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Costing estimates

Jeff Member

I have a question for the community:

After almost two decades on my own I've taken on an estimating position with a pretty large millwork company and I need costing info. I know about RSmeans and a few other 'construction' related cost books, but is there a cost book for millwork I don't know about?

I've got almost two decades of costing for my own company, but it's a different level of business and the products are higher end than I've been dealing with for ten years so is hesitant to just plow ahead, not wanting to over or under estimate these bids. The company has no historical pricing data available either.

Is there anything out there? I'm in the heart of the NYC market, doing mostly high end residential and high rise work.

1/20/17       #2: Costing estimates ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

The AWI has the COB survey


1/20/17       #3: Costing estimates ...
Jeff Member

Yup, knew about that. It's really not in a form of data that's very usable in a costing program.

I think we are going to go with QuickBids since we already have OST and they work together. They've told me that their millwork costing database is wide and deep, so I'll know next week when I load it....

1/21/17       #4: Costing estimates ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

Always interested in any way we can find good info, come back and tell us when you can. thanks

1/21/17       #5: Costing estimates ...
Gary B.

What ever happened to the AWI cost book? Did they stop making it? I recall a book from years past where they spelled out actual average times for shops to edgeband, cut, and otherwise fabricate cabinets and millwork. It was broken down by operation and was a great baseline for estimating.

I looked in the AWI shopping area, but didn't see it.

1/21/17       #6: Costing estimates ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

Gary, the site i posted is the AWI book,, although it is 495.00 Now i guess you only get it free if you are a new memeber

1/25/17       #7: Costing estimates ...
Jeff Member

It looks like the AWI database or the data behind it may be in this costing software....I'll keep you posted as I use it.

It's not cheap though....

2/9/17       #8: Costing estimates ...

So, here's an update:

There is no 'perfect cost book'. Even Quick Bids only has so much pricing. The AWI data is stale, and not in a form to use as anything but reference.
In the end, the software is awesome, when you develop your own pricing.

What it DOES do is organize your ass off! I can actually 'build' a cabinet/panel/millwork in the software, enter real prices the connected suppliers and then labor/overhead/etc and adjust for labor taxes/overburdens (comp, etc) at any percentage. It's powerful if you use it all.

I've only been on this software for 3 weeks and this past week I was able to takeoff the millwork for an 18 story building and price it in 4 days. Total bid north of $500,000. The best thing about it is that I've got a super accurate takeoff and I'm very confident of our pricing.

That's invaluable all by itself...

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