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How To Estimate For A Building Project

 
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:19 AM   #1
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How To Estimate For A Building Project


Hi all,

I'm opening a construction company soon in this year. To be honest i don't have any experience on building but for me to run this business i will employ workers that have experience in building proejct.

At this moment i started reading a book called "RUNNING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY" but i that book dosen't give me much information.

What i need to learn most is how to estimate or bid for a building project, how to calculate, what should i calculate and etc. If you guys have any books which teach us on how to estimate please tell me the name of the book and the author.

Your comment, advise is highly appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


It sounds like you should hire one very good, experienced project manager, pay him very, very well while you learn. Pay him a long term incentive or you will be left high and dry before you know what to do.

You don't learn what you need from the books.

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Old 05-09-2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yacob View Post
Hi all,

What i need to learn most is how to estimate or bid for a building project, how to calculate, what should i calculate and etc. If you guys have any books which teach us on how to estimate please tell me the name of the book and the author.

Your comment, advise is highly appreciated.
A book isn't going to do it. Unless you're building "tough sheds" every job is unique, though they all have significant similarities.

I build each job on paper. Start with grading, end with landscaping, and do everything in between. I price out all the materials all the labor, all the overhead, all the profit.

I'm not sure how you can do this without knowing how to build the project. How much will that initial grading cost? You've got to be able to estimate that. How much will framing lumber cost? You've got to be able to do an accurate take off. How much for footers, stems, slab? Same thing, you've got to be able to estimate those costs based on projected labor and materials. You've got to understand what's involved in each phase and recognize what things will add to the standard costs and by how much.

What I'm saying is, to accurately estimate or bid a project you must be intimately familiar with the work you are bidding. You're not, and that should scare you. When you come in as low bidder you will ask yourself, "What did I leave out?" Remember. the guys you're competing against already know this stuff.

You might consider hiring a pro (maybe a project manager) to teach you this stuff. There's a lot to learn and mistakes can be quite costly.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


oh boy. some one is really gonna give it to ya on this one. personally i couldnt do what i do if i didnt know what i was doin. when i try to do something new no matter what it is it always looks simpler thann it really is. and i loose my ass.

i would join a crew and labor for a couple years
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Why does it seem like everyone thinks they can do what we do?

I just dont get it.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


That's a tough one.. I can't honestly give you any information that is going to do you any good. I've got over 20 years in construction and still learning new things. I would seriously consider what the others have mentioned. I'm not trying to discourage you just making you aware that there are many more bankrupt construction companies than there are successful ones. As mentioned above - if you don't know the basics of construction it will take a deep pocket book to make up for the time of the learning curve.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:36 AM   #7
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Have you graduated high school yet?

Well, then maybe try finding a job.
And after some years employed in different trades, then you could stem out and start your own shop.

Unless, you have a boatload of money and just hire all the people who know their stuff and have them do the work for you. Workers, salesmen, supervisors, secretaries, accountants, lawyers, and just sit back and pay them to do their respective jobs.

heck, that's what the president does
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


maybe you can get a start building mini barns. At least you are less likely to get sued for everything when you mess it up.

How are you going to pass a liscensing exam if you have no experience? How are you going to get insurance? How are you going to cover losses when everything you didnt plan for or didnt know about eats up your budget.

Their are a lot of simpler business you can start with no experience, perhaps buy a subway franchise.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:11 PM   #9
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


I think this would be a BIG mistake without experience.
Even if you had the funds to hire the right people, you don't know the bull**** from the truth and could end up hiring the WRONG people. Many bull**** artists sound convincing. That doesn't make them right.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Tell me you're just trying to be funny. If you are dead serious, go find another line of work. This one is full of guy's like you that think they can go buy a pick up truck and start making the easy money tomorrow. They're F'n idiots. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are just trying to stir up some s**t on this board.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:41 AM   #11
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


I understand your thinking, but without the knowledge in the whole process ( estimating, sales , payroll, etc.) you will be shut down in a month, If you srew this up you name will go to SH** and make it very difficult to get back in the game. Before i got in the business I worked in Sales which showed my how to devlop realtionships and conduct proper business. My advise to you is take some class in Business & Marketing since it seems that you have no intrest in doing the physical work yourself, relying on a crew to make you money is like buying stock in Enron. Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:40 AM   #12
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yacob View Post
Hi all,

I'm opening a construction company soon in this year. To be honest i don't have any experience on building but for me to run this business i will employ workers that have experience in building proejct.

