Best practice, consistent, and efficient construction cost estimating should consider Owner, Builder, and AE requirements. Here’s a shortlist for your consideration and comment.
1. EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE. Nothing is more important than decades of actual experience in the field as well as detailed line item experience.
2. COMMUNICATION – Use industry standard terms in plain English for each construction task. Minimize the use of acronyms and/or abbreviations. In fact only use abbreviations for units of measure.
3. Common data format (CDE) – Use CSI MasterFormt (50 division) to organize data.
4. Detail – Assure labor, material, and equipment breakdowns are available for EACH task as appropriate.
5. Integrate your work with a LOCALLY RESEARCHED unit price commercial construction cost data base. You can’t know or keep up to date on everything, and even if you did/could, this is a great way to supplement your data. DO NOT USE a national unit cost book and/or location factors/indexes. The latter will introduce significant error.