Search Results for: cubic yard

Earthwork: What’s a Cubic Yard?

Executive Summary A cubic yard is not a cubic yard when it comes to earthwork estimating and field operations. Know the difference to best estimate productions and to negotiate pricing in the field.  Estimating Earthwork Let’s say you’re at your daughter’s soccer game and you’ve been asked to excavate a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Unit Conversion

Executive Summary Converting from one unit of measure to another is critical for any position of management in a construction company. Using the internet is one way of doing it but knowing the simple process of fraction multiplication and the value of the number “1” gets it done too. Unit […]

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.

If I Told You, You Would Have Screwed Everything Up

My Story I’ve written a couple posts about my superintendent Mike. This one involves another one of my superintendents in the past named Jon. Jon and I were running a good sized job at a large, public transportation facility. Of course, the location of this facility shall remain nameless to […]

Conversion of Inches to Feet (in decimals)

Imperial vs. Metric Length in the United States is still primarily measured using inches and feet – inches add up to feet add up to yards add up to miles. These are called Imperial units. The vastly more common way on the planet of measuring distance is by using the metric system – […]

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 – […]

Why is the Accounting Department Telling Me How to Estimate?

Executive Summary: Estimators know the construction work while the accountants know the financials. These two parties must work in harmony to benefit the company and their own livelihoods. This article recognizes the needs of both parties. The dilemma and end goal. Most firms beyond the “Mom and Pop” stage, have […]

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. […]

Bid Unbalancing – How It’s Done To Increase Profit

Executive Summary Contractors unbalance unit prices in their bids to take advantage of anticipated quantity overruns and underruns. An intelligent unbalancing of the unit prices can result in higher profits. Of course, that’s the contractors’ goal. Review the example provided to see how it’s done. The Bid Proposal Let’s look […]

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 – […]

Previous Episodes & Issue Archive

Previous Episodes Subscribe and listen to the Pipeline Podcast and check out back issues of the Pipeline Newsletter below. Click here for more podcast episodes. Issue Archive Click here for individual articles. 2022 Week 6: Why To Get A Contractor’s License 2021 Week 43: Claims Tools & Methodologies Week 41: […]

Concrete Formwork – Pressure not a Function of Wall Thickness

Just a quickie on formwork pressures.  One of my foremen once asked me if we needed more form ties in a 24″ thick wall versus a 12″ thick wall.  That answer is “no”. Concrete, when being placed, is liquid.  Just like water.  And as all carpenters know, form ties are […]