Bill of Quantities – Self builder- Take off Bill 2020

Bill of Quantities, is it beneficial to a self builder?

The importance of an accurate Take off or Bill of Quantities cannot be underestimated. In this post, we are going to focus on this from the point of view of a one off self builder.


So, Johnny and Mary get married and decide they want to build their dream four bedroom home in the country side. Johnny works in a laboratory and Mary is a healthcare professional, both are great at their chosen professions but don’t really have any knowledge of construction at all, all they know is that they want their dream home!! They meet an architect who designs the perfect home, plans are submitted to the local authority and hey presto, planning permission is granted. Next step – lets get building!!


Johnny and Mary google local building contractors, (someone at work told Mary to get a few prices off various building contractors in the area and that should get them the best value for money), they check out their websites and choose three to contact. Johnny and Mary meet the three builders at separate meetings and go over the drawings, talk about the construction process and the probable duration of the project. Remember, Johnny and Mary still have no real knowledge or experience of the construction industry or process so they are pretty much in the dark.


Johnny and Mary ask each builder for a quotation to do the whole project from start to finish. The three prices are returned with little detail, so its hard to know what was included or excluded and what specification (high standard, medium standard, good materials, bad materials etc) the building will be built to , the prices range from £$350,000 (highest) to £$308,000 (lowest), that’s a big price range Johnny and Mary thought, especially on a one off project.


At work, Johnny explains this scenario to a colleague who also works in the lab, the colleague laughs and says “me and my wife had the exact same predicament when getting quotations for building our house, its confusing, especially if you don’t have any knowledge of the process AND you are borrowing all this money to build your home!!”.


“What did you do?“, ask Johnny, “We hired a company to do a Bill of Quantities based on our architects drawings, this gave us a FULL breakdown, trade by trade (block laying, roof, windows, floors etc) of all the materials required for the building, a company called Take off Bill done it for us, , once we had this document we felt we were in control of the build and not at the mercy of everyone of like suppliers, builders etc.” WOW” said Johnny!!


His colleague continued “The Bill of Quantities gave us full transparency of exactly what was required for the build. We could then send this Bill of Quantities (as an excel file) to all of the builders we wanted to get a quotation off for the project. We could then compare exactly what each builder was quoting for item by item, the level of detail was brilliant and this saved us thousands of pounds / dollars / euros and cut a few years off our mortgage, that’s for sure. You’d be surprised Johnny at the price difference between different builders when you look at the detail.”


That evening Johnny went back to his rented home and told Mary the story, Mary was delighted to hear that a resource such as Take off Bill exists and made contact that very evening, within a week, the team at Take off Bill had produced Johnny and Mary’s Bill of Quantities and returned it to them along with a full set of marked up drawings. Not only did Johnny and Mary save thousands of their hard earned cash, they also learned about the construction process and the detail involved in probably the biggest financial commitment of their lives.



The team at Take off Bill are delighted to help clients such as Johnny and Mary, why is that? Its because we want to provide a professional service that saves you money and that’s exactly what a Bill of Quantities or Take off, as its also known, will do for you, and we are not just talking a bit of money, we are talking thousands. The Bill of Quantities will give you the granular detail to scrutinise quotations and prices and puts the power back in YOUR hands. Remember its you who will be paying the mortgage on your home so make sure you get value for money.


Reach out to us, we are Chartered Quantity Surveyors and Estimators and are excellent at what we do, you can find us at and upload your query or simply mail through your drawings and specification to and we will respond with a quotation for our service.


We are also on Facebook at  . At Take off Bill, our motto is, Accuracy, Efficiency and Transparency. Contact us, a Bill of Quantities will pay for itself many times over in your self build journey. By the way, we cover projects everywhere!!


Bill of Quantities