Contractors and homebuilders need to use reliable construction estimating books to make their bids competitive and profitable. These books provide price guides based on industry rates and standards.
They help you estimate material costs, labor rates, project specifications and contingency. Proper estimating helps safeguard profit margins and ensures projects are finished on time and within budget.
The Building Construction Cost Book
Whether you are bidding on a construction project, preparing to submit a budget proposal or simply estimating for your own company, accurate estimates are vital. One inaccurate estimate can cost you a client or cause you to lose money. In today’s turbulent business climate, with rampant inflation, supply chain snarls and steep wage increases, construction estimates are more important than ever before.
Having the right resources can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that you are providing the best value for your clients. This is why you should use an estimating software program that has been designed specifically for commercial construction. These programs allow you to create detailed estimates quickly and easily. They also include a wide range of calculations, from simple length and area calculation to complex electrical, utility trench and earthwork cut and fill calculations. They also allow you to define mark-ups ranging from general overhead to resource-specific mark-ups and even bonding costs.
Most commercial estimating programs provide information in different formats to suit your individual needs. For example, some will display data as a grid for easy comparison. Others will include a detailed breakdown of materials by category, with specific quantities and prices for each item. Some will even break down the total construction cost into direct and indirect costs, as well as a contingency allowance.
A good estimating software program will allow you to save your most commonly used items and will update the database on a regular basis. It will also provide you with localized material prices, regional contingencies and current labor estimates. It will also give you detailed line item descriptions for all the common construction items and allow you to search for the specific component or equipment that you need. With these features, you will be able to prepare high-level estimates during the pre-planning stage, when you know nothing more than building floor areas. This will help you get the job and build a reputation for your company. It will also save you time and effort, and protect your profit margins.
The Building Construction Cost Manual
There are many elements that go into the estimation process, from reviewing technical details and blueprints to analysing costing scenarios. However, one of the most important elements is making a site visit. This is an opportunity to collect information, collaborate with the contractor and determine any impact a location may have on the project’s scope of work. During this time, the estimator will make notes and photographs to help them understand the project’s specifications. They will also perform a takeoff, which is the process of measuring and documenting the quantity of each construction activity on the project.
Estimators need to ensure they have accurate and reliable data for each construction activity, including the materials and labour required. This will allow them to develop a realistic and competitive tender to win the contract. Having the right cost estimating resources helps with this task and can save estimators valuable time.
Whether working on new construction or estimating replacement/renovation costs, this national cost estimation manual has you covered. It offers you the latest data and trends to help you prepare accurate and detailed estimates. It also provides you with regional cost adjustment factors and modification factors for 700+ communities throughout the country. Moreover, this national cost estimation manual allows you to view, print or save the detailed report in PDF as required.
This manual is an excellent resource for preparing accurate and detailed estimate for commercial building projects. Its comprehensive construction cost information includes unit prices for all items and assemblies required on a project. Its database has been compiled from multiple sources, and each component cost is sampled to represent an overall market trend. Moreover, the index is available at the building, structure and aggregated residential/non-residential levels.
This manual is updated with the latest construction costs for the Canadian market. Its coverage extends to all types of buildings, including schools, hospitals and other medical facilities, greenhouses, commercial and industrial buildings and multi-family homes. It also contains city cost indexes, localization factors and costs per square foot for 160 common building configurations. Its comprehensive construction cost information also covers all the major trades, equipment and materials, as well as labour and overhead costs.
The CSI MasterFormat 2010TM Manual
The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)’s MasterFormat is a universally recognized organizational standard for specifications concerning non-residential building projects. It is the framework that architects, builders and contractors use when preparing plans, as well as for arranging project manuals for bidding, contracting, construction and building operations. CSI MasterFormat is used by design teams, manufacturers, and specification processing systems such as SpecLink, MasterSpec, SpecText, National Master Specification (NMS), and SpecsIntact.
MasterFormat divides information about a facility into sections, which are then organized by the type of work to be done. This makes it easier for construction professionals to access and understand information. It also helps them to maintain consistency in the documentation for a project. The original version of MasterFormat consisted of 16 primary divisions, but it was expanded to 50 divisions in November 2004. This expansion addressed the rapid growth of technology and materials in new buildings.
The new 50-division MasterFormat includes a number of new divisions that cover the growing field of environmental technologies. These new divisions organize the work of locating and assessing an existing site and its environment, as well as providing a structure for organizing the many different types of environmental equipment that are installed in buildings.
In addition, the new MasterFormat includes a section for the types of water and wastewater equipment that is installed in buildings. This section helps to provide a common language for these types of products, which allows for greater coordination between project team members and the creation of more effective and efficient designs.
Whether you are using the old, outdated 16-division version of MasterFormat or the newer 50-division version, it is important to keep up with changes to the format and to make sure that your specification writing staff is familiar with them. CSI’s MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team evaluates suggestions for revision and updates the resource every two years.
While some people confuse MasterFormat with localized building codes, these standards differ by intent rather than content. MasterFormat is a system-based means of organizing information, while Uniformformat is a material-based way of doing the same thing.
The CSI MasterFormat 2010TM System Manual
Since the 1960s, architects, engineers and construction professionals across North America have turned to MasterFormat – developed by the Construction Specifications Institute and its Canadian counterpart, Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) – for help in preparing specifications and project manuals that are used in commercial construction projects. Whether it is an elementary school in El Paso, a hospital in Halifax or an industrial plant in Chicago, MasterFormat provides a standard list of numbers and titles that are used to organize project manuals and detailed cost information for various building types and structures. It also helps improve communication between members of the design and construction team by enabling them to relate notations on construction drawings to the project’s specifications.
CSI MasterFormat’s numbering and classification system, which uses 50 divisions to classify work results, is designed to easily accommodate expansion and change. It is updated regularly to reflect new technology, industry practices and user feedback. For example, the 2004 MasterFormat expansion added categories for computer networks, telecommunications and facilities management, which are important to modernising older buildings. Its 50-division structure is also important for organising BIM information.
MasterFormat is a common organizational component of the SpecLink, MasterSpec, SpecText and National Master Specification (NMS) systems, as well as specification processing software such as UFGS and SpecsIntact. It is also commonly adapted by manufacturers to produce specification documents for their products. Many design teams maintain office master sections based on MasterFormat and use it to pull specifications from different sources.
The latest version of CSI MasterFormat includes numerous changes, including revisions to the numbered sections and definitions. It also has new headings and a more comprehensive list of topics and subtopics for each division. For instance, in the section relating to lighting and electrical power, new headings address the energy conservation and sustainability goals of the National Green Building Rating System.
CSI also added new sections and subtopics to address a wide range of new issues, such as ADA compliance, environmental goals and the emergence of green technologies. For example, the section on lightning protection systems was revised to better follow NFPA 72 and the International Fire Code.