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Chapter 7 Estimating Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical Work. Introduction . Estimates of large and/or complicated projects are prepared by specialists in these trades.

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Chapter 7Estimating Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical Work


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • Estimates of large and/or complicated projects are prepared by specialists in these trades.

  • The ability to compile a takeoff of plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work can also be a useful skill for the builder’s estimator who sometimes needs to put together a quick price for these trades on a small job.

  • Also, some builders like to develop their own cost estimate for each trade’s scope of work to ensure that the quotes received are reasonable.


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Measuring Generally

  • Little information about the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems is shown on the project plans of small jobs.

  • The estimator may need to draw sketches to be able to assess the layout of systems for a house.

  • These sketches can then help the estimator evaluate measurements such as the length of pipes for water supply and sewers on the job.


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Measuring Plumbing (1 of 3)

  • Connecting water lines to main are enumerated.

  • Water and sewer pipes are described and measured separately in linear feet.

  • Fittings and valves are described and enumerated.

  • Hangers and supports are described and enumerated.


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Measuring Plumbing (2 of 3)

  • Fixtures and equipment are described and enumerated, including:

    • Water meters

    • Gas meters

    • Water heaters

    • Lavatory basins

    • Water closets

    • Sinks

    • Laundry tubs

    • Bath tubs


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Measuring Plumbing (3 of 3)

  • Items supplied by the builder and installed by the plumber are described and enumerated separately, including:

    • Refrigerators

    • Garbage disposal equipment

    • Dishwashers

  • Gas line piping is described and measured in linear feet.

  • Permits for the work are described and enumerated.

  • Pipe insulation is described and measured in linear feet.

  • Cutting, drilling, and patching required for this work are described and enumerated.


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Measuring HVAC Work (1 of 2)

  • Ductwork is described stating the size and it is measured in linear feet.

  • Range, cooktop, laundry, and bath venting are described stating the size and it is measured in linear feet.

  • Fittings, hangers, and sleeve frames are described and enumerated.

  • Mechanical equipment is described and enumerated, including:

    • Air handling units

    • Furnaces

    • Heat exchangers

    • Etc.


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Measuring HVAC Work (2 of 2)

  • Control wiring is described and measured in linear feet.

  • Low voltage wiring is described and measured in linear feet.

  • Electric and electronic controls are described and enumerated.

  • Testing and balancing are each measured as items.

  • Permits for the work are described and enumerated.

  • Duct insulation is described and measured in square feet.

  • Cutting, drilling, and patching required for this work are described and enumerated.

  • Cleanup resulting from this work is measured as an item.


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Measuring Electrical Work (1 of 2)

  • Wire, cable, and conduits are described and measured in linear feet.

  • Cable tray and bus duct systems are described and measured in linear feet.

  • Hangers, sleeves, and supports are described and enumerated.

  • Electrical equipment, fittings, and fixtures are described and enumerated, including:

    • Fire alarm systems

    • Security systems

    • Communication systems

    • Etc.


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Measuring Electrical Work (2 of 2)

  • Installing appliances is described and enumerated, including:

    • Cooktops

    • Microwave ovens

    • Built-in ovens

    • Range hoods

  • Permits for the work are described and enumerated.

  • Testing and hot checking the entire system is measured as an item.

  • Fire stops and flashings are described and enumerated.

  • Cutting, drilling, and patching required for this work are described and enumerated.

  • Cleanup resulting from this work is measured as an item.


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Estimating Shortcuts

  • Instead of a full takeoff on many plumbing, HVAC, and electrical, estimators use shortcuts to compute their prices for the work.

  • With plumbing, HVAC, and electrical trades, a price per square foot of gross floor area could be used to provide a rough estimate of the cost, but more accuracy may sometimes be required.


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Quick Estimates of Plumbing Work

  • A quite accurate estimate for plumbing work can be obtained quickly by means of a unit price for each plumbing fixture.

  • Enumerating fixtures and multiplying by the applicable price for each fixture can give an accurate price for the complete plumbing work.

  • Additional prices may be required for installing appliances, special fixtures, and any out-of-the-ordinary plumbing work.


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Plumbing Example

  • Estimate the price of a three-fixture bathroom based on the following prices for the fittings involved:

    • 1 bathtub 72” x 36” - $2,425

    • 1 water closet - $1,450

    • 1 lavatory basin 19” x 16” - $845

    • $4,720

    • Extra for pipe and fittings 30% $1,416

    • Total $6,136


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Quick Estimates of HVAC Work

  • HVAC work can be estimated quite quickly by using a combination of prices per unit area and unit prices for items of equipment.

  • To estimate the total cost of ductwork, multiply the unit price from a past project by the gross floor area of the new house.

  • To complete an HVAC estimate, determine how many items of equipment are required, and multiply by the appropriate item price for each item.


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HVAC Example

  • Estimate the price of a 2,200-square feet house with a special humidifier and exhaust fan:

    • Basic HVAC 2,200 SF at $4.25/ SF $9,350

    • Humidifier $2,000

    • Exhaust Fan $250

    • Total: $11,600


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Quick Estimates of Electrical Work

  • Electrical work can also be estimated quickly by means of a combination of prices per unit area and prices for items of equipment and fixtures.

  • For power wiring and fittings, multiply the number of power outlets by inclusive price per outlet.

  • For equipment and fixtures, multiply number of each item by unit price for that item, including:

    • Electrical panels

    • Sub-panels

    • Light fixtures

    • Etc.


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Electrical Example

  • Calculate the electrical price for a 2,200-square feet house including a security system with motion detectors:

    • Basic electrical: 2,200 SF at $6.75/ SF $14,850

    • Add security system $2,500

    • Total: $17,350


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