Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Estimating for Residential Construction, 2nd Edition

  • David Pratt
  • ISBN-10: 111130887X
  • ISBN-13: 9781111308872
  • 352 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2006
  • COPYRIGHT: 2012 Published
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About the Product

ESTIMATING FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, 2E provides a very visual, reader-friendly introduction to processes as it details the steps involved in accurately preparing a cost estimate. In his signature clear, straightforward writing style, proven author David Pratt explains how to price excavation and site work, concrete, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, heating, and electrical work, as well as the general expenses and sub-trade work. He also covers the impact of green building practices. The book offers specifics on how to prepare a bill of materials from a takeoff, summarize and prepare a bid for a custom home, assess markup on an estimate, and review a bid before it is submitted to the client. It covers the basic math of residential work early on, devotes an entire chapter to remodeling, and provides "tips of the trade" from professionals in every chapter. In addition, the Second Edition is linked to a Student Companion Website, where instructors and students can access spreadsheets to assist in estimating tasks and problems.


  • Ensures readers are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need for success as accurate and efficient residential construction estimators.

  • Modern approach to estimating includes the use of computers; ensuring readers keep pace with industry standards.

  • Thorough coverage explains how to prepare bid forms and deal with alternate prices, allowances, and bid security, while detailed examples illustrate how estimating work is compiled.

  • Numerous illustrations and examples, and a sample set of house plans are used as an example throughout to highlight key estimating concepts.

  • A list of conversions and equations used in estimating is included in the appendices as a helpful, quick-reference resource for students.

