What are these pesky Schedules of Quantities?

I called them "pesky" as the name keeps coming up , but what are they really and what do they do?

Well, instead of answering that directly, I would ask another question. Why would you not embark on a building project, be it a renovation , new house or a larger commercial building, without one?

Personally, I liken them to a Financial Blueprint for your building. Something to compare and contrast cost of well, using different materials or using a varying styles or methods to do a floor or stairs or whatever you are looking at.

To give direction to your build and keep a finger on how the costs are tracking during the build compared to what you expected.




What do they look like?

Well , they should include all of the trades required in your build. For example, Concrete works, Carpentry, Flooring, Windows, Doors and so on. Also, services such as Electrical and Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and if relevant to your project, Exterior items to the house. Retaining walls, Earthworks, Screens and Driveways.


These should also be presented in a sequence that matches how your build will progress so it is easy to follow and plan for what is coming next.


Below is a Summary for a Schedule of Quantities showing the Trades and their totals.





Further food-for-thought for consideration on if and how the Schedule of Quantities and a Cost Estimation may help your build are listed below.


  • Advantages for having a Schedule of Quantities A Schedule of Quantities sets out the quantity, as well as quality, of all the component parts necessary within the construction of the works.

  • Quantities are measured by the Quantity Surveyor (QS) in accordance with the drawings and specifications provided by design consultants.

  • Ensures that all contractors tendering for the project will be able to price on exactly the same information, confirming like-for-like tender submissions.

  • Limits the risk element borne by the contractor to the rates he enters within their tender submissions.

  • Provides a solid foundation in regards to the assessment of variations, which often occurs throughout the project.

  • The itemised list format, of the component parts of the building, greatly assists the successful contractor in assessing his supply and labour requirements for the contracted works.

  • Priced Schedules of Quantities are valuable resources for cost analysis, which subsequently will be utilised on future contracts in terms of cost planning work and benchmarking.

  • Allows the same basis for cost comparison between tenders, thus providing quicker and fairer tender assessment

  • Consultant quantity surveyors have a chance to sort out discrepancies or errors in drawings and specifications during BoQ preparation.

  • Reduces the inherent risk of the possibility of inadequate quantities being utilised when accepting the lowest tender bid.

  • Tenderers are required to calculate the BoQ rates but not prepare the quantities, which shortens the tendering period

  • It decreases the tenderers overheads for measurement, which may eventually be reflected in their final tender price submission.

  • Quantities are prepared by the consultant QS, ensuring quality of the SoQ.

  • Accurate assessment for estimate of the final cost of work.

and also.....for you commercial building types.... • Forms the basis for future Variation Orders (VO).Easier to assess Progress Payments (PP) by referencing the firm quantities, which prevents over-certification in monthly claims.Easier to prepare final account, as re-measurement is not required.

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