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Estimating Building Costs for the Residential and Light Commercial Construction Professional, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-21957-7
528 pages
March 2012
Estimating Building Costs for the Residential and Light Commercial Construction Professional, 2nd Edition (1118219570) cover image

How to succeed in the construction business—step-by-step guidelines for estimating

To be competitive, contractors and homebuilders need to know how to generate complete, accurate estimates for labor and material costs. This book guides readers through the entire estimating process, explaining in detail how to put together a reliable estimate that can be used not only for budgeting, but also for developing a schedule, managing a project, dealing with contingencies, and ultimately making a profit.

Completely revised and updated to reflect the new CSI MasterFormat 2010TM system, the Second Edition of this practical guide describes estimating techniques for each building system and how to apply them according to the latest industry standards. Cost considerations and quantity takeoff and pricing are included for virtually every type of work found in residential and light commercial projects, from demolition, concrete, and masonry to windows and doors, siding, roofing, mechanical and electrical systems, finish work, and site construction.

Complete with many new graphics and references to professional construction cost databases, the new edition provides experienced contractors and novices alike with essential information on:

  • How to correctly interpret plans and specifications, reflecting updates to contract documents since the first edition

  • Computer estimating techniques and new estimating software for performing quantity takeoff

  • The best methods for conceptual estimating as well as the extremely useful topic of parametric estimating

  • How to allocate the right amounts for profit and contingencies, and other hard-to-find professional guidance

  • How a unit price estimate is built along with labor issues and budgeting for subcontractor work

