BNI Architects, Contractors, Engineers Guide To Construction Costs 2023 Edition

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Estimating & Bidding for Builders & Remodelers - 5th Edition Book+CD

All the information you need for estimating and bidding construction and home improvement projects.

Includes Craftsman's National Estimator software with a 50,000-item database from the National Construction Estimator and National Home Improvement Estimator.

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Here is all the information you need for estimating and bidding construction and home improvement projects. Explains what you need for a career as a construction estimator, how to construct a take-off from the plans, how to check the details of an estimate, prepare a schedule, deal with subs, and calculate project overhead and profit. Also covers how to estimate remodeling work for typical remove and replace jobs, and include markup for remodeling work. Explains how to profit from estimating commercial work.

Includes the National Estimator stand-alone estimating program with a 50,000 item database for residential, commercial, and home improvement work. A video tutorial, and a program that lets you export completed estimates into QuickBooks Pro for job costing, or progressive billing. Other Craftsman databases are compatible and available by download on the Web.

Contains the database of the National Construction Estimator and the National Home Improvement Estimator.

The National Estimator System Requirements:

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher Intel (or equivalent) processor recommended; 233 MHz minimum required.
  • Operating Systems:
    • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows 98SE.
  • Requires up to 160 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor.
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive.
  • Keyboard and Mouse or compatible pointing device.
For Internet access:
  • DSL or Cable recommended; 56 kilobytes per second (Kbps) or higher-speed modem minimum.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (or higher), Netscape 7.1, Firefox 1.0, or Mozilla 1.7 minimum.
ShowMe Tutorial System Requirements:
  • 1024 x 768 or higher video resolution required.
  • To listen to video tutorial - Sound card and speakers or headphones.

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More Information
Page Count272
AuthorRichard Langedyk
PublisherCraftsman Book Company
Dimensions8-1/2 x 11


Chapter 1
Get Started Right, 5

Sink or Swim in Construction Contracting, 6
The Detailed Cost Estimate, 7
Estimating as a Career, 8
Typical Estimator Profile, 10
Shortcomings of an Estimating Career, 12
Rewards, 12
Decision Making, 16

Chapter 2
Planning your Estimate, 17
It All Starts With a Plan, 17
Custom-made Markup, 18
The Long-term Plan, 21

Chapter 3
Getting Ready to Estimate, 29

It All Starts With Plans, 29
The Plan Package, 32
Examine the Site, 36
The Cost Data File, 36
Doing the Take-off, 38
Compiling an Estimate, 39
Checking Estimates, 47

Chapter 4
The Estimating Process, 51

Detailed Estimating Steps, 51
A Sample Take-off, 63
The Detailed Estimate Advantage, 88

Chapter 5
Estimating Repair & Remodeling Work, 89

Limiting the Scope of Your Bid, 90
Protecting Yourself, 91
A Sample Remodeling Estimate, 93
The Estimating Process, 96
Putting it All Together, 111
Checking the Estimate, 117
Preparing the Bid, 117
Closing the Sale, 120

Chapter 6
Estimating Commercial Work, 125

The Commercial Estimate, 126
Follow a Plan, 128
Start the Take-off, 129
The Take-off Form, 131
How to Take off Quantities, 132
Applying Unit Costs, 146

Chapter 7
Pricing With a Computer, 153

What's on the National Home Estimator Disk, 154
Installing National Home Estimator, 155
Using National Estimator, 156
Opening the Costbooks, 157
Your First Estimate, 158
Splitting the Screen, 159
Copying Costs to Your Estimate, 160
Changing Wage Rates or Costs, 163
Adding Tax, Overhead and Profit, 166
Printing and Saving Your Estimate, 167
Converting Estimates With Job Cost Wizard, 168
Amount of Detail on Invoices, 170
QuickBooks Account Names, 171
Exporting an Estimate to QuickBooks, 173
Turn an Estimate into an Invoice, 175
Your Jobs in QuickBooks, 176

Chapter 8
Cost Recording 177

Why Keep Cost Records?, 178
Essentials of a Cost System, 179
Cost Records Check Current Jobs, 182
Classifying Labor Costs, 182
Using Cost Data, 187

Chapter 9
Planning Overhead 191

Start With Last Year, 192
The Annual Budget, 196
My Budget for AEI Builders, 200
The Preliminary Budget Bottom Line, 208
Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail, 213

