How to Estimate the Preliminary Cost Table on Commercial Remodeling Project

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Commercial remodeling projects are awarded to construction companies who bid on the work. The first step in the bidding process is developing a line item bid. Commercial remodeling projects involve multiple tradesmen. Planning the work can be complicated because interrelated steps must be completed in the correct order. The contractor must estimate job labor and material costs so that he can accurately place a formal bid on the work.

Determine all the stages of the remodeling job and the different trades required to complete the project. The first step in filling in a preliminary construction cost table is identifying the individual stages.

Determine each step of each stage. For example, painting a room requires sanding the walls, patching any holes, applying primer, re-sanding the walls and applying finish coats of paint. An accurate preliminary cost table requires a full accounting of all work included in the job's scope. Enter these steps on individual lines in the prelim cost table. Depending on the work's complexity, contractors may construct a separate table for each trade.

Measure how many units of measure for each step are required. The units of measure vary, based on the trade. For example, for the painters, the contractor measures how many square feet of wall and liner feet of trim are included in the project. For electricians, this calculation includes how many electrical circuits, lights, switches and other items are installed. Carpenters may measure their work by how many linear feet of wall are torn down and assembled, or how many windows and doors are installed. Each task is measured, and the contractor enters the quantities of these steps into the preliminary table.

Consult the contractors cost guide and plug into the cost table the unit cost for every line item. The contractors cost guide contains average nationwide unit prices for every trade and process. These estimates give the contractor a solid idea of his actual construction labor plus material costs.

Add into the preliminary cost table the fees for such considerations as permits, waste removal and equipment rental. The contractor must capture all his expenses to create an accurate bid.

Total the unit prices in the preliminary table. The sum is the total business cost for labor and materials, and extraneous expenses. From this preliminary table, the contractor can calculate his bid price and submit a proposal for the work.

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About the Author

Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.

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