Last edited 16 Sep 2020

Query sheet in construction

The term ‘taking off’ refers to the process of identifying elements of construction works that can be measured and priced to produce bills of quantities. Analysis of drawings and specifications allows the cost consultant (usually a quantity surveyor) to prepare a taking off list, which lists all of the individual elements that comprise the works. These elements can then be measured in number, length, area, volume, weight or time and then collated and structured to produce an unpriced bill of quantities.

Taking off requires that the design is complete and a specification has been prepared. Where there may be uncertainty about specific elements of the design drawings and specifications, for example, there may be doubt about the nature, extent or dimensions of elements, these may be entered onto a query sheet and issued to the appropriate members of the consultant team for clarification.

Typically, a query sheet will show the quantity surveyor’s questions on one side and the consultant's answers on the other. These answers may include sketches and other information. Query sheets provide a formal record of questions that have been asked and answers given and should also record who asked each question, and when, and who answered each question, and when.

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