A friend whose profession is a Quantity Surveyor / Construction Cost Consultant recently asked me if I know of any free bill of quantities (BQ) software that he could use to manage costs and item quantities for his civil and building engineering projects.
Since he is an independent consultant and doesn’t officially work for any organization, he needed a free productivity tool to start off with before going for proprietary ones.
As a QS Engineer, his key responsibility includes:
- Prepare the bill of quantities for building projects.
- Perform cost control to the best possible.
- Provide advice during the procurement process.
- Prepare and analyze the cost of the tender.
The most important task is basically to minimize costs to the fullest while still achieving the required quality and standard for a perfectly built building.
It looks like it’s vital for the cost of all materials to be calculated accurately without any errors.
Every construction business needs an effective and reliable inventory management process. If you ask any construction worker framing a building: While you could MacGyver two pieces of wood together with whatever items you have on hand, you’ll get the job done faster and better if you use the right tools.
For a more detailed overview of why every construction business needs an inventory system, check out Why is having inventory management software is so important for your business.
What is a bill of quantity or BOQ?
A bill of quantities (BOQ) is a document used in construction projects that lists all the materials, labor, and equipment required for a specific project. There are several free software options available that can help you create and manage a bill of quantities for your construction project.
The bill of quantities generally referred to as BOQ is a standard document used in the tendering process ( in case of item rate/BOQ contract ). The purpose of a BOQ is to give a fair idea of the extent of work to contractors and then in return get their bids for shortlisting the contractor for further negotiations.
A standard BOQ usually have the following information –
- Item code
- Item Description
- Unit of measurement
Bill of Quantity or BOQ Creator Software Recommendations
A user-friendly and reliable software will definitely come in handy especially if it helps to manage the list of building materials together with its associated costs and measurements. The ability for the BQ software to tally up all totals will definitely be useful as well.
So I did a quick search and found this software called PriMus-DCF – a windows desktop application for building professionals to easily create, modify and share price lists, estimates and bill of quantities for FREE.
Primus-DCF can be downloaded without any questions asked whatsoever.
The creator of the software, ACCA (Italian based leader in building industry software) has created the software as a gift for all to use and benefit from.
To begin using the BoQ software, you start off by creating a price list.
A BoQ price list is basically a list of unit prices that can be used effectively when developing a bill of quantities.
See an example price list generated using PriMus-DCF below:
Once your Price List is there, creating a BoQ is as simple as dragging and dropping the necessary items into the BOQ.
Below is a sample Bill of Quantities created using PriMus-DCF for a campus extension project.
You may notice that that the default currency is in Euro and that can be easily changed to your working currency from General Data > Configuration.
Just like any other desktop application, once you’re done developing your BOQ, it can be easily printed out as well as shared electronically with co-workers and clients.
I believe PriMus-DCF will not only benefit my QS friend but also many other building professionals out there thanks to ACCA.
For more details about this free bill of quantities software for the building industry, check out PriMus-DCF.
More BOQ preparation software
Sigma Estimates – construction estimating software
The best-in-breed solution for construction professionals, who need to deliver accurate results, faster, in today ‘s increasingly complex and competitive market.
Sigma Estimates is the best-in-breed solution for construction workers, who must deliver accuracy, faster.
The software feels like you are working in Excel but without the liabilities.
As technology and programming have advanced, businesses still operating with Excel are falling behind those that have adapted to the new wave of advanced estimating software.
Sigma Estimates allow drag-and-drop to restructure your estimate, create custom fields and sort, customize your reports and easily share your work. You can also save an estimate as a template or a cost library.
And best of all, there are no large upfront investments to get started with Sigma – they offer month-over month subscriptions as well as a free trial so you can feel good about your decision before committing on a larger scale – no risk.
Bluebeam Revu allows users to transform scanned images into text-searchable documents. Bluebeam provides a set of markup tools, including text, notes, clouds cad symbols, stamps, and highlights. Project files can be uploaded to the cloud or proprietary servers and shared across the team.
Watch this video below on how you can prepare your next bid faster by leveraging Revu, Bluebeam’s measurement tools, VisualSearch and estimating capabilities which offer a competitive advantage for the quantity surveying industry.
Vector – Quantity Surveying and Building Estimating Software
Every working day hundreds of surveyors are using Vector to create bills of quantities, cost plans and detailed building estimates for their clients of every conceivable kind. The program is a thoroughly modern bill of quantities program with drag and drop, unlimited undo and redo of every action you take, and all the other features you would expect in the best modern windows programs.
With Monday.com contractors and builders are able to have instant access to the project information they need and make connecting with the team at HQ easy.
Best practice boards for managing all of your projects at a high level, your sub-contractors details, and working with contractors on an individual project board.
- Buildxact: Buildxact is a cloud-based software that allows you to create and manage BOQs for your construction projects. It offers a free plan for individual use.
It’s important to note that while they are free, they may have some limitations and/or paid features, you should check the product’s website or try them out to see if they meet your needs.
Need help with bill of quantities services from professionals who have successfully done it?
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