There are many aspects that a building quantity surveyor deals with on a day-to-day basis. One of those aspects is a bill of quantities – or BOQ for short. No construction job should be authorised or executed without a bill of quantities. This alone should highlight just how crucial this bill is. So you know exactly what we’re talking about, we’re going to spend this blog going through the details of bills of quantities and attempt to help you understand them all a little better.

The basics

A bill of quantities is a document that lists every single item that’s involved in the construction project as well as the cost associated with it. This includes building materials, labour and any other elements that are required to complete the project. A standard BOQ template that is commonly used in Australia will have plant cost, labour cost and materials cost sections – amongst others.

With an effective bill of quantities put into place prior to the project commencing you can ensure that everything runs smoothly and as close to budget as possible. If there is no clear cost outlined, then the project could run into delays and even risk being shut down in some serious cases.


When is a bill of quantities drafted?

A bill of quantities is always drafted at the beginning of a project. This enables all parties involved to discuss the details and ensure that they’re all on the same page. When drafting a bill of quantities, it helps to have in-depth industry knowledge – which is why a qualified and professional building quantity surveyor should always handle a BOQ.

It’s not uncommon – especially on larger projects – for a bill of quantities to become quite a detailed document that can sometimes be hard to navigate by less experienced parties. A BOQ will also have contingencies included in the draft for things such as exceeding cost or delays that are most likely to occur.


The advantages of a bill of quantities

There are several advantages to a bill of quantities.

  • Gives all parties an opportunity to explore all possibilities and details of the project and physically record the necessities.
  • An effective bill of quantities will clearly outline in detail what is required along with cost and the full extent of the work that needs to be completed – essentially acting as a guide.
  • Variation clauses may be included in case any variations need to be made during the project.
  • It will lay out when particular items or materials need to be specifically purchased as opposed to buying everything at once – similar to progress claims.
  • More accurate estimates when it comes to labour costs and requirements.
  • The cash flow is able to be easily monitored and analysed by all appropriate parties.


What types of projects require a bill of quantities?

A bill of quantities is basically required for all types of construction projects ranging from civil contracts to home renovations to road constructions. As you can imagine, the document itself will vary slightly depending on what type of work is being done. Our building quantity surveyor team is well-equipped to handle any type of construction project and formulate an effective bill of quantities for it.


Difference between a bill of quantities and a bill of materials

Whilst a bill of quantities deals with all the materials and labour costs associated with a construction project – a bill of materials deals solely with the materials that are required and the specific cost of each item required.

For example, on a bill of quantities, you would list a cabinet as a single item as well as the cost associated with building it and the materials required to build it. However, on a bill of materials, you’ll list all the individual items such as screws, brackets and any other pieces required to build the cabinet as well as their cost.

So, a bill of materials is more of a detailed document that deals entirely with the exact costs and all the necessary pieces.


Are you looking for a building quantity surveyor?

A bill of quantities is a crucial and necessary element to any construction project and should be handled accordingly. Here at Section 94, we specialise in bill of quantities as part of our building quantity surveyor services. Our qualified and experienced building quantity surveyors can establish an effective and comprehensive bill of quantities report for your project.

If you’d like to get in touch with a building quantity surveyor, then give us a call on 0413 953 869. You may also get in contact us by emailing this address