KINGSTON, Mass. - RSMeans, a business unit of Reed Construction Data, has announced the release ofEstimating Building Costs for the Residential & Light Commercial Contractor. The 400-page softcover guide presents methods for accurate construction estimating for the contractor.

Developed as a reference for both novices and more experienced estimators, the book is organized by CSI MasterFormat divisions for quick reference and comprehensive coverage, says the company. Estimating Building Costs provides a detailed look at all major construction specialties, from site work to framing, concrete, masonry, roofing, finish work, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Author Wayne J. DelPico explains the standard material take-off units, as well as the labor needed to install each building component. He also shows contractors how to organize the data into an estimate that will not only lead to an appropriate bid, but also will help them control costs once the work is in progress.

The author also explains and shows examples of how to interpret plans and specifications, how to calculate areas using the correct mathematical formulas, and how to apply direct and indirect overhead costs, taking into account items that are time-sensitive.

In addition, the publication offers advice on how to calculate the right amount to allow for profit and contingencies, considering factors such as risk, scheduling impacts, and contractual obligations.

"This text will greatly improve an estimator's chances of producing sound estimates," said Howard Chandler, executive officer of the Builders Association of Greater Boston. "Those who are learning estimating will learn correctly from an author who is not only a successful contractor, but a talented instructor. Contractors who are more experienced in estimating will be able to confirm what they're doing right, and increase their accuracy in other areas, making their businesses more profitable."

For more information, visit or call 800-322-6996.

Publication date: 10/11/2004