Bills of Quantities

Bills of Quantities We produce accurate and detailed Bills of Quantities for main contractors tendering on projects to assist them in submitting competitive tenders for their projects. We use Vector Quantity Surveying & Estimating software which provides a fully integrated approach to the preparation and use of documentation for the procurement and control of construction projects and also allows us to produce Bills of Quantities and detailed Estimates for main contractors and sub-contractors.

SC Quantity Surveyors can provide a professional Bills of Quantities solution thereby saving contractors and sub-contractors the high costs involved in employing a full time department to carry out this work.

Bills of Quantities which we provide contractors with includes the following benefits:-

  • Detailed and accurate Bills of Quantities produced
  • Based on Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7) or New Rules of Measurement (NRM 2)
  • Based on Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement 3
  • Builders Quantities produced
  • Bespoke Measurement in accordance with contractors requirements
  • Bills of Quantities can be converted and presented in Excel or CITE formats for importing into your estimating software, or delivered electronically, CD, or hard copy


Bills of Quantities Purpose

The primary purposes of our Bills of Quantities which become a contract document are:

  • To provide a co-ordinated list of items with identifying descriptions and quantities, that comprise the works to enable contractors to prepare tenders efficiently and accurately; and
  • When a contract has been entered into; to
    - provide a basis for the valuation of work executed for the purpose of making interim payments to the contractor; and
    - provide a basis for the valuation of varied work

SC Quantity Surveyors can provide accurate and detailed Bills of Quantities for our clients which contain a list of the building items and elements with detailed identifying descriptions and quantities, which make up the component parts of a building.

Benefits of Bills of Quantities

Bills of Quantities which we produce allow for obtaining a competitive tender price for completing the building works, valuing the extent of building works complete for the purpose of making payments to the contractor, valuing variations in the content or extent of building works, or to support applications for tax or other financial incentives.

Our detailed measurement for the purpose of bills of quantities production is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • It saves considerable time and cost of several contractors measuring the same design in order to calculate their bids for competition;
  • It provides a consistent basis for obtaining competitive tenders from contractors;
  • It provides an extensive and clear statement of the work to be executed;
  • It provides a very strong basis for budgetary control and accurate cost reporting of the contract including:
    - the preparation of cash flow forecasts,
    - a basis for valuing variations, and
    - a basis for the preparation of progress payments (ie. interim payments)
  • It allows, when BQ items are codified, reconciliation and any necessary transfers and adjustments to be made to the cost plan;
  • When priced it provides data to support claims for grants;
  • It provides one of the best sources of real-time cost data, which can be used for estimating the cost of future building projects

Types of Bill of Quantities

The main use of a bill of quantities in support of a contract is the traditional and proven means of securing a lump-sum price for carrying out the building works for the client.
SC Quantity Surveyors produce several types of Bills of Quantities which include

  • Firm (to obtain a lump-sum price for a fully designed building project)
  • Approximate (subject to re measurement as built)


Firm Bill of Quantities

The reliability of the tender price will increase in relation to the accuracy of the quantities provided (i.e. the more precisely the work is measured and described). Provided there were no design changes, then firm bills of quantities would provide a price at tender stage, which would equal the final cost. However, there will be changes, and the bill of quantities provides a good basis for cost control, since the direct cost can be assessed with reference to the bill of quantity rates. In general the firmer the bill of quantities the better it is as a means of financial control.

Approximate Bill of Quantities

SC Quantity Surveyors can produce approximate bills of quantities which are mainly used when there is insufficient details to prepare firm bills of quantities or where the client has decided that the time and cost of a firm bill of quantities is not warranted. These types of contracts do not provide a lump-sum price, but instead tender price totals (ie. a quantified schedule of rates), since the quantities are subject to re-measurement on completion by the quantity surveyor. In general these contracts are usually subject to greater variation than lump sum contracts and therefore should only be used where time is a limiting factor or where there is great uncertainty in respect of certain elements, such as major excavations and earthworks.

It is important to note that the initial resource cost of approximate bills of quantities is likely to be lower than firm bills of quantities, but the need for re-measurement invariably results in an overall higher resource cost. Although the measured quantities are approximate, the descriptions of work items should be correct in the approximate bill of quantities.

Bills of Quantities that are required for a lump sum contract based on firm or approximate quantities will normally be prepared by the employer's quantity surveyor, whereas under a design and build contract, the employer's project team will prepare the employer's requirements and the Bill of Quantities or quantified schedules of work will be prepared by either the main contractor or, more likely, the main contractor's work package contractors. In general the choice of who quantifies building works is solely down to the employer's preference of contract strategy.

Composition of Bills of Quantities

The Bills of Quantities which we provide our clients with can include the following main sections:

  • Form of Tender (including certificate of bona fide tender)
  • Summary (or Main Summary)
  • Preliminaries, comprising two main section as follows:
    - Information and requirements; and
    - Pricing schedule
  • Measured works (incorporating the contractor designed works eg. pre-cast concrete floors/stairs, windows etc)
  • Risks;
  • Provisional sums;
  • Credits (for materials arising from the works);
  • Dayworks (Provisional); and
  • Annexes