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How to Estimate with RSMeans Data: Basic Skills for Building Construction, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-17616-0
320 pages
April 2012
How to Estimate with RSMeans Data: Basic Skills for Building Construction, 4th Edition (1118176162) cover image


Using North America's most recognized construction cost data from RSMeans, this step-by-step guide develops problem-solving skills through over 300 sample problems and exercises. All of the major construction items, including site work, concrete and masonry, wood and metal framing, doors and windows, and more are covered. Access to a password-protected web site is included, which contains the instruction version of RSMeans Cos/Works, the electronic version of RS Means Building Construction Cost Data, and sample building plans and spreadsheets, enabling you to practice creating a complete construction estimate.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Using RSMeans CostWorks Instructional Version CD-ROM xv

A Cautionary Note: Numerical Rounding and Mathematical Judgment xxi

Chapter 1: Basic Calculations 1

RSMeans Cost Data Format 1

Productivity and Activity Duration 6

Equipment Costs 9

City Cost Indexes and Location Factors 10

Chapter 2: Spreadsheet Types 13

Manual Spreadsheets 13

Electronic Spreadsheets 14

Using RSMeans CostWorks 17

Additional RSMeans CostWorks Features 19

Square Foot and Cubic Foot Costs 19

Chapter 3: Cost Estimating: An Introduction 23

Introduction 23

Definitions 24

Types and Purposes of Estimates 26

Types of Contract Award Methods 36

Types of Contract Agreements 39

Chapter 4: General Requirements 51

Estimating General Requirements 51

Project Duration 51

Architectural and Engineering Fees 54

Workers’ Compensation Insurance 56

Builder’s Risk Insurance 58

Sales Tax 58

Chapter 5: Adjusting RSMeans Data to Job Conditions 63

Markups on Labor Cost 63

Interpolation between RSMeans Items 65

Substituting Known Local Labor Rates 68

Overtime Productivity Loss and Extra Pay 69

Effect of Inflation/Cost Escalation 71

Unit Consistency 74

RSMeans CostWorks Estimator 75

Adding, Changing, or Deleting Costs 79

Chapter 6: Concrete (Division 3) 85

Types of Concrete 85

Estimating Concrete 87

Additional Estimating Examples 105

Chapter 7: Masonry (Division 4) 117

Types of Masonry 117

Estimating and Waste Allowances 117

Productivity Factors 118

Quantity Takeoff 119

Chapter 8: Metals (Division 5) 131

Estimating Structural Steel 131

Chapter 9: Wood and Plastics, Thermal and Moisture Protection (Divisions 6–7) 147

Wood and Wood Products 147

Nominal versus Real Dimensions 148

Thermal and Moisture Control 149

Estimating Wood-Framed Structure 152

Using Units of Quantity 158

Chapter 10: Doors and Windows, Interior Finish, and Equipment (Divisions 8–14) 165

Using RSMeans Costs 165

Division 8: Openings 166

Division 9: Finishes 167

Division 10: Specialties 173

Division 11: Equipment 174

Division 12: Furnishings 174

Division 13: Special Construction 174

Division 14: Conveying Equipment 175

Chapter 11: Fire Suppression, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical (Divisions 21–28) 179

Fire Suppression 180

Plumbing 181

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning 182

Electrical 185

Communications 186

Electronic Safety and Security 186

Chapter 12: Earthwork (Division 31) 189

Types of Earthwork 189

Soil Excavation 190

Truck Capacity 195

Excavate by Hand or Machine? 196

Optimum Number of Trucks per Loader 199

Equipment Rental Costs for Short or Long Periods 202

Renting versus Owning Equipment 205

Chapter 13: Equipment Analysis 213

Equipment Depreciation 213

Equipment Expenses 217

Equipment Rental 222

Chapter 14: Assemblies Estimating 231

Preliminary Cost Estimating 231

Assemblies Estimates 231

Combining Assemblies and Unit Costs 234

Chapter 15: Approximate Estimates 237

RSMeans Project Costs 238

Using RSMeans Project Costs 239


Appendix A: Answers for Exercises 249

Appendix B: Contractor’s Cash Flow 259

Appendix C: CSI Masterformat 265

Appendix D: Sample Estimating Forms 267

Appendix E: References 275

Index 281

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Author Information

Dr. Saleh Mubarak, PE, holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering, with specialization in construction management. He has over twenty-two years of diversified experience as a civil engineer, cost estimator, scheduler, project controls manager, and professor. He has taught professional seminars all over the world. Dr. Mubarak is currently the head of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Qatar University. He is a leading authority in construction planning, scheduling, and project control, and the author of Construction Project Scheduling and Control.

RSMeans, a division of Reed Construction Data, has been the leading publisher of construction cost data for over sixty years. The company provides products and services to more than 250,000 construction professionals throughout the United States and Canada.

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