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Building Services Estimating – What You Need to Know

building services estimating

Whether you’re a contractor or an owner, building services estimating is a crucial component of the construction process. Without it, you’re going to have trouble winning bids, completing projects on schedule and making a profit at the end of the day.

Estimating building services requires an understanding of a wide range of different types of construction materials and methods. For this reason, it’s important to seek out experts in various fields who can help you create accurate estimates.

Scope of Work

Creating a scope of work for a construction project is an essential first step in building services estimating. It contains information that gives direction and purpose to every facet of the project. It can help a project owner budget properly and avoid costly delays or disputes.

There are several types of scopes in building services estimating. These include Architect-Engineer (AE) Scope, Context Scope, and Construction Process Scope. Each type serves a different purpose, but all of them help ensure that everyone on the project understands the tasks they will be responsible for.

The scope of work is also important for ensuring that your team gets paid what they are supposed to get paid. If you have a poorly defined scope of work, contractors can add a lot of extra costs to your bill. For example, they may tack on hundreds of dollars of extra trenching, final grading, and utility hookup fees to the final bill.

A well-written scope of work should contain detailed instructions for each job. It should also list the responsibilities of each member of the project team, including what they need to do to ensure that the work is completed on time and correctly.

It should also include a schedule of all the deliverables and milestones that need to be met. This is essential because it will help a contractor know when each part of the project needs to be complete.

Finally, a well-written scope of work should contain a list of any local and state laws and regulations that need to be followed. These can help a contractor keep the project compliant, and it can also protect them from fines and legal ramifications if they aren’t.

Having a clear and concise scope of work for your construction project can save you time, money, and frustration. It can also ensure that you get a better-quality end result. Regardless of the type of building project you have, it’s essential to take the time to clarify the scope of work before your contractors begin. It can help you avoid unforeseen issues, such as change orders or payment disputes, and it can make the entire project run more smoothly.

Material Takeoff

The material takeoff process is one of the most important elements in building services estimating. The process provides a complete list of materials needed for a construction project, including their quantities and costs. This information is essential when determining a construction budget and preparing a bid for a project.

The process can be difficult to understand, especially for those outside the construction industry. However, the basic concepts are simple and can be easily explained with some knowledge of the construction process.

For example, the process may include a review of blueprints or design papers to determine which materials are necessary. After reading these documents, a person who prepares a material takeoff will then perform calculations to determine the amount of each required material and provide a cost estimate.

These cost estimates will be combined into a total material cost for the project. The total material cost is used as a basis for creating a budget and submitting a bid.

A material takeoff can be prepared manually or with the help of software. The former is more common, but the latter is becoming increasingly popular with more advanced technologies like computer-aided design (CAD) and machine learning.

In addition to providing a complete list of materials and their quantities, a material takeoff can also be used to calculate the volume of each item. This is particularly useful when calculating the amount of concrete, sand, or other materials needed to fill a trench or other large space.

Additionally, the quantity of materials is usually calculated using a wastage factor to account for waste during construction. This helps ensure that the client will get all of the material that they need without paying extra for material that was wasted.

The material takeoff process is crucial for ensuring that a contractor has all of the materials they need in order to successfully finish their construction project. This will help prevent overbuying or underbuying, which can lead to extra costs and schedule delays. It will also allow the contractor to make sure that they are not overpaying or underpaying for their materials, which can lead to a loss of profit.

Subcontractor Bids

Subcontractor bids are a key component in building services estimating. They are a way for construction companies to determine if they are able to complete a job on time and within budget.

A subcontractor’s bid typically includes a price for a specific part of a job. For example, a framer may submit a bid to the general contractor for framing work on a house. The framer’s bid is then plugged into the GC’s master bid for the entire project.

Many contractors prefer to use bids as opposed to estimates in order to get a better deal for the client. They also tend to be more accurate and less time-consuming for clients, which can help a construction company make more profit.

For these reasons, it’s essential for a construction company to have a solid process for submitting subcontractor bids. These bids should include the contact information of both the construction company and the potential client, as well as a detailed description of the project.

Bids should also be written in the same format as the CSI specification, with clearly defined inclusions and exclusions, allowances and alternates. This helps ensure that all parties involved in the project understand the cost of each task and can make an informed decision about which subcontractor to hire for the work.

It’s also important to remember that a lot can go wrong in the bidding process, so if you’re not careful, you could end up losing a bid to another construction company. To avoid this, make sure to submit all the documents required for the job and review them carefully before submitting.

Using inaccurate takeoffs, math or measurements is one of the most common mistakes contractors make in a bid. It can severely affect a bid’s accuracy and can lead to lost bids or even a loss of money.

In addition, the quality of your estimating process can also influence your bid’s accuracy. For instance, if you don’t have good takeoffs and math, it will be harder to determine the cost of the materials you’re bidding on. This can significantly impact your bid’s final accuracy, which can result in a lower price.