s Day and Women in Construction Week, Quantity Surveyor Libby Cunnew takes us through a typical day at work:

My day typically starts with a cup of tea and a quick check of my emails before heading to site. My first task is usually a check in with the assistant QS to make sure yesterday’s tasks were completed and that they are clear on the plan for the day. Then I’ll have a proper read of my emails and add anything that needs actioning to my notebook.

As a project QS, I work closely with the site team and each morning I’ll also have a check in with the site manager and a walk around site to check on progress against programme and whether there’s anything I need to be aware of.

I am responsible for the financial aspects of the project during the construction phase, so at the end of each month I submit a valuation to the client. I provide images, measures and marked up drawings to show what work has been completed and typically have a chat with the client to run through any queries and get agreement. I can then raise an invoice to match their payment notice, and send to their accounts team for processing.

My role also includes assessing subcontractors’ applications that have come in for the previous month. Typically, this involves checking the application by taking a walk around site and noting evidence of works using photos and marked up drawings. Any discrepancies can then be discussed with the subcontractor so that we can get an agreement and make sure payments are issued in a timely manner.

As subcontractors complete various aspects of the project, I assess the works claimed and agree their final account. Once agreed I then get my assistant QS to issue the final account certificates for signing. Then their final payment can be processed.

At lunchtime I’ll take a walk to the shop to get some fresh air and some lunch, before another check of my emails to see if anything urgent has popped up.

In the afternoon I’ll generally take another walk around site to speak to the subcontractors about what they’re doing currently and for the rest of the week. I’ll also chase up any outstanding items, for example if I’m waiting for a price build up for extra works or a signed order or warranty.

The afternoon will typically also involve a check in of some sort with the client, whether I’m chasing outstanding instructions or just keeping them updated.

I’ll have a final catch up with the site team before the end of the day to make sure they are on top of any issues and check whether anything has cropped up. Then I can hang up my high vis and head home!