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Foreword / xii

About the Author / xiv

Introduction / xvi

Chapter 1 The Working Drawings / 1

The Role of the Drawings / 1

Design Development / 1

Organization of the Working Drawings / 2

Title Block / 4

Graphic Formats Used in Drawings / 5

Drawing Conventions / 7

Conclusion / 13

Chapter 2 Understanding the Specifications / 14

The Role of the Specifications / 14

Organizing Specifications by CSI MasterFormat / 15

The Project Manual / 19

Conflicts Between Drawings and Specifications / 27

Modifications to the Contract Documents / 27

Conclusion / 30

Chapter 3 Calculating Linear Measure, Area, and Volume / 31

Units of Measure / 31

Decimal Equivalents / 31

Linear Measurement / 32

Angles / 33

Area and Square Measure / 34

Volume and Cubic Measure / 37

Conclusion / 39

Chapter 4 The Quantity Takeoff and Pricing / 41

Reviewing the Documents / 41

Beginning the Quantity Takeoff / 42

Rules to Follow for Accurate Takeoffs / 43

Accounting for Waste / 49

Other Factors That Affect Quantities / 50

The Unit Price Estimate / 55

Pricing the Quantities / 58

Submitting a Bid / 60

Conclusion / 60

Chapter 5 Understanding Material and Labor Costs / 61

Materials / 61

Labor / 62

Indirect Overhead / 67

Profit / 68

Conclusion / 68

Chapter 6 General Requirements / 69

Fixed and Variable Costs / 70

Identifying General Requirements Cost Items / 73

Applying Prices to General Requirements Items / 73

Conclusion / 74

Chapter 7 Existing Conditions / 75

Assessment / 75

Subsurface Investigation / 76

Demolition and Structure Moving / 77

Remediation / 81

Existing Condition Drawings / 87

Conclusion / 88

Chapter 8 Concrete / 89

Concrete Materials / 90

Ready-Mixed Concrete / 91

Formwork / 91

Flatwork / 100

Expansion Joints / 102

Control Joints / 103

Curing and Sealing / 104

Reinforcement / 105

Precast Concrete / 109

Cementitious Decks / 110

Embedded Items / 110

Vapor Barriers and Rigid Insulation / 112

Conclusion / 113

Chapter 9 Masonry / 114

Mortar / 115

Brick / 116

Concrete Masonry Units (CMU) / 126

Stone / 129

Masonry Reinforcement / 133

Grout / 136

Masonry Anchors and Ties / 138

Masonry Restoration / 139

Masonry Cleaning / 141

Masonry Insulation / 142

Flashings / 142

Cutting Masonry Units / 143

Items Furnished by Other Trades / 145

Control Joints / 145

Incidentals for Fireplace and Chimney Construction / 146

Freight of Masonry Units / 147

Staging and Scaffolding for Masonry Work / 148

Cleanup / 149

Masonry Sealing / 150

Conclusion / 150

Chapter 10 Metals / 151

Structural Steel / 151

Open-Web Steel Joists / 155

Metal Decking Structure / 159

Light-Gauge Metal Framing (LGMF) / 160

Studs and Track / 162

Miscellaneous and Ornamental Metals / 163

Miscellaneous Costs / 169

Conclusion / 172

Chapter 11 Wood, Plastics, and Composites / 173

Rough Carpentry and Framing / 174

Finish Carpentry / 196

Architectural Millwork / 198

Structural Plastics / 200

Casework and Cabinetry / 200

Conclusion / 203

Chapter 12 Thermal and Moisture Protection / 204

Waterproofing / 204

Dampproofing / 206

Insulation / 207

Vapor Barriers / 210

Air Infiltration Barriers / 211

Exterior Siding / 212

Roofing / 215

Fire-Stop Systems and Sprayed Fireproofing / 234

Expansion Joints / 236

Conclusion / 237

Chapter 13 Openings / 238

Architectural Drawings / 238

Hollow Metal Frames and Doors / 242

Wood Doors and Frames / 245

Sliding Glass Doors / 246

Special Doors / 249

General Notes on Estimating Doors / 252

Overhead and Coiling Doors / 252

Entrances and Storefronts / 253

Wood and Plastic Windows / 256

Metal Windows / 257

General Notes on Windows / 258

Roof Windows and Skylights / 259

Finish Hardware / 260

Glass and Glazing / 263

Louvers and Vents / 264

Conclusion / 265

Chapter 14 Finishes / 266

Plaster Systems / 267

Gypsum Wallboard Systems / 268

Gypsum Sheathing and Underlayments / 270

Metal Stud Framing and Furring / 271

Tile / 275

Waterproof Membrane for Tile / 279

Acoustical Ceiling Systems / 281

Flooring / 285

Acoustical Treatment / 292

Painting / 294

High-Performance Coatings / 297

Wallcoverings / 297

Green or Sustainable Products / 303

Conclusion / 304

Chapter 15 Specialties / 305

Interior Specialties / 305

Exterior Specialties / 306

Taking-off Quantities / 307

Conclusion / 308

Chapter 16 Equipment, Furnishings, Special Construction, and Conveying Equipment / 309

Division 11—Equipment / 309

Division 12—Furnishings / 313

Division 13—Special Construction / 319

Division 14—Conveying Equipment / 324

Conclusion / 330

Chapter 17 Fire Suppression / 331

Fire Suppression Systems / 332

Conclusion / 337

Chapter 18 Plumbing / 342

Plumbing Systems / 343

Conclusion / 358

Chapter 19 Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) / 359

Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Systems / 360

Conclusion / 374

Chapter 20 Integrated Automation / 376

Integrated Automation Systems / 376

Conclusion / 379

Chapter 21 Electrical Systems / 380

Electrical Labor / 382

Raceways / 382

Conductors and Grounding / 383

Wiring Devices and Boxes / 385

Starters, Boards, and Switches / 388

Lighting / 392

Emergency Lighting and Devices / 393

Equipment Hookups / 395

Miscellaneous Electrical Work / 397

Conclusion / 398

Chapter 22 Communications, Electronic Safety, and Security / 399

Communications and Electronic Safety and Security / 399

Labor / 406

Conclusion / 408

Chapter 23 Earthwork / 409

Civil Drawings / 409

Site Clearing/Site Preparation / 412

Excavation and Backfill / 414

Erosion and Sedimentation Control / 424

Shoring and Underpinning / 425

Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements / 427

Miscellaneous Considerations / 429

Conclusion / 429

Chapter 24 Exterior Improvements / 430

Civil Drawings / 430

Bases for Paving / 432

Flexible Paving / 433

Rigid Paving / 436

Curbs / 439

Paving/Parking Specialties / 441

Site Improvements / 443

Landscaping / 446

Labor for Exterior Improvements / 449

Miscellaneous Considerations / 449

Conclusion / 449

Chapter 25 Utilities / 450

Civil Drawings / 450

Water Utilities / 452

Water Supply Wells / 454

Sanitary Sewerage Utilities / 455

Storm Drainage Utilities / 460

Electrical/Communications Utilities / 466

Miscellaneous Considerations / 469

Conclusion / 469

Chapter 26 Profit and Contingencies / 470

Profit / 470

Contingencies / 475

Conclusion / 477

Chapter 27 Estimating by Computer / 478

Estimating Software / 479

Quantity Takeoff Software / 489

Project Overhead Summary Sheets / 489

Conclusion / 489

Chapter 28 Conceptual Estimating / 492

Conceptual Estimating / 492

Conclusion / 496

Index / 497

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Wayne J. Del Pico is President of W.J. Del Pico, Inc., where he provides construction management, litigation support services for construction-related matters, and construction education. He has more than thirty years of experience in construction project management and estimating and has been involved in projects throughout the United States. Mr. Del Pico is a frequent seminar presenter for RSMeans as well as other public and private clients. He is the author of Builder's Essentials: Plan Reading and Material Takeoff and coauthor of The Practice of Cost Segregation Analysis: Maximizing Tax Benefits for Building Acquisitions and Construction.

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