Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Estimating Large Commercial Buildings 1M+ (BCW)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    6

    Estimating Large Commercial Buildings 1M+ (BCW)

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I typically bid larger commercial building, at least 1M+. Ive been doing this for roughly 3 years and find a majority of my time is wasted taking of the branch circuits. I currently use Accubid as my software. My main question is, i will have a bunch of differant conduit "styles"; each having different supporting means (all thread, strut mounted & surface mounted), wire grouping (3#12, 5#12 & 7#12, etc....) and some with junction boxes and some without.... Is this the way everyone does there estimating on a larger project? Any short cuts, or tips? I started this as a 4th year apprentice, and excel greatly; but my output isn't what I like. For instance last week; i bid a 1.2 million dollar reno. government project. From my first time looking at the drawings, to when my proposal was sent, it took around 5-6 working days. Was this slow or up to par?

    I appreciate any input.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    847
    5-6 days for a $1.2M is very fast for any estimator

    Branch circuitry takeoff is a pain. It's tedious, detailed, and the most dreaded part of a takeoff.
    Once you go through the specs and determine what is required (steel/SS/WT fittings, minimum branch wire size, conduit size, box types, MC or hard pipe allowed, etc), then you can start wheeling.
    I always lay out my home run trunk lines starting from the farthest area from the panels, and work my way back to the panels. Home runs are full boat (6 circuit if allowed), and once a home run is run to it's first J-box, then all of the drops to recepts or fix, whether MC or EMT, I will determine an average length based on the density of devices in that area (say 17'). I then use that average x the device counts. I add more 4sq/4-11 boxes if it's an EMT only job.
    And I don't sweat much over types of straps/hangers/screws that my guys might use. It's all about covering the dollars for those things.

    Remember, the branch wiring on most commercial projects only makes up around 10-12% of the overall job cost. So a 10% mistake is going to hurt anything

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    5-6 days for a $1.2M is very fast for any estimator

    Branch circuitry takeoff is a pain. It's tedious, detailed, and the most dreaded part of a takeoff.
    Once you go through the specs and determine what is required (steel/SS/WT fittings, minimum branch wire size, conduit size, box types, MC or hard pipe allowed, etc), then you can start wheeling.
    I always lay out my home run trunk lines starting from the farthest area from the panels, and work my way back to the panels. Home runs are full boat (6 circuit if allowed), and once a home run is run to it's first J-box, then all of the drops to recepts or fix, whether MC or EMT, I will determine an average length based on the density of devices in that area (say 17'). I then use that average x the device counts. I add more 4sq/4-11 boxes if it's an EMT only job.
    And I don't sweat much over types of straps/hangers/screws that my guys might use. It's all about covering the dollars for those things.

    Remember, the branch wiring on most commercial projects only makes up around 10-12% of the overall job cost. So a 10% mistake is going to hurt anything
    Thanks for the response! I never had really anyone to watch, so i was just curious about other peoples strategies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
    Posts
    4,151
    Not familiar with accubid .... I use Intellibid. Load up the drawings, set the scale, and use the measure feature to start adding up all the branch. I do a quick measurement for each home run, and add a bit of conduit in each device assembly to loop to the next. If I’m in a rush, I’ll do a bulk branch circuit home run takeoff by adding all the measurements to one lump sum.

    A week is fine really for a $1M project. It takes me that long usually, with some smaller jobs squeezed in between, and one of those days will be spent just reading specs and schedules to familiarize myself with the project.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •