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Chapter 04 The Estimate.

Review Questions
1. Why should a notebook of the estimate be kept?
What items should be kept in it?
The notebook should be kept neat and easy to understand in order to be able
to answer any question regarding any circumstance that may come up later,
and it should contain the workup sheets, summary sheets, errors and omissions
sheets, proposals received from subcontractors, material suppliers and
manufacturers representatives, as well as notes related to the project. Also, a
listing of all calls made to the architect or engineer should be kept together, in
which should be specified who called, who was contacted at the architect or
engineers office, the date and what was discussed.

2. Why might a contractor decide not to bid a

particular project?
Because the contractor has to analyze the characteristics of the project and
make sure that it is convenient for him to bid. To know that he must consider
many factors, for example, if the type of construction is one that the contractor
is familiarized with, also if the location of the project has an easy access for the
machinery or the workers, the amount of work that is currently under
construction, among others.

3. Why should estimators check carefully to be certain

that they have all the contract documents before
bidding a project?
The estimators should make sure that the contract documents are complete in
order to achieve the greatest accuracy and completeness possible in the

4. One of the requirements of most contract

documents is that the contractor visit the site. Why is
the site investigation important?
The importance of the site investigation varies according to the project, when
the contractor is unfamiliar with the type of construction this importance
increases, for which he should collect some data regarding the location,
transportation facilities, local regulations and labor ordinances, availability of
local suppliers and subcontractors, availability of drainage, electricity and
water, among other considerations, in order to know if the project is technical
and economically feasible.

5. Explain what a subcontractor is and the

subcontractors relationship with the owner and the
general contractor.
A subcontractor is a person or business hired by the general contractor to
perform a portion of the work. The relationship between a contractor and a
subcontractor usually emerge when the contractor bids on a large project and
its not possible for him to do all the work required, for which the owner should
acknowledge and agree that the contractor intends to have part of the work
performed by subcontractors.

6. Why should material quotes be in writing? What

items must be checked in these proposals?
It is advisable to have the written material quotes that explain in detail the
prices of freight, taxes, delivery time, considerations in the price and the terms
of payment, in order to compare and ascertain that the specifications are

7. What is the difference between workup sheets and

summary sheets?
The workup sheet is used to make calculations and sketches and to generally
work up the cost of each item. All cost contained in the workup sheet are
condensed, totaled, and included on the summary sheet. All items of labor,
equipment, material, plant, overhead, and profit must likewise be included.