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Ductwork Estimating

Ducts transport air from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment throughout the home. Properly installed insulated ducts reduce pressure loss and save on energy costs.

Estimating ductwork can be complex and time-consuming. Ensign’s estimating software programs use industry standard SMACNA specifications to calculate materials, shop and field labor. They allow for allowances for bought in materials, spiral tube and fittings.


Ductwork is a series of tubes that carry warmed or cooled air throughout the home. Air ducts can be expensive to repair or replace, and can increase energy costs. This is why a well-insulated duct system is so important. If your ducts are not properly insulated, you may be paying more for heating and cooling than necessary.

The cost of replacing ductwork varies by location, size and type of home. For example, a duct replacement in an older house will cost more than a newer house. It also depends on whether the ductwork is located in the attic or in the crawl space, and how easy it is to access.

In addition, the ductwork may require a permit, which can add to the total project cost. The cost of a permit varies by locality. Finally, the homeowner should consider the cost of mold removal and remediation. This is an important part of the ductwork replacement process and is often overlooked. Mold can cause health problems, and a duct replacement is the best way to prevent it from returning.

Adding or replacing a duct system can be expensive, but it is worth the investment to improve air quality and reduce energy costs. A professional contractor can ensure that the ducts are properly sized and sealed to maximize efficiency.

The ductwork in your home is made of sheet metal and fiberglass insulation, which can wear down over time. It is a good idea to do regular maintenance on your ductwork to avoid costly repairs. A reputable HVAC company can help you with this.

The average ductwork installation costs between $2,000 and $5,000. This cost includes materials and labor. However, it is important to note that this amount does not include taxes and permit fees, which will be based on the project’s location and the local code requirements. The costs of a duct installation can vary depending on the size of the home, duct width and length, and the type of duct material. For example, a duct with an insulation rating of R-6 or higher is usually more expensive than a duct without insulation.


When it comes to ductwork estimating, the materials used are vital. Ducts are usually made of hardy metal or synthetic materials. These are shaped according to the size of the room and the airflow they need to supply. Ducts are available in different sizes, shapes and colors to suit various environments. For example, ducts in commercial buildings are often made of galvanized steel or aluminium. These are durable, easy to install and provide a long service life. Ductwork estimating also considers the type of insulation required. This is important, as it determines the heat loss of the ducts and the energy savings they can provide. Insulation also reduces the noise level of ductwork and makes it more comfortable to use.

In some cases, a duct may require additional insulation to ensure the proper flow of air. This is particularly true if the duct is exposed to sunlight or high humidity. For this reason, insulated ducts are more expensive than uninsulated ones. However, they will pay for themselves in the long run by reducing energy costs.

Ductwork estimating requires the ability to calculate airflow, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To determine this, a mechanical contractor must perform a Manual J HVAC load calculation for each individual room or space in the building. This is a time-consuming process, but it’s essential to accurate estimates.

The best way to speed up the ductwork estimating process is to use a mechanical estimating software program. These programs are designed to simplify the entire process from takeoff and estimating to fabrication and installation. These systems will allow you to create accurate estimates based on real-world construction costs and labor rates. These software tools will help you save time and money while improving your overall efficiency.

A ductwork estimating system should be compatible with your company’s construction standards. It should also support your estimating team’s knowledge of materials, specifications and labor rates. In addition, the software should be easily customizable to fit your company’s unique needs and processes. It should be scalable so it can grow with your business.


Duct insulation is a critical part of any ductwork project. Choosing the right insulation will help you keep your ductwork energy costs low and achieve optimal results. The type of insulation you choose will depend on the climate where you live and your specific ductwork needs. The R-value of the insulation is also important, as it determines how much heat the duct will be able to disperse. It is important to choose an insulation with a high R-value so you can save money on your heating bills.

Another factor in estimating the cost of ductwork insulation is the number of ducts that need to be insulated. The more ducts you have, the more insulation you will need. You can estimate the amount of insulation needed by dividing the total square footage of the duct by its insulating value. You can also use a ductwork estimating calculator to get a more accurate estimation of how much insulation you will need for your project.

A good way to keep your ductwork insulation costs low is to hire a professional estimating service that specializes in mechanical estimating. This will ensure that your estimates are accurate and will save you time and money in the long run. In addition to saving money, a professional estimating service can also give you better insight into how to manage your HVAC project.

When estimating ductwork, it is essential to use the latest construction drawings. This will help you avoid inaccurate sizing and price options. If you’re working with a client that doesn’t have the latest drawings, it’s a good idea to ask them for the most recent ones before starting your estimate.

It’s also important to separate your ductwork takeoff into services and sizes. For example, if your client initially asks for all the fresh air and exhaust air to be insulated, it will be difficult to delete them later on when you’re reviewing the estimate. If you separate the ducts into their respective services, however, it will be much easier to delete them as necessary.

Ensign’s ductwork estimating software allows for quick and accurate on screen takeoff from electronic drawings, reducing your time spent on manual calculations. Our software is scalable so it can grow with your business and can be used across multiple computers in your network. It includes standard templates for rectangular, round or oval duct and fittings as well as sheet metal raw materials, liners, stiffeners and tie rods, and duct accessories.


Ductwork is one of the most labor intensive components of any HVAC job. When estimating a new sheet metal project it’s important to look at ductwork productivity and the factors that influence it.

Several methods of measuring ductwork labor productivity exist. Generally you will want to choose a method that fits the specific needs of your business. For example if you are a duct contractor who installs only rectangular sheet metal ductwork you might want to use LF/MD, which is the number of linear feet that can be installed per man day. Alternatively you might use a method like LBS/HR (pounds of sheet metal per hour).

The most important factor in estimating ductwork is establishing your own historical field data for your specific duct work type and project types. Once you have gathered this data you can compare it to the current project to determine what kind of productivity you should expect.

It’s also important to understand how different sizes and gauges of duct affect labor productivity. For example a 12” x 12” section of duct weighs less than a 16” x 14” piece, and requires different installation labor to put in. As a result, you will need to adjust your production rates for each size and gauge of duct you are installing.

When you take your estimating software to the jobsite you can measure each week what has been installed and how many hours were charged for that installation. You can then compare these results to your estimated ductwork productivity rate and make any necessary adjustments. This process helps you to ensure that you are not under charging for your ductwork projects and also helps you to monitor the progress of the job as it goes through construction.

Another useful way to monitor ductwork productivity is by using an online or downloadable ductwork estimating software application. These applications can perform your estimating takeoffs directly from your electronic drawings, making it much quicker than the traditional paper and pencil method. They can also automatically keep track of your labor, material and equipment estimates and keep them up to date as you make changes.