At this moment i started reading a book called "RUNNING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY" but i that book dosen't give me much information.

What i need to learn most is how to estimate or bid for a building project, how to calculate, what should i calculate and etc. If you guys have any books which teach us on how to estimate please tell me the name of the book and the author.

Your comment, advise is highly appreciated.
Maybe it's just me but this post doesn't sound like it was constructed (no pun intended) by a native English speaker.

This person may be seeing running a construction business as an investment. We all know he's going to get his a** handed to him on a platter, but it sounds to me like that's what's going on.

The real question is, can you run a construction company with no knowledge of construction?

I believe there are project managers out there who don't want to run a company. They are worth their weight in gold. Expect to pay through the nose. I personally wouldn't substitute a project manager for personal knowledge.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:02 PM   #13
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Yacob ......you'd be a lot safer in a kayak at an alligator farm.
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


He's right, you're swimming with the crocs. If you got money you're looking to blow then go for it. Open up the company, advertise the heck out of it, hire a project manager (who won't respect you), pay him handsomly to keep him loyal, guess your estimates and hope you don't fall into the 100 pitfalls that comes with almost every single job you land. This business comes down to details and the margin between sucess and failure is thin.

Go pay your grunt dues first. You'll thank us one day.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Is there really a book on running a construction company? .......and I thought I was going to be funny when I suggested maybe they should put out "An Idiot's Guide to Construction"!

Unless you are in an unlicensed jurisidiction, you can shelve your plans for 5 years while you get some experience at the bottom...and without it, the only thing you will succeed at is failure.....I know a lot of guys who became "builder/contractors" overnight, without knowing the difference between a framing hammer and a sheetrock hammer, but deep pockets make stuff like that happen, and they are building new homes....not truly working the nuts and bolts side of being a GC in the industry.

If you think I am being harsh, just consider reading the threads about when things go wrong, and check yourself to see if you even have a clue what we deal with.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:18 PM   #16
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


...Not another one of these guys....


I've 'bumped' into a few locally in the past.....don't see them around anywhere...... anymore....
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:21 PM   #17
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


I'm amazed at how nice everyone is being to this guy. I've seen much less "iffy" questions get jumped on a lot harder. In fact, I was almost sure this guy was just trying to get everyone riled with his question.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:38 PM   #18
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


I have a racing hobby. We like to say if you want to make $1 mil then start with a budget of $3-4 mil. If you have no idea what it takes to do what your asking here then please don't try it yet. Like the others were saying. Gain the experience first. It's not as easy (cookie cutting) as it seem's. Thats why a lot of the spec builders go bust. It looks good on paper and it can't be to hard right? Heck most of the guy's just have a High School diploma and we got a degree from #$#@ university so we are going to make a killing If you don't know how many studs it takes to build a 10' wall, how are you going to know what it will cost?
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:58 PM   #19
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


Whatever you do, make sure you allow enough in your billing rate to pay for the Bankruptcy lawyer you will undoubtedly need. This is a tough business for even those who have many yrs experience, let alone one who has no experience at all. How are you going to produce accurate bids and manage a project if you do not know what the process is or how long it will take? My advice, dont quit your day job and leave contracting to the professionals who have the experience and didn't wake up one morning and say "I want to be a contractor"..
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:50 AM   #20
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Re: How To Estimate For A Building Project


I DON"T WANT TO MAKE TOYS! .........I WANT TO BE A DENTIST .....ah I mean contractor.

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