Chapter 10
Estimating Overhead & Profit, 215

Your Normal Markup, 216
The Right Markup for Your Estimates, 218
But Will We Make More Money?, 222
Develop a Profit Curve, 222
Your Own Best Profit Range, 227

Chapter 11
Smart Bidding, 229

Adjustment for Risk, 229
Asset Utilization Adjustments, 240
Identify Under-utilization, 242
Project Adjustments, 248
What Is the Net Effect?, 251

Chapter 12
Pricing Strategies, 253

Learn About Your Competition, 255
Graph Your Competition, 260
Let's Wrap This Up, 264

Index, 265

Chapter 1

Get Started Right

It's been said that construction estimating is more an art than a science. Truly, it's both. Like scientists, estimators collect what they hope is accurate information: precise take-off quantities, exact price quotes and carefully documented costs of completed jobs. But like artists, estimators rely on experience, intuition, judgment, and sometimes, guesses.

Why can't construction estimating be more science and less guesswork? If you've done much estimating, the answer is probably clear. Estimating will never be a science. Every construction project is unique. No single cost can be accurate for all jobs and all bidders. Estimates have to be custom-made for the job, the time, the place and the crew that's going to do the work.

And that's what this book is about: The fine art of accurate construction cost estimating.

This guide is written for the owners, estimators and project managers in small and medium-sized construction companies. I'll take a scientific approach to estimating when that's possible. I'll show you how to eliminate a lot of the uncertainty in bidding and tip the scales in your favor when that's an option. When it's not, I'll suggest easy ways to limit your risk and reduce your exposure to a major loss.

My goal throughout this book is to help you make a good living as a construction estimator. It's possible. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of construction cost estimators do just that. If you aren't making a good living now, I expect this book will help you.

Estimating & Bidding for Builders & Remodelers Includes the National Home Estimator disk

Guaranteed to improve your estimating skill and bidding results: What to look for in the plans. How to scope out the last 5% of job costs. Immunize yourself against common estimating mistakes. Includes over 1,100 pages of current labor and material costs for both new construction and home improvement jobs - covering every trade and the most common specialties. Two of Craftsman's most popular residential cost guides are on the disk:
National Construction Estimator and National Home Improvement Estimator. Other Craftsman costbooks are compatible and available for download on the Web. Go to www.craftsman-book.com

Instant Access - Tool Bar puts you just a click away from what you need.

The estimating program that works like a book. Turn to any page or use the electronic index to find in seconds exactly the cost estimates you need.

Use your mouse to copy and paste cost estimates from the costbook to your electronic estimating form. Costs are extended and columns totaled automatically.

40 estimating forms are on the disk. Open any of these forms with your favorite word processing or spreadsheet program.

It's quick and flexible. Change any price or description in your estimate. Enter the five-digit zip code to adjust costs to your community.

Then print your estimate directly or export it to nearly any word processing or spreadsheet program running under Windows.

More ways to work faster and easier. Copy costs from one estimate to another. Open both databases at once and use costs from each in a single estimate.

Get help from an expert. Free phone support is available 8 AM to 5 PM (Pacific), Monday through Friday. Call 760-438-7828.

Cut learning time in half! Let the ShowMe video on the disk teach you how to use the National Estimator program.

Job Cost Wizard Exports estimates to either QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier® where you can track actual costs against estimated cost. Requires Windows 98 or higher.

Open both new construction and home improvement estimating costbooks. Then copy anything from either costbook to your estimate. Cut and paste from one estimate to another. Then adjust the costs to your zip area and print the estimate. Remodeling magazine recommends National Estimator and calls it an easy-to-use "estimating wiz." You're going to agree.

Dan's Here To Help

The ShowMe video covers everything you need to know about the National Estimator. Let this hour-long interactive multimedia tutorial, included on the disk, show you how to use all the features of this powerful estimating program.

The Author:

Richard J. Langedyk has directed the training of over 20,000 estimators, project managers and construction company owners. Since 1982 he has been Senior Instructor for Construction Estimating Institute of America in Sarasota, Florida. He is well known as a speaker at construction conventions and trade shows throughout the United States and Canada. His 30-year construction career includes estimating both as general contractor and as a subcontractor on residential, commercial, industrial and government projects - from remodeling jobs to heavy industrial projects approaching a billion dollars.