Bill of quantity

A bill of quantity is generally a document provided by the designers, architects or quantity surveyors indicating the type and use of materials on a specific construction project. This document is a schedule which helps with understanding how building materials are to be used per every stage. Also indicating the quantities required per every stage from bricks, sands, cement to every other, building materials required. The document is calculated basing on plan drawings.

Why you need a bill of quantity

As has been noted, the document contains helpful information in terms of quantities. Now if you are not yet decided about the building materials supplier you are going to work with, you can use it to quote from as many as you can. As a result that will help you with budgeting for the construction project and you will have a rough idea of how much you need for the construction project. Moreover if you are working on a big project you can have quotations done basing on exactly the same quantities and get to decide on which supplier to work with.

If you need to work on your project in stages, a bill of quantity also helps as it indicates quantities in stage forms.

Some building contractors and construction companies work out their labor charges using the quantities provided on the B.O.Q’s. If they are to tender for the same construction project, they will calculate their labor charges basing on the same quantities. Thus will determine the rates and help you choose the right contractor or construction company for your project.

How its designed

Depending on who you contract to prepare the document and schedule for you, there are few things that are compulsory for every B.O.Q.

A sequence of works to be done, clearly stated at times in stages e.g. site preparation works, drainage works, earthworks, formation layer works, base layer works, surface layer works, and landscaping works. However depending on what the persons preparing it prefer, some information may be omitted and some added on top. Materials will also be stated as per construction phase or stage together with quantities required.

Prices and charges

The costs of a B.O.Q are determined by the ones preparing them. Note that the costs are calculated so many different ways and some include a certain percentage of the total project costs. Other quantity surveyors charge per construction phase like plumbing has its own cost,  electricity, ceiling, driveway, glazing et cetera. Therefore if you require a complete B.O.Q you are then charged per every phase. Some also have a flat fee for bill of quantities which they charge regardless of stages to be covered. Some quote according to yard or floor area square meterage. Nevertheless if you are looking to get a complete compilation, the charges are likely to be over US$300.

What is included

This document is expected to cover every stage of work to be done. Some of the stages are from site preparations, structure construction, plumbing, electricity, walling driveways and more. Even though all this information is supposed to be provided, a quantity surveyor has the right to provide what he can and disregard what he cant. Another point often overlooked is negotiating about the prices of the service. The prices need to be discuss before the surveyor commits his or herself to the project to avoid after-work conflicts. On another note if the document is not going to include every construction stages, you might also need to negotiate on the prices. An incomplete job and can’t really be charged the same price with a complete one.

When to have one

A bill of quantities is needed as soon your house plan or construction project plan is approved. This will help you start working on a almost accurate budgets. Consult the architect soon after they design your project plan if they are able to assist with one. If they cant, you need to engage a quantity surveyor who then prepares it for you.


Who prepares the B.O.Q

Quantity surveyor

Civil Engineer

Trademens can prepare the bill of quantities depending on experience however the majority are limited to a field of their specialization.

Note: Trademens are the technical guys who do the actual work, like builders, carpenters, electrician, plumbers, welders, pavers, plasterers etc


Our services

Kindly note that the documents we assist with are limited to the products that we supply. Anything beyond our supplies will not be quantified.