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Budgeting A Job Without The Help Of Computer Aided Take Off Software
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What happens when the Building Construction Estimator has no Architectural Drawings to do take off from? All the articles I have written so far has been explaining to everyone how computers have helped the construction industry. I figured I would write an article on this subject because this is what happened to me yesterday.

I got a call from one of my clients yesterday in the late afternoon. He told me that a he needed to do some demolition in one area of his building in Albany New York. He called one of the Contractors in the area and they told him that they needed a set of drawings to give the owner a price, so he called me to ask me if I could help him out.

Having been in the construction field all my life and being a third generation Carpenter with 40 plus years’ experience and a building construction estimator for 21 of those years this was a very easy problem for me to solve for the owner. I spent about 20 Minutes on the phone with him to make a quick outline of what he needed for his tenants expansion, then I formulated a plan of attack to get the work priced up for him.

As an afterthought once I said that it was no problem to get the budget together in a week or so. He told me that I had to have it done by Thursday as he had a meeting with his tenant to discuss what the rent increase will be for extra space on Friday of this week. By the way the size of the area that we are talking about in this building is large enough to put 9 ranch houses of 1100 square feet each with a driveway between for each house.

Today I went to the project site and manually took measurements of all the walls that had to come down, made sure that that none of the walls were structurally supporting the roof or other structural members. A deck of 12” concrete was found over the toilet area in one of the areas to be demolished, so my field supervisor persona took over to figure out a way to attack the concrete deck that was 10’ in the air supported by a 8” concrete block wall under it.

There is also sprinkler work and plumbing work that needs to be done in conjunction with the demolition. Finally all the wiring that is in the walls and ceilings to come down has to be checked and made safe by an electrician to make sure no one will be injured by live wires. A lot of these materials are buried in walls, but my experience came into play when I looked over the area to be demolished.

Materials that had to be remediated were found such as: pipe insulation, and floor tile this material has to be removed before any demolition could be started, so I called a remediation contractor told him my situation and he came right over to measure up the materials that had to be remediated. This is another point that can be made about hiring crafts people with experience to do you construction work.

In closing I would like to say that even though computer aided take-off software could not be used if you hire a building construction estimator with many years of field experience you can get a good budget given to you on time even though there are no architectural drawings of the building. My client will have his budget by Thursday Night as he asked using all the experience I have gained over the 40 plus years that I have been working in the trades, as a carpenter, supervisor, building construction contractor and building construction estimator.


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