This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol2", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Under this heading should be placed, first of all, such clauses of the General Conditions as may either directly or indirectly affect the cost, and other important conditions, such as the clause setting forth the method of making payments to the Contractor. It is scarcely possible to give the student any further instructions without giving a complete list of typical Conditions, and for this he is referred to any good London Bill of Quantities.
The Preliminaries will consist of the Insurance clause, and such items as the provision of water for the works, giving notices and paying fees, general attendance clause, scaffolding and plant, stakes and labour in setting out the works, office for clerk of works, sheds for materials, etc., latrines for workmen, hoarding, covering walls during inclement weather, casing up and protecting stonework and projections, making good injury to building from any cause, and making good pointing after frost, making good injury to adjoining buildings, shoring and strutting, keeping foundation free from water, all necessary watching and lighting, clearing away rubbish as it accumulates, scrubbing floors at completion, and leaving all clean and perfect, allowing facilities to other workmen employed upon the building, and allowing them the use of ordinary scaffolding and ladders, casing and protecting the work done by other tradesmen, and being responsible for and making good damage to such work; keeping works in repair for so many months after completion, and making good defects, and any other items not measured under any of the trades. The Preliminaries should also contain a clause requiring a detailed copy of the Estimate fully priced out and cast in ink to be deposited with the Architect, to form the basis for pricing any extras or variations on the Contract; and clauses setting forth the meaning of the letters P.C. (prime cost) and the method of dealing with provisional sums, and should finish with a clause as follows:-"Measurements in all trades are taken nett, and all openings (except flues) deducted."
If the Bill is for a country job, but has been prepared in accordance with London practice, it should be so stated.
Spot items should follow the Preliminaries. Unless there are a large number of them (as in an alteration job) they will not form a separate Bill; they consist of such items as necessitate a visit to the site before pricing, such, for example, as Cutting back eaves of adjoining roof on north side of site, and making good roof to new wall, including 1-inch gutter boards and bearers and 6 lbs. lead gutter, with all requisite drips, etc., and outlet connected to existing rain-water pipe and 4 lbs. cover flashing 6 inches wide all complete, a length of 35 feet, or "Taking up, stacking, and relaying paving," stating the length, etc.
Having completed the "General Conditions, Preliminaries, and Spot Items," the trades proper will commence with Bill No. 2.
The general rule is to commence each trade with the principal item in that trade; for example: - Excavator, digging; Bricklayer, rods of brickwork; Mason, cube stone; Slater, squares of slating; Carpenter, cube fir; Joiner, squares of flooring; Founder and Smith, cwts. of iron; Plumber, cwts. of lead; Plasterer, yards super, of render and set or render float and set, etc.
After the principal items keep as nearly as possible to the order of cubes, supers, and runs, dividing the trades up under subheadings as explained under "Abstracting."
It is the rule generally to bill the cubes in order of their value, the least valuable first; the supers. in order of thickness, and each thickness in order of value; the runs, labours first, in order of value, then materials and labour in order of thickness, each thickness in order of width, and items of the same thickness and width in order of value; the numbers, labours first, then labour and materials in the order first of size and then of value. Commence always with the smallest dimension or least value, as the case may be.
It is not usual to enter inches in the Bill. Six inches and over are billed as 1 foot, and anything under 6 inches discarded.
In items billed in yards cube, 13 feet 6 inches and over would be billed as 1 yard, and anything under 13 feet 6 inches discarded.
In items billed in yards super., 4 feet 6 inches and over would be billed as 1 yard, and anything under 4 feet 6 inches discarded.
In items billed by weight, anything under 1 quarter is billed either as 7, 14, or 21 lbs. For example, anything over 3 lbs., up to and including 10 lbs., would be billed as 7 lbs.; anything over 10 lbs., up to and including 17 lbs., as 14 lbs.; anything over 17 lbs., up to and including 24 lbs., as 21 lbs.; and anything over 24 lbs. as 1 quarter.
Each trade should commence with its Preamble, which should consist of a description of materials and labour and any other explanation which may affect the value of any of the items, or save lengthy descriptions, as, for example:-