Estimating and Tendering for Construction Work, Third Edition

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Estimating and Tendering for Construction Work, Third Edition

My aims in this book are to introduce a practical approach to estimating and

tendering from a contractor’s point of view, and explain the estimator’s role within

the construction team. The book therefore differs from previous textbooks in

three main ways:
 In general it is assumed that it is the contractor who prepares estimates because
in the majority of cases an estimate is produced to form the basis of a tender.
 I have introduced many typical forms used by estimators to collate data and
report to management. Most of the forms relate to two fictitious projects: a
new lifeboat station and the construction of offices for Fast Transport Limited.
 The pricing examples given in Chapter 11 have been produced using a typical
build-up sheet. The items of work to which the prices relate are given at
the top of each page. Estimating data are given for each trade so that students
will have a source of information for building up rates. I suggest that before
pricing exercises are undertaken, the first part of Chapter 11 should be read
and an understanding of estimating methods should be gained from Chapter
The first pricing example is for a ‘model rate’ that gives a checklist of items
to be included in a unit rate.


The estimating function has changed more in the last 15 years than at any time
before. Many estimating duties can now be carried out by assistants using word
processors, spreadsheets and computer-aided estimating systems. The estimator
manages the process and produces clear reports for review by management.
Estimators need to understand the consequences of entering into a contract,
which is often defined by a complex combination of conditions and supporting
documents.They also need to appreciate the technical requirements of a project
from tolerances in floor levels to the design of concrete mixes, and from temporary
electrical installations to piling techniques.
The Chartered Institute of Building publishes a series of guides to good practice –
the Code of Estimating Practice and its supplements. I have not duplicated their
fine work in this book but hope that my explanation and examples show how the
guidelines can be used in practice.

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