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How to Prepare a Bill of Quantities

A bill of quantities (BOQ) is a document that lists all the materials, labor, and services required for a construction project. It is an essential document that is used by contractors to submit bids and by project managers to keep track of costs. Before starting the preparation of a BOQ, there are some essential checklists that a quantity surveyor should follow to ensure that the BOQ is accurate and complete. In this blog, we will discuss these checklists in detail.

  1. Scope of Work The first thing that a quantity surveyor needs to do is to understand the scope of work. The scope of work will depend on the type of project, and it will determine the type of work that needs to be measured. There are different work segments like civil works, architectural works, structural works, MEP works, and external works. It is crucial to get clarity from the client regarding what the scope is, whether we have to measure the quantities for all the civil activities, all the MEP activities, or just the civil activities. Once the scope is understood, the quantity surveyor can start the measurements.

  2. Documents Availability Once the documents are received from the client to start the BOQ preparation, the quantity surveyor needs to check if all the documents are available or not. Some drawings of some floors of a building might be missing, some reports, or the specifications for the project might be missing from the documents that the quantity surveyor has received from the client. Usually, there will be a drawing register that is available with all the documents. The quantity surveyor can check all the drawings with this register and find out if anything is missing. Once any drawings or reports or specifications are missing, the quantity surveyor needs to put that into the query sheet.

  3. Material Specifications One of the most critical documents required for BOQ preparation is the specification. This is a very important document required without which it will be difficult to prepare the BOQ. The quantity surveyor needs to know which type of material is used for the different items, the pipe materials, the cable material, the cement type, the door material, the flooring material, etc. All these types of materials need to be known so that that can be included in the BOQ. Without knowing which type of material it is, it is going to be difficult for pricing purposes.

  4. Technical Details Technical details are something that is missing from the drawings. It can be some items, the dimensions of some items, or it can be the description of symbols. Usually, the design technicalities are not a headache of a quantity surveyor. Whatever is available in the drawing needs to be measured. Whether the design is satisfactory or not is not a problem of a quantity surveyor. This is usually the duty of the design engineers to make a proper drawing available. So, the routing or the sizes of the ratings of the different equipment is not the concern of a quantity server. The quantity surveyor needs to look if any items are missing in the drawings, some items that need to be there in the drawing but missing.

  5. Standard Method of Measurement Finally, the quantity surveyor needs to get the standard method of measurement that needs to be used for this project so that they can prepare the BOQ accordingly. There are different types of standard methods like for example, CESMM for civil engineering, SMM7 for building works, NRM, ARM, and IS 1200 for Indian projects. When the documents are received, the quantity surveyor also needs to check whether it is mentioned what type of method of measurement is used for this project. If that is not available, it needs to beContinuing from where I left off, if the standard method of measurement is not mentioned in the documents, it needs to be clarified with the client.

  6. Preparing the BOQ Once the above steps have been completed, the quantity surveyor can start preparing the BOQ. The BOQ should be prepared in a structured format, with all the items categorized based on the scope of work. The items should be listed in a logical order that makes it easy for the contractor to understand the requirements and prepare a bid accordingly.

  7. Quantities Accuracy One of the most critical parts of the BOQ preparation process is the accuracy of the quantities. The quantities should be measured correctly, and the rate analysis should be done correctly. Any errors or omissions in the quantities can lead to significant cost overruns, which can be detrimental to the project's budget and schedule.

  8. Verification After the BOQ has been prepared, it is essential to verify that all the items have been included and that the quantities are accurate. The quantity surveyor should review the BOQ to ensure that there are no errors or omissions. Any discrepancies should be addressed immediately to avoid any delays or cost overruns.

  9. BOQ Submission Once the BOQ has been verified, it is ready for submission to the client. The BOQ should be submitted in a clear and concise format, with all the necessary details included. The quantity surveyor should be available to answer any questions that the client may have about the BOQ.

  10. Review and Approval Finally, the BOQ should be reviewed and approved by the client. The client should review the BOQ to ensure that it meets their requirements and that the quantities and rates are accurate. Any discrepancies or errors should be addressed before approval is granted.

In conclusion, preparing a bill of quantities requires careful attention to detail and accuracy. By following these checklists, a quantity surveyor can ensure that the BOQ is accurate, complete, and meets the client's requirements.


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