Various Methods Of EstimatingVarious Methods Of Estimating

There are four or five different methods of estimating, but the greater number of them are not considered reliable by the careful and generally successful contractor, who will run no risk of loss by using any method appearing to have an uncertain element in it. As a rule, he sticks to the old, reliable, but laborious system of working out his estimate, by figuring on every item that enters into the work for which he intends to tender.

One of the so-called rapid methods of estimating is to take out rough quantities and price the items as this work proceeds. All the quantities and workmanship may be gathered from the drawings, measurements made with distance measuring wheels, and specifications in a broad and comprehensive manner, the work being condensed into a few specific items, such as floors, windows, doors, etc., and priced accordingly.

This method is less used than some others, yet it is about as reliable as any of them. This system requires a little more time to work it out than some of the other ready ones; but an expert will do it as quickly as cubing, and it will be about as correct. In estimating by this method, it will be well to add a liberal allowance for unforeseen contingencies.

When rough quantities are being taken out for an approximate estimate, it is desirable that the various descriptions of materials, private label measuring tapes, and workmanship should be grouped together so as to form as few separate items as possible. Also, in all cases where it can be done, the items should be priced as per square of 100 feet superficial, for the sake of uniformity and convenience.

The walls should be classed according to their materials and thickness, at the same time stating whether external or internal. Each item should include all necessary digging, footings, doors, windows, and finishings of wall surfaces, such as plastering, facings to external walls, etc., so that the item, and consequently the price, shall be inclusive of everything that appertains to the various enclosures or divisions of the building.

For this purpose the superficial area of the walls should be obtained by taking the extreme length of each wall by the height from the bottom of the footings to the top of the eaves, in cases where the thickness of the wall is the same throughout. Should the wall vary in thickness, either in its length or height, each portion should be measured separately, possible with tanking gauge tapes or private label tape measures.

No deductions must be made for door, window or other openings. Bay windows, chimneys and other additions of a like nature should be numbered and priced according to their materials and workmanship. The floors may be dealt with in a manner similar to that described for the walls. The ground and upper floors must be kept separate, and classed according to the materials and finishings required.

The item for wood floors on the ground floor to include sleepers, dwarf walls, joists, boarding, hearths, etc., together with a layer of concrete on brick rubbish over the whole area, and all necessary digging for same. Similarly, concrete or other floors will include all materials, labor, and finished surfaces that may be required--the upper floors to be treated in a similar manner.

The item for all joists, boarding, hearths, ceilings, cornices, and whitening or coloring includes the same. The roof coverings to be measured on the slope, the item being inclusive of roof trusses, rafters, boarding, shingling, slating or other covering, leadwork, eave-gutters, down pipes, etc. Ceiling joists, ceilings and whitening or coloring to ceilings will also be included in the same items here required.
by Allison Ryan
References and Bibliography
Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in precision measurement tools such as private label measuring tapes, tanking gauge tapes, and distance measuring wheels. For world class tools since 1876, stop by http://www.ustape.com/.
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