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A Good Year

Posted By Heather Boulanger, 23 hours ago
 
 

I am so proud of my team.  We worked very hard last year and pushed out 302 bids.  That is a record for my company.

 

Sure, being in this growing market in Colorado didn’t hurt.  It made achieving this record-breaking mark possible.

 

Better news: We exceeded our sales goal by 13%. Fantastic!

 

The best news of all:  The work we received made good profit. Our owners are very happy.

 

Now the bad news: They want to increase our goal by 50% for 2019. 

 

How did your 2018 work year shape up?

 

Heather Boulanger, CPE

Education Committee

Tags:  education 

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Take-Off Methods

Posted By Rick Cormier, Monday, January 14, 2019
 

What is everyone currently using to get their takeoff done?  I began using a wheel scale and markers to manually do my takeoff.  I have not had the opportunity to use a digitizer, but I assume this method made doing takeoff more efficient. 

 

On the software side, I have used Planswift and now currently using On Screen Takeoff.  Both have allowed me to be efficient and organized.  Between the two, I prefer Planswift because of the ability to customize your takeoff to have multiple parts and the effortlessness to organize your takeoff during the different budgeting phases. 

 

What are your thoughts?  And I am open to any and all OST tips/suggestions from those that do use that program.

 

Rick Cormier

Standards Committee

Tags:  standards 

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Construction Contracts

Posted By Eric Ross, Monday, January 7, 2019
 

Last week I participated in a webinar by ConcensusDocs titled; Successful Construction Documents.  The basic concept of ConcensusDocs is to provide fair contracts with shared risk to get better project results.  As estimators, we understand risk and risk mitigation.  When contracts are more one-sided the cost to cover the rick increases which in turn makes the overall project costs increase. 

 

Are you seeing the industry leaning towards use of ConcensusDocs and the benefits they provide?

 

Eric A. Ross, PE, CPE

Standards Committee

Tags:  standards 

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A Passion for Estimating

Posted By Phil Tournor, Friday, December 21, 2018
 

Today, of the blue, one of estimators that works with me resigned.   Not that it, in itself, is uncommon; but after speaking with him, his reason for leaving was that he did not have the passion for estimating like he thought he would.  As a note, he began working with us about a year ago; and this was his first job as an estimator.  This individual was employed as a field supervisor and superintendent for past 15 years, and his education background included a BS in Construction Science.  

 

I believe estimators like myself are a different “cat” in the construction industry, so our challenge is how to develop a passion for estimating with our younger construction professionals.   I also think it taught us a lesson that someone with a passion to build may not have a passion for estimating.   I think estimating is a different mindset that not all construction professionals possess.  

 

With that said, the Society can be a driving force in developing that passion in students and young constructors.  I believe if they have a passion to build early, estimating might not be for them.  But there are those few students in college, or young professionals starting out, that may embrace that passion if we can as a Society can reach them.  

 

Please share your ideas or examples of how we all can reach that next generation estimator.

 

 

Phil Tournor, CPE

Certification Committee

Tags:  certification 

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Hurry up and spend money; its year-end Budget Time!

Posted By Brian Wright, Wednesday, December 19, 2018
 

Occasionally, we encounter a Stakeholder with a budget demand to spend their budget by a drop dead date.  This may be triggered by their realization of being 20% off their budget goal at year-end that may also risk losing 20% next year or have subsequent Tax implications.  After seeing this for years, CPEs can add value by offering an expedited schedule with OT costs, freight expediting and management expediting budgets.  The best help during this urgency is the needed schedule, not the expedited estimate of costs showing what is realistic and the premium being paid for that short timeline requested.  Transparency in what can realistically be accomplished is always better up-front versus the burden of a Project that cost 120% and did not meet the deadline adding said burden to next year’s budget.  The relationship also takes a hit when you are part of a team that missed the need.

