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Estimating Labor

Estimating Labor – Part 2

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 the takeoff. Most estimating software programs will allow you to factor the labor when you enter the takeoff.

The material costs for ½” EMT is the same no matter what the labor condition to install it. Labor for installing ½” EMT conduit in the steel joists in a warehouse at 40 feet is more than installing the same ½” EMT conduit in a metal stud wall.

Factoring labor is so important. Most every project will have areas that an estimator must consider adjusting his labor units.

Consider these conduit installation conditions:

1) Metal stud
2) Masonry
3) Slab
4) Vertical runs
5) Trench
6) Trench – multiple runs
7) Exposed above normal heights
8) Parallel runs above normal height

A good electrical estimating software will allow you to factor your takeoff. It will also allow you to review it in the extension page.

Labor factors = are related to overtime, weather, multistory buildings, shift work, and site accessibility, etc.

Labor factors are conditions that affect labor productivity. Labor factors are related to the specific type project, environment, and installation. Many times, an estimator needs to adjust the number of labor hours due to project conditions.

Labor factors are usually addressed in the bid summarization.

Consider these 24 conditions, risks, and factors:

· Access to work area
· Accelerated schedule
· Addenda factoring
· Building construction
· Crew size
· Dusty environment
· GC capability
· GC experience
· Hazardous environment
· Isolated environment
· Job location
· Multistory impact
· Non-local manpower
· Occupied facility
· Overtime impact
· Phasing – by area, floor, or building
· Poor electrical design
· Renovation
· Shift work impact
· Stacking of trades
· Staging location
· Weather conditions
· Work conditions
· Work experience

Some projects may have more than one labor factor that will need to be applied.

Remember, labor unit values may be different from project to project, foreman to foreman, and season to season.

Next estimating tip – labor reporting from the field. Stay tuned!

Remember, estimating is expensive, poor estimating is costly, and quality estimating is profitable.