When an estimator provides a quality successful low bid, the office atmosphere is filled with excitement. Now it’s time for management, the project manager, and the foreman to focus on making a profit.
The best way to increase profit is by managing labor productivity. Too often, project managers, foremen, and owners focus on material and package buyouts, squeezing subcontractors, and cutting back on overhead to increase profits. These actions pale in comparison to what can be accomplished by having highly productive labor force.
Money can be made by smart buying and eliminating unneeded overhead costs, but concentrating too much attention on these items will take your eye off…
The contract documents for some projects lack clarity and specificity. An RFI is the estimator’s way of defending his estimate and his scope with the contract documents.
Many times an estimator is placed into a situation in which he must decide quickly about what to or not to include in his estimate. When the risk is too great, the estimator must ask the architect, engineer, or construction manager for clarification.
This is done with an RFI,…
The electrical estimator must understand electrical contracting. Electrical contracting consists of five main components:
- Material purchasing
- Labor management
- Contract management
Most every task performed in an electrical contractor’s office can be placed under one of these five headings. The electrical estimator must understand all five components. Failing to understand these components disqualifies the employee from the status of estimator. If he only understands counting and measuring takeoffs, he is nothing more than a…
The database is the heart of any estimating program. Database arrangement and manipulation is a time-consuming task. It is in constant motion. Most estimating databases have approximately 40,000 + items.
Estimating programs are designed to allow the user to arrange items into assemblies by categories and various takeoff libraries of the program.
The value of estimating software is determined by its’ ability to allow the user to arrange items into specific material categories for quick takeoff.
Factoring Labor and Labor Factors
In my last estimating article, I talked about the basic labor unit and estimating math. Most of the risks in construction are labor risks. There are so many factors that can cause a project to lose monies.
Factoring Labor and Labor Factors are not the same.
Factoring labor = is the application of adjustments to labor units based on the difficulty or ease of installation of material.
Factoring labor is handled in…
Understanding labor and the factors that impact labor costs is vitally important. Most of the risks in construction are labor risks. There are so many factors that can cause a project to lose monies.
Every estimator must know the ingredients that compose a labor unit. And he must know how to do the math to calculate his own labor units for specific tasks.
1st – The Labor Unit
The definition of a labor unit = a unit…
An estimator must carefully read the project specifications. Sometimes, there are labor and material costs that are required for specified items for the project.
Here are the most important questions to answer and items for review:
- Scope of work
- Summary of work
- General conditions
- Supplemental conditions
- Are there any special insurances required?
- Are there any allowances? Is the OH&P included in the allowance or do you need to add in your bid summary?
- Are there…