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The Bill of Quantities Simple Definition

bill of quantities simple definition

The bill of quantities is a document that itemizes the work on a construction project and provides the tendering contractors with a price to carry out the work. It assists tenderers in calculating costs and provides a fair system for tendering.

The bill of quantities is prepared at the start of a project by the Employer’s Quantity Surveyor (QS) with construction information provided by the design team. It may be prepared several times on the same project or in a sample.


A bill of quantities (BoQ) is a construction document that details the materials and labor needed for a project. This can help contractors and suppliers estimate how much a project will cost, which can help them make better decisions about bidding for work on the project.

A quantity surveyor or cost consultant prepares a bill of quantities in a variety of ways. They may use a computer program to generate a list of the items that will be needed for a project. They also can take measurements on the project site to determine how much each item will cost.

Typically, bills of quantities are prepared during the pre-construction phase of a building or civil engineering project. They are based on drawings and specifications provided by the design team. They include information such as materials, labor, and individual work costs.

They are usually created by architects and engineers, although more and more companies are using building information modeling (BIM) software to create bills of quantities. These programs make it easy for companies to create bills of quantities, and they can be changed as a project progresses.

The quantity surveyor or cost consultant will prepare the bill of quantities based on the measurements provided by the design team. They will also take into account any specific terms and conditions of the contract, such as the target price.

When a bill of quantities is prepared, it should be done in accordance with a standard method of measurement. This will ensure that the document is accurate and reliable, and that it reflects the actual construction works to be performed.

In the United Kingdom, bills of quantities were traditionally prepared in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement 7th Edition, which is now replaced by the New Rules of Measurement. The NRM is a more accurate way of determining construction costs, and will also save time by reducing the need for re-measurement during the project.

The bill of quantities is an important document that must be properly prepared by the quantity surveyor or cost consultant. It is a valuable tool for contractors and clients alike, as it provides an overview of the specific materials and labor required for a project. It can also be used as a tool for negotiating prices with suppliers.


The bill of quantities simple definition is a document that shows the detailed amounts of materials, parts, labor, and other items needed to complete a construction project. This information is used for tendering and estimating costs, and it is also a key part of construction contracts.

The purpose of a bill of quantities is to provide accurate and reliable pricing for a construction project, which can save money and time. It provides a standard way for contractors to quote their rates, and it can be compared by other contractors to ensure that they are quoting the same amount of work.

A bill of quantities is usually prepared by a cost consultant (usually a quantity surveyor) after the project design has been completed. It provides project-specific measured quantities of the items identified by drawings and specifications in the tender documentation for a construction work.

It is a useful tool for requesting contractor offers under equal terms when the design is complete, but it can also be helpful to request tenders for projects where the project design still has pending changes. Having the bill of quantities ready when the project design is complete can save time and prevent a lot of errors during tendering.

Another important use of a bill of quantities is for progress payment applications. It is a more accurate way to calculate progress on a construction project because it includes all of the materials and labor that have been used on the job. This makes it easier for owners to understand how much progress has been made on a construction project and allows them to anticipate their future cash flow needs.

It is important to create a bill of quantities that follows a standard methodology, as this will help avoid various types of confusions and ambiguities. This will also prevent disputes that can arise as a result of different interpretations of pricing and quantities.


A bill of quantities is a document that contains information about the materials and labor required for a construction project. It is prepared by a quantity surveyor or cost consultant for clients and is used to obtain quotes from different contractors.

When preparing a bill of quantities, a quantity surveyor uses software that measures the items needed for a construction plan. This reduces favouritism and human error by providing a consistent framework for pricing.

The document also serves as a guide for estimating costs, and it is useful in ensuring that all parties understand the scope of work. It also enables contractors to offer their services at competitive prices and prevents cost overruns.

This process is usually carried out by an experienced estimator or quantity surveyor. They use specialized software to measure each aspect of the construction plan, and compile the labour and material items into a bill of quantities.

An estimate of the amount of work that is needed will be contained within the document, and the quantities given are often in units of measurement, such as ‘thousands of bricks’ or ‘number of plumbing fixtures’. It is common to include contingency sums in bills of quantities, which cover unforeseeable costs likely to be incurred during the contract.

It is a good idea to prepare a detailed list of the materials that will be used in a construction project before you begin preparing a bill of quantities. This will give you a clearer understanding of how much you need to order, and it will make it easier to compare prices from different suppliers.

Once the bill of quantities is prepared, you can send it to each supplier and ask them to price it accurately. This will ensure that you get the best possible price, which will save you a lot of time and money.

The format of a bill of quantities can vary depending on the type of project. However, it is best to use a structure that follows the RICS’s NRM2 guidance. This will ensure that your bills of quantities are well structured and will give you the best chance of complying with the RICS’s best practice recommendations.


A bill of quantities (BOQ) is a document prepared by quantity surveyors and cost consultants that itemizes the materials, parts, labor and costs involved in a construction project. It is an essential component of the tendering process in the construction industry and serves as the basis for determining a contractor’s quotation for the project.

The main purpose of a bill of quantities is to enable all contractors tendering for a project to price on the same information, ensuring that the cost of construction is as accurate as possible. During the design and construction stages, bills of quantities are also used for material scheduling, construction planning and cost analysis.

When preparing a bill of quantities, it is important to follow a standard methodology. This will help to reduce the chances of mistakes being made and allow for a smoother and more profitable project.

One of the most effective ways to prepare a bill of quantities is by using an architect’s plan as a guide. This allows you to take the specifications of each material from the plan and enter them in your BOQ.

Another method is to create a spreadsheet. This will include columns for each material, its description, unit of measurement, quantity, and the rate for that material. You can use Excel or other similar software to create a spreadsheet.

A bill of quantities can also be prepared by a process known as taking off, which involves identifying elements of a construction project that can be measured and priced. This process can be difficult to implement for large projects, so it is best to leave this work to a quantity surveyor or civil engineer.

The bill of quantities can be broken down into separate work sections that reflect subcontract packages, making it easier for the supplier to obtain prices from subcontractors and to ensure that a competitive price is achieved. However, this may result in a greater likelihood of re-measurement during construction than with a firm bill of quantities and is therefore not appropriate for most tendering situations.

A bill of quantities can be prepared by a quantity surveyor or a cost consultant, usually at the same time as an architect prepares drawings and designs for a project. This means that the scope and quantity of work is determined by a neutral party and bidding contractors compete under equal conditions, which can improve the quality of work done.