Download Estimating in Building Construction Seventh Edition by Frank R. Dagostino and Steven J. Peterson easily in PDF format for free.

The seventh edition continues to build on the strong foundation of the previous editions. The need for estimators to understand the theory behind quantification is critical and must be fully understood prior to performing any computerized estimating.

This underlying premise has been one of the guiding principles that began with Mr. Dagostino and continues with the current author. This edition uses extensive examples and exercises to demonstrate methodology and to the organization of the estimate. Estimating is an art that relies heavily on the judgment of the person performing the takeoff.

A person estimating skills can only be developed with practice; therefore, the reader is encouraged to work the example problems and apply the skills taught in this book. Since the estimate is used throughout the project, the assumptions and methodologies assumed must be documented and organized so that subsequent users will have access to this knowledge.

The intent of this revision is to expand the estimating material covered by this book and to bring other material in line with current industry practices. The following is a list of key changes and additions that have been made to this edition:

- The discussion of the different types of estimates (e.g., square foot and parametric estimates) has been expanded in Chapter 1.
- A chapter discussing the project comparison method, square-foot estimating, and assembly estimating has been added at the end of the book as Chapter 21.
- The term specifications has been replaced with project manual when referring to the book that accompanies the plans and includes the contract documents and other information as well as the technical specifications. The term specifications is used to refer to the technical specification. This was done to be consistent with practices of the Construction Specifications Institute.
- A chapter providing an overview of the use of computers in construction estimating has been added as Chapter 5.
- A discussion of how to determine labor burden has been added to Chapter 7 (formerly Chapter 6).

- A discussion of how to determine labor productivity has been added to Chapter 7 (formerly Chapter 6).
- The term “work hour” has been replaced with the more commonly used term “labor hour” throughout the book.
- The use of published estimating data, such as RS Means, has been added to Chapters 7 and 21.

I thank the following for their insightful reviews: Frederick E. Gould, Roger Williams University; Donald E Mulligan, Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University; and Wayne Reynolds, Eastern Kentucky State University.

Building construction estimating is the determination of probable construction costs of any given project. Many items influence and contribute to the cost of a project; each item must be analyzed, quantified, and priced. Because the estimate is prepared before the actual construction, much study and thought must be put into the construction documents. The estimator who can visualize the project and accurately determine its cost will become one of the most important persons in any construction company. For projects constructed with the design-bid-build (DBB) delivery system, it is necessary for contractors to submit a competitive cost estimate for the project. 

The competition in construction bidding is intense, with multiple firms vying for a single project. To stay in business, a contractor must be the lowest-qualified bidder on a certain number of projects, while maintaining an acceptable profit margin. This profit margin must provide the general contractor an acceptable rate of return and compensation for the risk associated with the project. Because the estimate is prepared from the working drawings and the project manual for a building, the ability of the estimator to visualize all of the different phases of the construction project becomes a prime ingredient in successful bidding. 

The working drawings usually contain information relative to the design, location, dimensions, and construction of the project, while the project manual is a written supplement to the drawings and includes information pertaining to materials and workmanship, as well as information about the bidding process. The working drawings and the project manual constitute the majority of the contract documents, define the scope of work, and must be considered together when preparing an estimate. The two complement each other, and they often overlap in the information they convey.

Estimating the ultimate cost of a project requires the integration of many variables. These variables fall into either direct field costs or indirect field costs. The indirect field costs are also referred to as general conditions or project overhead costs in building construction. The direct field costs are the material, labor, equipment, or subcontracted items that are permanently and physically integrated into the building. For example, the labor and materials for the foundation of the building would be a direct field cost. The indirect field costs are the cost for the items that are required to support the field construction efforts. 

For example, the project site office would be a general conditions cost. In addition, factors such as weather, transportation, soil conditions, labor strikes, material availability, and subcontractor availability need to be integrated into the estimate. Regardless of the variables involved, the estimator must strive to prepare as accurate an estimate as possible.