Here’s how I used it on a recent remodeling estimate.
First, I assembled a list of line items that will be needed by editing a specifications Master Table Of Contents.
Second, I used Construction WorkZone to look up the unit costs on the line items. I found 54 of the 66 line items in Construction WorkZone. This is just a few less than I might have wanted. I used allowances for several line items because the effort of putting together a quantity did not seem worthwhile. So I basically guessed at about six line items out of 66.
Third, I added a ten percent contingency as a judgement call. The project is in CDs; it is a remodeling; it isn’t very large.
The last step is to add the quantities and do a gut check. Here’s what it looks like so far.
For years my firm bought ’Construction Cost Data’ to assist with unit costs in our estimates. More recently CostWorks provided an electronic version that saved your research for you. Now that I’m retired the $200 per year for either seems like overkill for what estimating I am likely to do.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon Construction WorkZone about a year ago. On an annual basis, Construction WorkZone is one quarter of the cost with about 80-90% of the usefulness. (Even cheaper if you subscribe just when you need it.)
Register for free to look up 10 items; or sign up for monthly use - $.99/first month, then $3.95/mo., cancel anytime.
The data search looks like the screenshots below.
The localized cost modifier seems to be a constant percent when I spot checked it. So you could do that just once on your subtotal.
The key features of cost estimating don’t require exact unit costs, which don’t exist anyway. Just look at the bids you receive for proof.
SUMMARY - PROs
Lots better than guessing
Low learning curve
SUMMARY - CONs
A little more time-consuming than I would like
Must transcribe costs, which is error-prone
Results not saved for you (so take screenshots??)