How many times have you heard an estimator say …
“ Does anyone have a list or checklist of some sort that you use to make sure you do not miss anything on the drawings? “
“What estimating procedures do you use to help you?”
While 4Clickers’ know the answer is, “ Use e4Clicks Project Estimator! ” , here are my thoughts on a few important items associated with making an accurate construction cost estimate.
1. Everything starts with process and the cost database.
Lack of standardization is the root cause of waste, miscommunication, and errors in construction cost estimating. In this regard, the value of standardized reference cost databases using Uniformat II and Masterformat95, especially for example the e4Clicks expanded 400,000 RSMeans line item database, can’t be under-stated. Using a software tool that takes full advantage of, and adds value to the cost databases in concert with you own personal expertise is equally important. Get away from ad-hoc processes and spreadsheets whenever possible.
CSI Master Format, Uniformat II and RSMeans cost data are extremely valuable as ” checklist” , provide a level of standardization, and help to avoid “missing” items.
2. Scope of Work “Checklist”
Review the Scope and/or Bid Form. Are there any specific requirements such as price/quantity breakdowns, Unit Prices, Alternates, Bid options, etc.
Review site – existing structures, grading, layout of the project, laydown area, entry & exit to the site and any construction phasing requirements.
What information do you have and do not have to develop the estimate.
3. On Screen Takeoff “Procedures & Checklist”
If you are using electronic drawings, confirming backups, setting & confirming scales ( double check the scale by measuring the longest dimension on the drawings to make sure it’s correct and to know the accuracy) , printing record of document PDFs, etc- Drawing: Drawing Number/Name, Scale, Scale Checked with Dimension.