 

A written schedule in front of the client is a needed visual to help communicate what we verbally might have been interpreted as saying “we don’t want to assist in their crisis.”  In this case, the schedule may be the first welcomed deliverable not the estimate.  CPEs should always keep scheduling skills as one of the arrows in their quiver to exceed customers’ expectations.

 

 

Brian Wright, CPE

Chair, Education Committee

Tags:  education 

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Life is a Process – Estimating is a Process

Posted By David Battle, Friday, December 14, 2018
 

Life has struggles, and understanding the “Process” can get us through any situation.  We tend to want solutions to be “Immediate,” “Right now,” and sometimes we say “Just get it Fixed.” Most issues in our lives are not solved overnight.  Yet the solutions, when we look back at the problem, they included A Process.  When we reflect on the process, we often determine that we would again chose to do it over again; and we would want the solution to be exactly the same.  

 

Analyzing life issues from our past, we can see the Process we went through, the lessons learned by the experience for avoiding similar future struggles or considering alternative courses of action, when recognizing the same indicators of the past, to avoid leading us down the path to a similar struggle.

 

ASPE provides us with ethics and knowledge, protecting us from diversions that take us down wrong paths, by utilizing methods and standardization.  The odds are that someone else has already been through the Process of learning, either by the ‘school of hard knocks’ or obtaining knowledge of others to avoid pain of learning the hard way.  

 

As an Estimator, when a new project comes my way, I have learned not to be overwhelmed and frustrated, yet look at the project as a Process.  Simple tips I have learned by associating with other ASPE Estimators is to start with the ‘knowns’ first.  ASPE teaches us, as Professionals, to standardize and be systematic with the Estimating Process.  

 

 

David Battle, FCPE

Chair, Certification Committee

Tags:  certification 

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Meow Wolf – Denver

Posted By Heather Boulanger, Wednesday, December 12, 2018
 

From time to time, I have the opportunity to work on some interesting projects. The new Meow Wolf project in Denver certainly qualifies.  Meow Wolf is a collaboration of young artists who started in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  With the assistance of George R. R. Martin (of Game of Thrones), they bought an old bowling alley and turned it into an impressive art immersion space.

 

There is another being built in Las Vegas, which will be complete before the Denver space opens. Each one has their own themes, and they invite local artists to join them.

 

To really get the feel of what they do, I will have to refer you to their website: https://meowwolf.com/.

I can’t go into too much detail on what is going into the Denver building, but I can certainly tell you it is one of the most unique buildings I have worked on.  I look forward to going to the progress meetings!

 

Are you working on any unique projects?

 

Heather Boulanger, CPE

Education Committee

Chapter 5 - Denver

Tags:  education 

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PM or Superintendent Costs

Posted By Robert Klein, Friday, December 7, 2018
 
 

To the general contractor estimators out there:  I am curious to see what your thoughts are on where to include the cost for the superintendent and the project manager in your bid?  Is it in the General Conditions estimate or as a part of the GC’s overhead that is added to the subcontractor bid totals?

 

 

Robert Klein, CPE

Certification Committee

Tags:  certification 

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Detailed Scope Letter

Posted By Ken Horner, Friday, November 30, 2018
 

 

I often wonder if a detailed scope letter provides certain GC’s a list to shop your price to other electrical contractors or if they only look at the price.  Sometimes the GC come back and say the specs state you should have a certain item and so then your scope means nothing.  Does anyone else have a similar problem?

 

 

Ken Horner, CPE

Certification Committee

Tags:  certification 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

Drones

Posted By Eric Ross, Monday, November 26, 2018
 

Drones are the hot topic in construction.  Is your company utilizing drone data?  I see some benefits of using drone data; more accurate estimates, enhanced 3D visualizations and better project visibility.  The initial investment into drone technology is not too expensive.  The extra consideration with utilizing drones, they are heavily regulated in some areas and are limited by their viewing capabilities.

 

Eric A. Ross, PE, CPE

Standards Committee

 

Tags:  standards 

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