About the Author

David Pratt

David J. Pratt is a Professor of Civil Engineering Technology at SAIT Polytechnic and a lecturer in construction costing at the University of Calgary. Professor Pratt is a professional quantity surveyor and cost consultant. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, and holds a degree in Quantity Surveying from Liverpool College of Building together with a degree in Economics from the University of Calgary.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
Building Estimates. Estimates in the Residential Construction Industry. Builders and Residential Markets. Spec Builders. Custom-Home Builders. Multi-Unit Residential Contractors. Types of Contract. Uses of Estimates. Methods of Estimating. Architects and Designers. Green Building and Sustainable Construction. Drawings and Specifications. Soils Reports. Site Visits. Review Questions.
2. Arithmetic and Principles of Measurement.
Calculating Number of Items. Length Calculations. Perimeter Calculations. Calculating Areas. Calculating Volumes. The Quantity Takeoff. What is Measured. Units of Measurement. Takeoff Items and General Rules of Measurement. Accuracy of Measurement. Takeoff Order. Takeoff Strategy and the Use of Assemblies. Estimating Stationery (Standard Forms). Computer Estimating. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
3. Measuring Excavation and Sitework.
Measuring Sitework and Excavation Work Generally. Bank Measure Swell and Compaction Factors. Excavation Safety Considerations. Calculating Volumes of Excavation and Backfill for Trenches. Example of Excavation and Backfill Calculations for a Trench. Calculating Volumes of Excavation and Backfill for Basements. Example of Excavation and Backfill Calculations for a Basement. Use of Digitizers. Cut and Fill Calculations. The Grid Method of Calculating Cut and Fill Quantities. Measurement of Excavation and Backfill in a Takeoff. Sample Drawings. Example of Sitework Takeoff. Comments on the Sitework Takeoff. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
4. Measuring Concrete Work.
Concrete Work Generally. Measuring Notes--Concrete. Measuring Formwork Generally. Measuring Notes--Formwork. Measuring Notes--Finishes and Miscellaneous Concrete Work. Slab Finishes. Curing Slabs and Vapor Barriers. Welded Wire Mesh. Reinforcing Steel. Miscellaneous Concrete Items. Example of Concrete Work Takeoff. Comments on the Concrete Work Takeoff. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
5. Measuring Carpentry Work.
Measuring Rough Carpentry. Board Measure. Measuring Notes--Rough Carpentry. Measuring Finish Carpentry and Millwork. Measuring Notes--Finish Carpentry. Finish Carpentry Generally. Measuring Notes--Doors and Frames. Measuring Notes--Windows. Measuring Notes--Bathroom Accessories. Measuring Notes--Finish Hardware. Example of Rough Carpentry Floor System Takeoff. Comments on the Floor System Takeoff. Example of Wall System Takeoff. Comments on the Wall System Takeoff. Example of Roof System Takeoff. Comments on the Roof System Takeoff. Example of Finish Carpentry Takeoff. Comments on the Finish Carpentry Takeoff. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
6. Measuring Masonry and Finishes.
Masonry Work. Measuring Masonry Work. Brick Masonry. Concrete Blocks. Conversion factors. Measuring Notes--Masonry. Measuring Exterior and Interior Finishes. Measuring Notes--Exterior and Interior Finishes. Example of Concrete Block Masonry Takeoff. Comments on the Concrete Block Masonry Takeoff. Example of Brickwork Takeoff. Comments on Brickwork Takeoff. Example of Exterior Finishes Takeoff. Comments on the Exterior Finishes Takeoff. Example of Interior Finishes Takeoff. Comments on the Interior Finishes Takeoff. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
7. Estimating Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical.
Plumbing Work Generally. Measuring Notes--Plumbing Work. HVAC Work Generally. Measuring Notes--HVAC Work. Electrical Work Generally. Measuring Notes--Electrical Work. Pricing the Work. Estimating Short Cuts. Cost per Fixture Pluming Estimate. Quick Estimate of HVAC Work. Quick Estimate of Electrical Work. Review Questions.
8. Pricing General Expenses.
Project Personnel. Engineering Services. Permits. New Home Warranty. Safety and First Aid. Temporary Site Services. Temporary Heating. Utilities and Connections. Site Security. Trucking. Equipment Rentals. Project Cleanup. Labor Add-ons. Example General Expenses. Comments of Example General Expenses. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
9. Pricing the Work.
Pricing Work Done by Own Forces. Productivities. Pricing Labor and Equipment for Own Work. Preparing Bills of Material and Pricing Materials. Pricing Subcontractors' Work. Example of Priced Estimate. Comments on Pricing Example. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
10. Pricing Contractor-Owned Equipment.
Renting versus Ownership. Depreciation. Maintenance and Repairs. Financing. Taxes, Insurance and Storage. Fuel and Lube. Examples. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
11. Subcontracting Work.
Evaluating Subcontractors. Surety Bonds. Analyzing Subtrade Bids. Scope of Work. Examples. Review Questions.
12. Estimate Summaries and Bids.
Summary Formats. Bid Summary. In Advance of Bid Closing. The Bid Form. Alternative Prices. Allowances. Bid Security. Owner's Bid Conditions. The Pre-Bid Review. Bid Markup. Risk in Bid Work. Bid Clarifications. The Bid Closing. Subtrade Conditions. Bid Breakdown. Computerized Bid Closing. After the Bid. Post Bid Review. Examples. Review Questions.
13. Estimates for Remodeling Work.
The Remodeling Contractor. Contracts for Remodeling Work. The Remodeling Estimate. Measuring the Work. Measuring Demolition Work. The Remodeling Takeoff. Pricing Remodeling Work. Labor and Equipment Productivities. Pricing Materials. Pricing General Expenses. The Summary and Bid. Examples. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
14. Computer Estimate.
MC2 Software. The Takeoff. Pricing the Work. Labor and Equipment Productivities. Pricing Materials. Pricing General Expenses. The Summary and Bid. Practice Problems. Review Questions.
Appendix A: Glossary.
Appendix B: Conversion Factors.
Appendix C: Formulas used in Estimating.
Appendix D: House Drawings.
Appendix E: Condominium Drawings.

New to this edition

  • Completely up to date with the latest practices in the field, ESTIMATING FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, 2E includes the most current methods of preliminary estimates and examples of how these methods are applied.
  • All-new carpentry examples include measuring carpentry work for alternative roof systems.
  • Added examples provide step-by-step procedure for a complete computer estimate of a small condominium project using MC2 ICE software.
  • New material on green building and sustainable construction offers thorough discussions on how the green building movement is impacting estimates.
  • Helping readers maximize their time and efficiency, the new edition includes additional estimating shortcuts, offering more illustrations of quick methods and coverage of how shortcuts can be effectively applied in estimating.