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How construction budgets were established in the 17th and 18th century?

Did you ever wonder how project budgets were established in the 17th and 18th century prior to the evolution of Quantity Surveying as a profession?

Believe it or not, during the 18th century in the UK, construction projects were measured, quantified, and valued AFTER they were designed and built...Budgets were simply not developed or known in advance of construction.

At the time, the process was as follows:

Owners appoint an Architect to design the building

Master Builders and Tradesmen construct the building

A "Measurer/ Surveyor" would quantify and assign a value to the work AFTER the building was constructed.

The “Measurer/Surveyor” would then negotiate the assigned value with the building Owner and/or Architect on behalf of the tradesmen.

Henry Cooper and sons was the first quantity surveying firm to be established in England in 1785, and during those early days, the “Measurer/Surveyor” acted on behalf of the master tradesmen, measuring the work after completion, and submitting Final Accounts to the building’s Owner.

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