Controlling Construction Costs with the use of a Bill of Quantities (BoQ).
The reliability of the tender price will increase in relation to the accuracy of the quantities provided (i.e. the more precisely the work is measured and described).
In theory, were there no design changes, then a firm BoQ would provide a price at tender stage, which would equal the final cost.
In practice there will be changes, and the BoQ provides a good basis for cost control, since the direct cost of change can be assessed with reference to the BoQ rates.
The firmer the BoQ the better it is as a means of financial control.
The above describes whats known in the industry as a ‘Firm Bill’ of Quantities. There is another type of Bill of Quantities known as an ‘Approximate Bill of Quantities’. Approximate BoQ’s are used when there is insufficient detail to prepare firm BoQ or where it is decided by the employer that the time or cost of a firm BoQ is not warranted.
Such contracts do not provide a lump-sum price, but rather tender price totals (i.e. a quantified schedule of rates), since the quantities are subject to re-measurement on completion by the Quantity Surveyor/cost manager. These contracts are usually 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 excavation and earthworks
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