(Contributedby W. H. Brown, F.S.I)

The dimensions should be started by notes of the "Preliminaries." These will consist of such items (some of them contained in the Conditions) as either have a direct monetary value or will indirectly affect the price, such as fees, taking up stacking and relaying paving, shoring to adjoining premises, etc. Any new party walls or work to existing ones should be kept separate.

Surface Digging is measured per foot super. up to 12 inches deep, stating in the Description if it includes the separation of vegetable soil. Over 12 inches deep it is measured per foot cube, the separation of vegetable soil being separately measured, and is billed in yards cube.

Basement Digging, per foot cube, divided into depths of 6 feet and kept separate, as "not exceeding 6 feet deep," "exceeding 6 but not exceeding 12 feet deep," etc., 6 feet being known as "one throw"; that is, the height which one man can throw. A staging is required at each 6 feet of depth. State if earth is basketed out (as required in confined situations), if wheeled, and how many runs (one run is 20 yards), if deposited on site or carted away. If the excavation is to include grubbing up old foundations, state it. Taking up old pavings may be included with Surface Digging if measured super., otherwise it should be separately measured. The space between outer face of wall and face of digging to be separately measured, and deducted from the digging and carting away, and added to "Excavation to basement not exceeding 6 feet deep (or as the case may be), and return, fill in, and ram around walls." Billed in yards cube. State in the Preamble to the Bill that all digging includes any necessary planking and strutting, or measure it per foot run; describe it as to sides of excavation, and state the depth. If it is doubtful whether planking and strutting will be required, mark it "Provisional," and deduct at completion if not required.

Trenches are measured per fool cube. Keep basement trenches separate, and state their depth below ground level. Measure the whole of the trench as "Excavation to basement trenches, and return, fill in, and ram around foundations"; then measure the space occupied by the wall, footings, and concrete, deduct it from the previous item, and add it to "Excavation to surface trenches, basket out and cart away" (or as the case may be). Billed in yards cube. Where planking and strutting is not provided for in the Preamble, measure it the length of the trench, describe it as "To trenches one side measured," and state depth and width of trench.

Excavation in Underpinning is kept separate, and described as "In short lengths in underpinning, and to include all planking and strutting and soldiering, and strutting off face of brickwork as it is built"; or the planking and strutting may be measured separately per fool run. Measure both sides of trench, one end and one division for each bay (i.e. each length in which the underpinning is done), describe it as "all measured," and state width and depth of trench; also state that it includes soldiering and strutting off face of brickwork as it is built, and remember to measure the trench wide enough to allow working space for the Bricklayers. A reasonable allowance would be a clear 3 feet from the finished face of brickwork to the front edge of excavation. It is much fairer in work of this kind to measure the planking and strutting separately as above, because it is quite impossible to estimate the quantity simply from the cubic quantity of excavation. It may be marked "Provisional," and remeasured as executed, and adjusted at completion.

Measure the filling in behind wall per foot cube, and bill in yards. This is best done in rough concrete; one of cement to 12 of ballast will be quite good enough. If earth is filled in here it is quite impossible to ram it.


Measure per foot cube and bill in yards. The series of items for Trenches and Concrete for a 20-foot length of trench as Fig. 23 will be as follows:-

Concrete 53

Fig. 23.


Exc. surf. trs. 10'.0" from gd. level to bot. of tr., and R., F. and R.1




Ddt. do. do.

l.l 1/2




1.10 1/2

Add. exc. surf. trs. a.b., basket out and c.a.






P.c. conc. as descr. in founds.



Keep concrete in underpinning separate, and state that it is in short lengths.

Where the concrete foundations are stepped, take shutterings to the ends. These should be numbered and their size stated.

Brickwork is now usually measured including all rough cutting, and no objection can be urged against this in ordinary works; but where there is an unusual amount of rough cutting it seems more reasonable to measure it. It is measured per foot run under 6 inches wide, and per foot super, over 6 inches. Fair cutting is measured per foot run, and is understood to cover a depth of 4 1/2 inches. Anything beyond this depth should be measured per foot super. as rough cutting. For example, a 20-feet length of 14-inch brick gable surmounted by a coping would have 20 feet of fair raking cutting, billed under "Facings," and 20 feet by 9 inches of rough splay cutting.


Measured per foot super., the length by the height, and their average thickness stated in terms of a brick. Thus in a 1 1/2-brickwall with three courses of footings the top course will be 2 bricks and the bottom course 3 bricks thick, or an average of 2 1/2 bricks. Billed with reduced brickwork in rods.

Damp Course

Measure and bill per foot super.

Vertical Damp Course

Measure and bill per foot super., and state that it includes extra labour and cutting to angles.

Brick Walling is measured per foot super. and the thickness stated in terms of a brick. No notice is taken at this stage of the work of any offsets for floors, extra 1 Abbreviations are largely used by the Taker-off, most of them being obvious and well recognised. Thus "R., F. and R." means "Return, Fill and Ram"; while "a.b." means "as before," and "c.a." means "cart away." thickness for plinths, etc. These are added later on. Measure the external walls first, and then the internal walls, either by collecting all of same thickness or a wall at a time. Brickwork over 60 feet above ground to be kept separate; all above that height divided into heights of 20 feet. One-brick walls built fair both sides should be kept separate. Half-brick partitions and sleeper walls must be kept separate and not reduced.

Hollow Walls are measured solid their full thickness, including the cavity, and reduced. State the respective thicknesses of the two portions and the width of cavity. Give the description and the number per yard super. of the ties, and state if haybands are to be placed in cavity and drawn up as the work proceeds, or other precautions taken to arrest falling rubbish. Remember, when deducting the openings in hollow walls, to notice if a strip of lead built into brick joint and bent as gutter over the opening, or any other method is specified, to carry water clear of the frames.

Brickwork Circular on Plan is kept separate. State the radius, and that it includes templates. If under 25 feet radius, state that it includes any necessary-cutting.