Types of Bill of Quantities

In construction contracts there are various types of bill of quantities that can be used which are based on firm or approximate quantities based on the level of detail and information which is available at the early stages of a project. Based on this and the clients project requirements and objectives we are able to advise our clients on the most suitable method and form of bill of quantities for their project.
Types of Bill of Quantities

Types of Bill of Quantities we Provide

Our bill of quantities may include firm or approximate quantities depending on the completeness of the drawings, specifications, employers requirements including any other required information.

The types of bill of Quantities required for a lump sum price contract based on firm or approximate quantities can be prepared by our practice as Chartered Quantity Surveyors. With 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 sub-contractors. In general the choice of who quantifies building works is mostly down to the employer’s preference of contract strategy and procurement route.


SC Quantity Surveyors are highly experienced in providing our clients with 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 firm bill of quantities which we provide our clients with are accurate and detailed pricing tender documents generally based on a complete design and specification. The building work items are accurately measured in accordance with the standard methods of measurement and contractors are provided the opportunity to price the building works on exactly the same information.

Although firm bills of quantities may take longer to produce they provide better overall cost management and control of the clients objectives during both the pre and post contract stages of the project. We would generally advise our clients to prepare accurate and detailed firm bills of quantities for their projects as this provides less risk to the client and more cost certainty based on the contractors lump sum fixed price tender for the works.


Approximate Bill of Quantities

SC Quantity Surveyors are also able to provide our clients with approximate bills of quantities which are generally used in construction projects when there is insufficient details and information to prepare firm detailed bills of quantities or where the client has decided that the time and cost of a firm bill of quantities is not warranted. 

It is important to note that these types of approximate bills of quantities contracts do not provide a lump-sum price, instead a tender price total (ie. a quantified schedule of rates), since the quantities are subject to re-measurement on completion by the quantity surveyor of the work on-site. These types of contracts are mostly 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.

Initially the overall resource cost and time of producing approximate bills of quantities is more likely to be lower than firm bills of quantities, however the need for re-measurement will results in an overall higher resource cost in having to measure the works again. The measured quantities are approximate based on the information available at that time and the descriptions of work items should be correct in the approximate bill of quantities.


Preparing 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 Information, 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)
  • Annexes

Our Bills of Quantities Service

We are able to provide our clients including private clients, contractors and sub-contractors with bills of quantities for their project to assist with tendering.

Please visit our other articles if you would like to find out more about what is a bill of quantities in construction which we provide our clients with and also more information on our bills of quantities services for our clients.

If you have a project for which you require accurate and detailed bills of quantities, schedule of works or builders quantities for estimating and tendering then please feel free to contact us regarding your project requirements. 

bills of quantities
method of measurement

Our bills of quantities can be prepared using (SMM7), New Rules of Measurement (NRM 2) and Agreed Rules of Measurement 4

builders quantities

We prepare builders quantities for contractors and sub-contractors tendering on projects