Bill of Quantities (BOQ)

A bill of quantities is a document used in tendering in the construction industry in which materials, parts, and labor (and their costs) are itemized.

Any construction project requires a bill of quantities, in order to detail the cost items of the project.

In this module, we will see how to start an estimate, by adding items to the BOQ to build up the project's costing. We will take a look at Estimate Information, how to add single items or unique items. Then we will look at how
to quantify them.

Starting an Estimate

You can begin an estimate by clicking on Bill of Quantities, Selecting a project, and selecting the costing.

For this training we will start with a new, empty estimate. The first step is to input information specific to the estimate. Bill of Quantities is where you enter items and build-up your estimate.

For this exercise, you will create an estimate for a House Slab. We will be using this estimate for the rest of the exercises in this manual.

Before we start, make sure:

  1. A Project is created. (learn how)
  2. A costing for the project is created. (learn how)
  3. Your cost centers (Work Breakdown Structures) have been added. (learn how)

Watch video

Walk through: Adding Items

A Price List typically contains thousands of items for the estimator to choose from and add to his/her estimate. The items in the Breinz Price List database are laid out in Breinz Trades Structure.

We will begin building an estimate by adding price list items. The BOQ view is designed for just that; for adding, quantifying and tagging estimate items.

This exercise is designed to get you familiar with how a price list is structured and how the estimating process works.

Here is a list of items that need to be added to the estimate:

  1. Make sure you are in the Bill of Quantities view by clicking on Bill of Quantities module on the left.
  2. Select the project you want to add items into on the left.
  3. Click on Items and click Import to open the price list browser.
  4. Select Breinz Trade as the heading, and from the Concrete works, select Concrete Slab:
  5. You can find the list of items in the this Price List to add to your costing. Add below items by clicking on the right arrow at the end of the row of each item:
  • Slab Preparation and Pour
  • Step Downs
  • Machine Hire Allowance
  • Footings preparation and pour
  • Curing of concrete slab

Once all the items has been added, close the Price List Browser card and select All Item from the WBS drop down menu to see the items in your Bill of Quantities:

Quantifying Items

You can quantify items in Bill of Quantities view. There are two primary ways to quantify items; you can enter the quantity directly in the Quantity cell on the spreadsheet, or you can use the Takeoff Quantity Calculator for each item by clicking on the Calculator button on the line.

In general, it is easier and quicker to enter the quantities directly in the cells, but there are times you may want to use the Calculator tool. For example, you may want to use the quantity of another item for this one, when the quantities of the both items are the same, or you want to use formulas to calculate the quantity.

For this exercise, you can enter the quantities directly on the spreadsheet. Use the quantities in the screenshot. We will be using the Takeoff Quantity Calculator later when learning how to calculate quantities.

Once done, click on the Save button on the top left corner of the list.

Changing Prices

You can change the price of each item by entering the new price directly in the Cost cell on the spreadsheet and click Save button on the top left corner of the list.

Unique Items

There will be times when you cannot find an item in the database for the work you need to do. In this case, you will want to use Unique Items. These are called unique items because they are typically items that you use for just one estimate and are unique to that estimate. Unique items can be created from scratch.

The reason for copying an item in the database is that it already has many coding structures attached to it, such as Breinz Trades codes which will be used in ordering section.

Later, when we look at WBS, which is important since most of the filters sort by WBS to display the information correctly. If you create a unique item and don't copy from an existing Price List item, you will need to manually sort in in a WBS.

Also, importing items from Price Lists, creates a link which can be used when you update the price of an item or add products or suppliers for the Price List item.

For this exercise, the concreter requires to dig a trench for the electrician to run their conduit in it. This item is not in the database, so we will create a unique item. We will do this by adding  a unique item:

  1. To add a unique item, you need to select the WBS in which you want to add the item.
  2. If there is no WBS Heading and WBS node specified, you can't add a unique item into your costing. Learn how to add a WBS Heading.
  3. Click on Items and click Add New to open the price list browser.
  4. Fill the information and click on the Add New button

Editing Estimate Items

It is common that items need to have descriptions, codes, and quantity updated as prices and circumstances change. Notes used for additional information and alerts.

Items can be changed individually or whole columns of data can be modified at a time. Edits to quantities and prices can be made by typing directly in a spreadsheet cell and click Save or by using the Edit Estimate Item button for individual items. Edit Estimate Item is opened by clicking on the edit button on the column to the far left of an item.

Use this dialogue box to Delete, Duplicate, and Edit items: