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Construction Estimating Using Excel 2nd Edition by Steven J. Peterson | PDF Free Download.
PART I INTRODUCTION TO ESTIMATING
PART II THE QUANTITY TAKEOFF
PART III PUTTING COSTS TO THE ESTIMATE
PART IV FINALIZING THE BID
PART V ADVANCED ESTIMATING WITH EXCEL
The second hand of the clock swept rapidly toward the 12, signifying that it was 15 minutes to 1. Fifteen minutes until bid closing, when the bid I was working on was due.
I had 10 minutes until our secretary would call for the final price, giving her just enough time to write the number on the bid forms, seal the bid, and turn it in. The bid had been tallied and was ready to go, with the exception of one blank line.
The words “Asphalt Paving” along with the blank space to the right glared at me. I had yet to receive a number from my asphalt contractor, who had promised me he would get me a bid. I called his phone number.
No answer! There was only one thing left for me to do. I had to do an asphalt takeoff myself, and I had only 8 minutes left. Quickly I grabbed my scale, turned it to match the scale at the bottom of the drawing (1 8 1 ), and began to determine the quantity of asphalt needed for the parking lot.
Cutting corners where I could, scribbling numbers on a piece of scratch paper, and punching the numbers on my calculator, I arrived at the square footage of the asphalt. It wasn’t exact, but it was close.
I then multiplied the square footage by the estimated cost per square foot for the asphalt. The phone rang as I added my estimated cost for the asphalt to the bid. It was our secretary calling for the bid. I gave her the number, and she read it back to me.
I relaxed for the next 20 minutes, waiting for our secretary to call back with the bid results. The phone rang again and it was our secretary.
We had won the bid. As I was enjoying the thrill of victory, I glanced at the plans and the words “Warning: Half Size Drawings” jumped off the page.
The thrill of victory turned into a large lump in my stomach as I realized why I had won the bid. I had forgotten to double all my measurements as I measured the asphalt, so I had only 25% of the money I needed to purchase the asphalt for the project.
Quickly, and carefully this time, I took off the asphalt again. Indeed, I only had a quarter of the asphalt I needed, and it would take all the profit in the job and then some to pay for it. By working hard during the buyout process, I was able to get the project back on budget.
I did this by finding local subcontractors and suppliers for the items I had bid myself who would do the work for less than I had budgeted. In the end, we made a fair profit on the job, but that does not make up for the money we left on the table because of my error.
The job of an estimator is to forecast as accurately as possible the likely cost of a construction project, as well as the required amounts of materials, labor, and equipment necessary to complete the work.
Because of the high degree of uncertainty in estimating these items, estimating is more of an art than a science. There are three key pillars that support the success of an estimator.
The first is an understanding of the construction process—how things are built and how the pieces are put together.
The second is an understanding of the fundamental principles of estimating. Estimates that are not based on these fundamental principles are nothing more than wild guesses. The third pillar is the experience.
For a person to become a good estimator, it is required that he or she develop good judgment on how to apply estimating principles. Rita Mae Brown said, “Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”1 The pillar of experience can only be acquired through practice.
The purposes of this book are to
(1) give beginning estimators an understanding of the fundamental principles of estimating
(2) provide beginning estimators with practical estimating experience
(3) give beginning estimators a basic understanding of how to use spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel2, to increase their estimating productivity and reduce errors
(4) give experienced estimators another view on estimating and a chance to improve their estimating skills. This book is divided into five sections.
The first section introduces the reader to estimating. The second section introduces the quantity takeoff and teaches the reader how to determine the number of materials needed to complete the project.
The third section shows how to put costs into the estimate. The fourth section shows how to finalize the bid, incorporate the estimate into the schedule, and buy out the project, and discusses bidding ethics.
The fifth section teaches how to tap into the power of computer spreadsheets—specifically Microsoft® Excel—and demonstrates how spreadsheets can be used to automate estimating functions.
To provide practice in estimating, three drawing sets are included—a residential garage, a residence, and a retail building. I hope you will take the time to carefully read each chapter, work the problems at the end of each chapter, and prepare estimates for the projects at the end of the book.
Doing this will help you begin to gain the experience needed to be a successful estimator.
I would like to thank the following people for providing reviews of the manuscript: Barry M. Eager (Arizona State University), Roger Killingsworth (Auburn University), Huanqing Lu (East Carolina University), and Ihab M. H. Saad, Ph.D. (East Carolina University).
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