Search Results for: Crew hour

An Hour’s not an Hour, and it’s Certainly not a Day

Executive Summary There are differences in an hour: a manhour, a crewhour, a 50-minute hour. And an hour’s not a day, so there is another calculation for a manday. Here is a quick explanation of these estimating terms. Definitions There are several ways to estimate the cost of construction work. […]

Live Crew Cost Clicker

Executive Summary. Education of your staff or of your client can be effectively done using SJ Construction Consulting LLC’s (SJCC) Crew Cost Clicker. Don’t talk about the cost per hour of a crew, show it. Live.  The Clicker. Runjob Software partnered with SJCC to develop a simple, yet effective, visual […]

Estimating: Theoretical versus Production History

Executive Summary Many approaches exist for estimating – two of them being a theoretical approach versus a production history approach. One is based on what you think, the other on what you know. These terms may not be familiar to you, but the difference in execution may be. What is […]

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid

Executive Summary There’s power in simplicity. Harness the power to more efficiently communicate in-house and with your clients. What’s in a Task? Each day we all show up to work and have to accomplish a task. There are usually two main components of a task: the speed at which it […]

Quantifying the Loss in Labor Productivity: the MCAA Factors

Executive Summary There are very few “court-accepted” ways a contractor can quantify his or her loss as a result of labor productivity, or lack thereof. MCAA’s (Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc.) document PD 2 Factors Affecting Labor Productivity is one of the most widely used methods in practice. See […]

Estimating: It’s an Art and a Science

Executive summary. Construction estimating isn’t wholly about the numbers. It involves a “feel” in its execution. This is why many say estimating is an art and a science. What is estimating? An estimate is just that. An estimate. Not an exactimate. Getting low on bid day or successfully negotiating a job isn’t […]

But What Does It Smell Like?

Executive summary. Field experience is necessary to be a best of class construction and engineering professional. Can you or your employee relate to today’s article? Can you write your own article with similar anecdotes to these below? If you cannot, schedule some time in the field. I built this project. […]

The Joint Venture Estimate: Setup is Key

Executive summary. Whether bidding a job together in one shared document, or running comparison estimates, the setup in a joint venture effort is critical to success. Consider establishing the following before starting your estimating effort. And, be consistent. Be consistent. Why setup is so critical. There’s nothing more important in […]

Takeoff: Beyond the Drawings

Executive Summary. Takeoff is a primary function in the estimation of construction costs. A good takeoff includes more than is plainly seen on the drawings. Here is discussed the definition and purpose of takeoff along with what makes a takeoff good. What is takeoff? Takeoff is the first step in […]

Introduction to Contractor Estimating

Executive Summary.  The reader is introduced to the process of contractor estimating from initial project evaluation through the call for bond, the takeoff, the actual estimating of a civil project, an even the turn in of the bid. Bid Evaluation and call for bond.  Contractors consider many facets of a […]

Designing with Cost in Mind

Executive Summary.  Contractors are often brought into a project in the design phase to minimize cost.  Here are some guidelines on infrastructure project cost cutting measures from a Contractor’s viewpoint – it’s advice to a design team. How estimating is done.  In civil infrastructure work, most contractors use crew-based methods […]

The Lookahead Schedule and 90/60/30

Executive Summary.  Once the project starts, it is the Contractor’s project management team’s responsibility to update the client on a regular, usually weekly, basis.  This is done graphically using a lookahead schedule in bar chart format (also known as a Gantt Chart).  Here we discuss the contents and reliability of […]

Timecard Collection – Like You’ve Never Heard

Executive Summary.  One of the top complaints of construction employers is the collection of completed timecards – in a timely manner that is.  Here is a suggestion for improvement you probably haven’t heard. What sort of timecard?  Although this phenomenon of untimely timecard collection happens to salaried employees who simply […]

Cost Codes: What, Why & How

Executive Summary:  Many construction companies run their operations with too little specificity; costs ought to be reviewed on an activity-by-activity basis.  Learn what, why and how to set up a good cost code structure.   The bid and execution.  Let’s use an example, say, Concrete Curb & Gutter.  Suppose this was a proposal item for our […]

The Construction Daily Report: Why & What

The importance of the daily report cannot be overstated. Knowing whyto write them and whatto put in the report is critical for defense of yourself, and offense against another party.

The Difference Between a Good and Great Estimator

Executive Summary Estimators are difficult to find, but one way to determine whether you have a good or great estimator on your staff, or in the interviewee chair, is whether or not they talk productivity rates or unit prices. What is construction estimating? A construction estimator has many skills – […]

Top 5 Countdown: Things to Look for in Vendor Quotes

Executive Summary Each quote on bid day, whether from a subcontractor or a supplier, needs to be thoroughly reviewed before incorporating into the bid. Here’s a Top 5 countdown! #5 Math Errors Often times subs or suppliers will quote a certain quantity of an item and then a unit price. […]

Small Tools Tracking Software – Get It!

Executive Summary Estimates vary on the financial loss suffered by contractors due to lost or stolen tools. Pick any number you want, it’s certainly worth a discussion at any value. The direct cost loss is most obvious, but consider also the inefficiencies suffered by crews not having the tools they […]

Profit Fade – Avoiding It

Executive Summary: Reduce profit fade at the end of your projects by adjusting building habits and getting the right people in place to finish your jobs strong. Several suggestions from years of experience are provided here. What is profit fade? So often a good job goes bad, but just at […]

SJCC Toolbox Terms & Glossary

Listen to our podcast for new terms and check out our glossary below. Click on a term to find articles that reference that term. Glossary of Terms A Aggregate – Coarse material such as sand, gravel, or other crushed rock. Often used as a substrate or base course. Artics – […]