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Estimating & Bidding for Builders & Remodelers
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Estimating & Bidding for Builders & Remodelers



Craftsman National Construction Estimator
National Construction


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Estimating & Bidding for Builders & Remodelers -

5th Edition
By: Richard Langedyk

Here is all the information you need for estimating and bidding construction and home improvement projects.

Guaranteed to improve your estimating skill and bidding results: What to look for in the plans. How to scope out the last 5% of job costs. Immunize yourself against common estimating mistakes.

Explains what you need for a career as a construction estimator, how to construct a take-off from the plans, how to check the details of an estimate, prepare a schedule, deal with subs, and calculate project overhead and profit.

Also covers how to estimate remodeling work for typical remove and replace jobs, and include markup for remodeling work. Explains how to profit from estimating commercial work.

Includes the National Estimator stand-alone estimating program with a 50,000 item database for residential, commercial, and home improvement work. A video tutorial, and a program that lets you export completed estimates into QuickBooks Pro for job costing, or progressive billing. Other Craftsman databases are compatible and available by download on the Web.

Contains the database of the National Construction Estimator and the National Home Improvement Estimator.

The National Estimator System Requirements:

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher Intel (or equivalent) processor recommended; 233 MHz minimum required.
  • Operating Systems:
    • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows 98SE.
  • Requires up to 160 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor.
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive.
  • Keyboard and Mouse or compatible pointing device.
For Internet access:
  • DSL or Cable recommended; 56 kilobytes per second (Kbps) or higher-speed modem minimum.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (or higher), Netscape 7.1, Firefox 1.0, or Mozilla 1.7 minimum.
ShowMe Tutorial System Requirements:
  • 1024 x 768 or higher video resolution required.
  • To listen to video tutorial - Sound card and speakers or headphones.


Chapter 1
Get Started Right, 5

     Sink or Swim in Construction Contracting, 6
     The Detailed Cost Estimate, 7
     Estimating as a Career, 8
     Typical Estimator Profile, 10
     Shortcomings of an Estimating Career, 12
     Rewards, 12
     Decision Making, 16

Chapter 2
Planning your Estimate, 17

     It All Starts With a Plan, 17
     Custom-made Markup, 18
     The Long-term Plan, 21

Chapter, 3
Getting Ready to Estimate 29

     It All Starts With Plans, 29
     The Plan Package, 32
     Examine the Site, 36
     The Cost Data File, 36
     Doing the Take-off, 38
     Compiling an Estimate, 39
     Checking Estimates, 47

Chapter 4
The Estimating Process, 51

     Detailed Estimating Steps, 51
     A Sample Take-off, 63
     The Detailed Estimate Advantage, 88

Chapter 5
Estimating Repair & Remodeling Work, 89

     Limiting the Scope of Your Bid, 90
     Protecting Yourself, 91
     A Sample Remodeling Estimate, 93
     The Estimating Process, 96
     Putting it All Together, 111
     Checking the Estimate, 117
     Preparing the Bid, 117
     Closing the Sale, 120

Chapter 6
Estimating Commercial Work, 125

     The Commercial Estimate, 126
     Follow a Plan, 128
     Start the Take-off, 129
     The Take-off Form, 131
     How to Take off Quantities, 132
     Applying Unit Costs, 146

Chapter 7
Pricing With a Computer 153

     What's on the National Home Estimator Disk, 154
     Installing National Home Estimator, 155
     Using National Estimator, 156
     Opening the Costbooks, 157
     Your First Estimate, 158
     Splitting the Screen, 159
     Copying Costs to Your Estimate, 160
     Changing Wage Rates or Costs, 163
     Adding Tax, Overhead and Profit, 166
     Printing and Saving Your Estimate, 167
     Converting Estimates With Job Cost Wizard, 168
     Amount of Detail on Invoices, 170
     QuickBooks Account Names, 171
     Exporting an Estimate to QuickBooks, 173
     Turn an Estimate into an Invoice, 175
     Your Jobs in QuickBooks, 176

Chapter 8
Cost Recording, 177

     Why Keep Cost Records? 178
     Essentials of a Cost System, 179
     Cost Records Check Current Jobs, 182
     Classifying Labor Costs, 182
     Using Cost Data, 187

Chapter 9
Planning Overhead, 191

     Start With Last Year, 192
     The Annual Budget, 196
     My Budget for AEI Builders, 200
     The Preliminary Budget Bottom Line, 208
     Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail, 213

Chapter 10
Estimating Overhead & Profit, 215

     Your Normal Markup, 216
     The Right Markup for Your Estimates, 218
     But Will We Make More Money? 222
     Develop a Profit Curve, 222
     Your Own Best Profit Range, 227

Chapter 11
Smart Bidding, 229

     Adjustment for Risk, 229
     Asset Utilization Adjustments, 240
     Identify Under-utilization, 242
     Project Adjustments, 248
     What Is the Net Effect? 251

Chapter 12
Pricing Strategies, 253

     Learn About Your Competition, 255
     Graph Your Competition, 260
     Letís Wrap This Up, 264

Index, 265

272 Pages, 8-1/2 x 11


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