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Bill of Quantities Explained

With thorough itemisation, detailed descriptions, and comprehensive cost calculations, a well-prepared bill of quantities ensures complete financial scope for construction projects. This makes tendering more uniform, pricing more precise, and costs more predictable for everyone involved.

An approximate or notional bill of quantities can be used on smaller projects.

Unit of Measurement

A bill of quantities, or BoQ, is a detailed list of materials and labour required for the construction of a project. It is a key document used in the tendering process to enable contractors to submit competitive and equitable bids for the works. It is generally prepared by a quantity surveyor and includes a full description of the work together with quantities measured from drawings in accordance with a standard method of measurement, such as SMM7 or NRM.

It is often divided into various types such as elemental, trade, location, operational and annotated. It is important to understand the differences between these types so that the correct one is chosen for your project.

The unit of measurement can influence the overall cost and speed of a construction project. For example, using a non-standard unit of measurement can lead to significant price variations. This is because units of measure are influenced by many factors, including industry norms, physical reality and even language and culture.

Using a standard unit of measurement for a bill of quantities reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes between contractors and clients. It also helps to minimise omissions and errors in the work. In addition, a clear itemised BoQ can be used to create payment applications as the project progresses. This makes it easy for project owners to track progress and anticipate cash flow needs.

Item Description

The item description in a bill of quantities is a brief summary that defines each work element. This allows tenderers to understand the scope of the work and derive competitive prices. It also ensures that all tenderers are pricing the same elements of the project. The description must be clear and concise, ideally complying with the requirements of the Standard Method of Measurement (SMM). This reduces favouritism and human error. It is often formulated using estimating software, which eliminates errors and speeds up the estimating process.

In addition to facilitating the bidding process, the bill of quantities provides a comprehensive breakdown of project costs. This helps owners track progress and identify any deviations from the original project scope. It also facilitates accurate cost control and forecasting for contractors, which is vital in managing project budgets.

A bill of quantities is a document prepared by Quantity Surveyors to itemise and define the scope of works required on construction projects. Its main purpose is to allow contractors to price the entire construction works on an identical basis. It is also useful in conducting post-tender activities such as; material scheduling, construction planning, and cost analysis. Typically, the information contained in a BoQ is derived from drawings and the project specifications. However, there are other types of BoQs that can be created for various reasons. These include; elemental, trade, annotated, and provisional bills of quantities.

Item Total Cost

A bill of quantities is used in construction to itemise the costs of materials, equipment and labour. It provides visibility to the project allowing contractors to make accurate bids. It also helps reduce misunderstandings and disputes between contractors and the project owner.

It includes item descriptions, units of measurement (for example gallons, cubic metres or square metres), a unit cost for materials and an hourly rate or fee for labour. Each item has a total cost, which may include a contingency sum.

A professional Quantity Surveyor can prepare a comprehensive and precise bill of quantities for a building project. This document is an integral part of the detailed design and a key component of contractual agreements between the project owner and the contractor. Its clear, concise, and unambiguous definitions help ensure that all parties have the same understanding of the project scope and costs.

A Bill of Quantities is an essential tool for the success of a construction project. It is prepared by a Quantity Surveyor who works closely with the architect and design team to detail all items of work, materials and equipment required for the construction of a building. In addition to providing the project owner with precise bidding information, it can be used for post-tender work such as material scheduling and construction planning. It can also be used as a basis for the valuation of variations, as well as for the preparation of interim payments.

Item Rates

A bill of quantities in construction is a standard document that is used in the tendering process for a construction project. It is drawn-up by Quantity Surveyors (Consultants) based on the construction drawings, specification and other documentation of the design team. It is an extensive summation of the work that needs to be completed by contractors and construction professionals.

Using the BoQ, contractor proposals are easily compared to each other, making it easier for the owner to select a contractor. It also ensures that all contractors are quoting for the same scope of work and materials. The BoQ can be used after the tendering process as well, for material scheduling, construction planning and cost analysis.

In addition, the BoQ can be used to create payment applications as the project progresses. Using the BoQ, the contractor can note the quantities they have completed each month and then multiply them by the rate to get the amount that they need to invoice for. This helps to ensure that the contractor is getting a fair price and that the contractor is not overcharging for work completed.

In a unit-price project, the contractors quote on a price-per-unit basis for each item in the BoQ. For example, a contractor might quote a price for “Install 8,750 feet of pipe”. In such a case, the owner would be able to easily compare the different contractor bids and select the most competitive one.