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Planning and estimating accuracy

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  • Planning and estimating accuracy

    How accurate do you feel you guys need to be when P&Eing materials for projects? I'm talking about the intial bid on big projects that take several months or a couple years. Everybody forgets something, how much forgetting is acceptable for you?
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

    I always give myself an extra $300 on the big jobs. There will be materials i will either forget, or something will arise. One of the best jobs i ever estimated was to demo, and install a mens and womens room (6 toilets, 3 urinals, 4 sinks and a handicap shower) It was for a Sporting Goods store. We came right on budget with materials, made our profits. I had fun with that one, the job was in the 13,000s. But it felt great getting everything done on time and on budget. I would always give yourself some extra play.
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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    • #3
      Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

      ferguson has a program out right now, for the customers (who have accounts), it is

      customer.ferguson.com

      you have access to your prices 24/7, estimating on your time.

      some of the prices are incorrect, but you can fix that with your sales guy.

      I am exited and very happy with Fergusons new program.

      It will help us all out with our material price books also.

      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #4
        Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

        Ben,

        Iv'e done $170,000 bids and been within 1% of other bidders. When I'm that close I worry about what I forgot.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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        • #5
          Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

          Estimate + 10% whoops factor.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

            For the most part new construction is cut and dry. Profit magin is pretty tight to stay competetive. If I forget something it's usually a paper mistake like forgetting to exclude sawcutting or debris removal. POOF!...all profit is lost before you even install 10 feet of pipe

            It's the remodeling projects that can bite you in the butt on labor overruns. I pad those pretty hard.

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            • #7
              Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
              It's the remodeling projects that can bite you in the butt on labor overruns. I pad those pretty hard.
              I`m finding that out right now the hard way. We are involved with a wal-mart remodel and the old sewer was not installed to the as-built print. I cut a 4`X4` hole in the floor last night for nothing....errrrrrrrrrrrrr
              I hope tonight we can locate the sewer in the right spot and make up for a complete lost nights of work. Man I hate working nights
              http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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              • #8
                Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                Ben,

                Iv'e done $170,000 bids and been within 1% of other bidders. When I'm that close I worry about what I forgot.

                Mark
                I'm with Utah here. The original post mentioned year long projects. Adding $300 is not very much saftey.

                The most important thing is to have a through understanding of your crew's abilities. do not bid by your own speed and skills, and understand where the strenghths and weaknesses lie in the actual men doing the job.
                the dog

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                • #9
                  Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

                  when i was doing new construction (81-95) the boss and estimator bid the jobs. these were anywhere from 20k- 4.5 mil.

                  it was up to us to bring the job in for better than the bid.

                  the material was figured by the take off. if the material take off was wrong, the estimator blew it. if the labor ran over, we blew it.

                  the best job i pulled in finished at 67% of labor. this was a 400 unit 5 building apt. complex. that was a nice bonus at the end of the project.

                  sure there were others much tighter, and some over the 100% mark

                  but it wasn't due to lack of working. it was due to the fine print in specs.

                  typically from a government/ county job. not the private sector.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #10
                    Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

                    As a gen. contr. If materials cost Me $1000,they're charged out at $1500. I don't break down prices. I don't sub. Our last job was around $80,000. Much of our repairs and remodels are former customers.
                    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                    • #11
                      Re: Planning and estimating accuracy

                      Gear,

                      We estimate our projects a little differently than most other contractors in my area.

                      We will start out with a take off for the ductwork that we will build in-house, then hydronic piping, then plumbing fixtures (including cleanouts) and plumbing mains.

                      We get the grille counts from my supplier from his quote and we use a "plug" number for each grill, register, diffuser. Same with VAV boxes and plumbing fixtures. ( Floor drains, cleanouts, etc. count as a fixture with us.) We add everything up, putting 15% on all material, pull a labor number out of my rear end, add in the purchased equipment for the job and put the 15% on that, and get a number. (I do have HVAC, Plumbing, and site work broken out for my own use).

                      At the end of the page, we will apply a percentage of profit on that number and get a final quote number.

                      I dont really have a number added in just for things I/we missed.

                      We go through plans and specifications very carefully. Myself and another engineer read every note and specification book on the areas that apply to us.

                      It seems to work pretty good, we can usally put a bid together for a 1-5 million dollar project in a day if we know the engineer of record personally. If its a out of state or out of town engineer we have never worked with, we will read every word and it takes some time.

                      Crap, sorry to ramble on, to answer your question, I dont have a cover my tail figure.

                      Regards,

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