Tag: estimating

Setting the Bid Unit Price: 2 Main Reasons for Unbalancing

Executive Summary Setting of bid prices on a unit price bid can have significant effects on the financial performance of a project. Set your unit prices in your proposals to have positive impact. Be strategic. Balanced Bid PricesA balanced bid price is when each of the bid items shares equally […]

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 […]

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 […]

Unbalancing a Bid and Cash Flow

Executive Summary Cash flow is vital to a contractor’s survival.  Taking advantage of setting unit prices in a bid, and also knowing cash strangle points is imperative for business owners and project managers. Here’s a Video The first ten minutes of this video (presented by this article’s author) is a […]

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 […]

The Importance of Construction Cost Estimating for Civil Engineers

In episode 066 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Anthony Fasano talks with Scott Jennings, P.E. principal of SJ Construction Consulting, LLC about the importance of cost estimating for civil engineers. Here are some of the questions asked of Scott: Can you walk us through the process of putting together a construction […]

Including the Portion of Corporate Overhead in a Bid

Executive Summary:  Determining how to account for the portion of corporate overhead to be included in a bid is a calculation that every company makes a bit differently.  Learn the definition of corporate overhead and how it is included in a bid. What is corporate overhead? Corporate overhead is the cost […]

Determining Equipment Rates in Estimating

Executive Summary:  Equipment cost within an estimate is one of the most common areas to make large scale adjustments in a bid’s price. It is also a large component of a heavy/civil construction company’s bid and balance sheet. Because of these reasons, it is vital to know what your fleet […]

The $5 Casio: Your Best Tool

Executive Summary: With all of today’s fancy and complex tools available in the marketplace, nothing is more important than simple calculations (and common sense). Rely on simplicity and basic math to check your work. The Message: I travel the country frequently helping contractors. I help clients one-on-one in dirty old […]

ACEC Hawaii November Breakfast Meeting (11/03/2016)

“The Crystal Ball of Construction Bid Estimating”  Joseph Uno, LEED AP BD+C, President at J.Uno & Associates, Jim Bauckham, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Estimator with Nordic PCL, & Scott Jennings, P.E., President of SJ Construction Consulting gave a great presentation and panel leading the discussion topic: What A/E Consultants and Project Owners Should Know […]

Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes

Event & Topic: Scott Jennings, P.E., M. ASCE, was the guest speaker at the Hawaii Chapter’s monthly member meeting in Honolulu. His presentation was entitled Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes. Background & Content: Within Hawaii’s engineering community, there exists a void in civil construction estimating services. During Mr. Jennings’ […]

Calculation of Owner’s Estimate

SJCC received the call to assist with the Owner’s estimate on this project due to the magnitude of the job and the accelerated pace of getting the project designed, bid, and awarded in a tight timeframe. The State of Hawaii was challenged with losing funds if the job could not […]