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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody ever looked at HomeTechs estimating books? Can you tell me how reliable they are for coming close to actual real life estimates for your area? I have a GC/Handyman Sevices business and estimating is one of the hardest things to do. Any help would be appriciated. I live in the First State: Delaware and prices seem to vary alot from state to state.

Ron S.

8,573 Posts
I've no experience with those books. I have used the Means on a few occasions. YOu have to remember every area has a different cost of living so there should be osme kind of modifier for locations.

Estimating is simple really. The only hard part is figuring how long something will take. After youve done it a few times it simple. Time+material+overhead+profit=estimate

1 Posts
President of Solid State Home Improvement.

I have used Home Tech Books since 1990 for regular remodeling. It has worked out for me in the past. I do not know about the handy man books but i would be willing to bet they would make you some money.

98 Posts
Home Tech Books

Hi, I have used the hometech books for years. I run an exterior remodeling business, mostly doing roofing, window, siding and deck jobs. I have done hundreds of each of these type of projects, so I really don't need any book for that type of work, but I will use hometech when we take something like a bathroom or an addition on a project, and have never been bit going off their price. One thing to remember is that the price they give you in the book does not cover your overhead and profit. This is where you have to come up with your mod multiplier that works for you. Myself for instance, I use a .62 markup on their numbers. But that is what I need for a 1.5 million dollar a year business with a retail location, showroom, and salespeople. Someone working out of their garage at home probably would use a lower number.

Now how I first came up with figuring out that mod was to take a few projects that I already have done and compare them to the book price and work the numbers backwards from there. If you took 3-5 profitable jobs you did and worked them this way I would almost guarantee you that you will land on a number that will work for you straight across the whole book.

5,623 Posts
...but why...WHY?


Someone really dug deep for this one!

1,362 Posts
Hello guys, anyone want this e-book? Up for grab.... hurry.. :thumbsup:​

Martin Brook, BEng(Tech) FCIOB, 3rd edition (2004)

Preface ix
Acknowledgements xii
List of figures xiii
Abbreviations used in the text xvi
1 Organization of the estimating function 1
2 Procurement paths 10
Introduction 10
Clients’ needs 11
Contractor involvement 12
Partnering 13
Apportionment of risk 14
Traditional method 16
Design and build 17
Management contracting 19
Construction management 21
Private finance initiative 22
3 Forms of contract 34
Introduction 34
Essentials of a valid construction contract 34
Standard forms of contract 36
Sub-contract forms 38
Comparison of forms 43
Selection of contract forms 44
4 Tender documentation 46
Introduction 46
Coordinated project information 47
CPI and the estimator 55
Documents used as the basis of a tender 58
Formal tender documents 61​
5 Estimating methods 66
Introduction 66
Single-rate approximate estimating 70
Multiple-rate approximate estimating 71
Approximate quantities 73
Analytical estimating 78
Operational estimating 82
6 Contractor selection and decision to tender 85
Introduction 85
Competition and negotiation 86
Abuse of tendering procedures 90
Decision to tender 92
Inspection of tender documents 95
Competition legislation 96
7 Project appreciation 100
Introduction 100
Estimate timetable 100
Pricing strategy 103
Schedules 103
The estimating team 103
Visits to consultants and site 107
8 Enquiries to suppliers and sub-contractors 109
Introduction 109
Enquiries for materials 111
Enquiries to sub-contractors 113
9 Tender planning and method statements 117
Introduction 117
The role of the planning engineer 117
Method statements 118
Tender programmes 119
10 Resource costs – labour, materials and plant 125
Introduction 125
Labour rates 125
Material rates 128
Plant rates 130
11 Unit rate pricing 132
Introduction 132​
Components of a rate 132
Method of measurement 134
Pricing notes 134
Model rate and pricing examples 135
12 Sub-contractors and nominated suppliers 176
Introduction 176
Domestic sub-contractors 176
Nominated sub-contractors 183
Nominated suppliers 184
13 Fluctuations 185
Introduction 185
Standard fluctuations clauses 186
Calculation of non-recoverable increases 188
14 Provisional sums and dayworks 192
Introduction 192
Provisional sums for undefined work 192
Provisional sums for defined work 192
Dayworks 193
Overheads and profit 196
15 Project overheads 199
Introduction 199
Pricing project overheads 199
Pricing the preliminaries bill 202
Example of project overheads 216
16 Cashflow forecasts 217
Introduction 217
Cashflow calculations 217
Example of a contractor’s cashflow forecast 219
17 Completing the estimate and final tender review 227
Completing the estimate 227
Estimator’s report 229
Comments on Estimate Analysis form 229
Comments on Tender Summary form 234
Risks and opportunities 235
Overheads and profit 237
18 Tender submission and results 240
Introduction 240​
Completion of priced bills 241
Tender presentation 243
Vetting of tenders 245
Post-tender negotiations and award 246
Tendering performance and analysis of results 247
Bidding strategy 251
19 Action with the successful tender 254
Introduction 254
Information transfer 254
Feedback 256
20 Computer-aided estimating 260
Introduction 260
Aims of computer-aided estimating 261
Software 262
Electronic exchange of information 263
Reverse auctions 265
Computer-aided estimating packages 267
General purpose software 271
Hardware 280
Networking 283
Implementation 285
The future 286
Further reading 291
Index 295​



4,165 Posts
I checked Home tech out last night. Well, I checked the samples out. Seem to be more realistic than some I have seen. I plan to look further into it.

Professional Instigator
6,872 Posts
I think this post was a setup, but I will post a reply anyway.

I think hometech is one of the better systems out there. Especially for new remodelers. It is a solid program, numbers are good and here is the important part if you read the instructions it explains how the calculate markup and a lead carpenter system which explains there way of calculating labor.

If new guys follow this out the gate and improve on this basic fundamental system alot of them will be well off
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