Candels uses the acronym “B.A.D.A.S.S” to remember the steps in construction estimating. The “A” represents addenda and the “S” represents scope of work.
As you may recall from previous blog posts, we discussed B, bid forms and invitation to bid; A, alternates and allowances; and D, drawings. Having this acronym to refer to will ensure that you don’t miss anything when reviewing the project documentation.
The “A” (Addenda) and the “S” (Scope of Work) of B.A.D.A.S.S.
Sometimes an addendum will be a simple narrative, while other times and addendum will include new drawings. These new drawings may have changes “ballooned out” so they are easily identifiable, however there are times when there are changes that are not identified! Always try to overlay the drawings to ensure that you cover any changes!
You learn something new every day!
Every time we teach the electrical estimating apprenticeship, I make the statement “You learn something new every day.” While Marc and I have had this business for 15 years, during this class, Carrie noted that she has seen in the specs that if the addenda received are not listed on your proposal, your bid can be automatically rejected. Honestly, I never knew that! That is why I love class participation. You never know who will come up with a great idea or comment about the estimating process!
Pay attention to the scope of work!
A statement about the scope of work is important to review before you start your take-off. You may assume that a certain system is part of the work, but the scope of work may prove otherwise! Pay close attention to “materials supplied by others” and “work under separate contract.” Sometimes the owner may supply lighting fixtures while the electrical contractor will install them. Other times, a complete system will be under a separate contract, such as fire alarm or tel/data wiring, devices, terminations, patch panels and racks for example. Note: even if a system is under a separate contract, you, as the electrical contractor may be responsible for raceways! Be sure to review all the documentation so you cover the costs appropriately.
Other Things to Look For: Mock-ups, extra materials, and warranties!
At the risk of running long on this blog, I do want to mention three things that can potentially impact the cost of your project.
Mock-ups are common, especially in hotels. A mock-up is usually set up in a warehouse and an entire room, such as a hotel room, will be built so that the designer can see if the room will work as intended. What this means for you as an estimator is that you have to carry the material and labor costs of lighting fixtures, devices, and wiring for the mock-up. These devices are usually retained by the owner. Make sure to carry enough labor for your electrician to “adjust” anything that the designer deems necessary.
A one-year warranty is pretty standard on most projects, however, some projects require two or even a five year warranty on some parts. If that is the case, you want to be sure to carry the cost of the extended warranty. The cost will depend on the item(s) you are covering. A good tip, if the warranty is not specified, is to put a statement in your proposal to the effect of “warranty limited to the extent of the manufacturer’s warranty.”
Extra materials and spare parts should be covered in your estimate. If your project requires supplemental fixtures as noted in the specs, make sure that your vendor quotes these items! We like to include notes to this effect on our count sheets to ensure that the vendor is aware of the extra materials. Spare parts are also known as “attic stock.” Again, make sure that your vendor quotes these items.
Next up is a discussion about the specifications. We always say that the “devil is in the details” and the specs prove that most of the time! Stay tuned!