VOLUME 4   ISSUE 2   JANUARY 16, 2015


By Bruce Jervis


Construction contracts make extensive use of trade standards when defining the work. It is common for contracts to utilize or reference industry manuals, standards or specifications. But these objective standards are not the same as “trade custom.”


Trade custom is sometimes used to interpret, or understand, trade standards which are used in a contract. It is important to remember, however, that customary practice in the field, no matter how prevalent, cannot alter or supersede the express language of the contract documents. ... Read more.


Featured in Construction Claims Advisor: 

  • Fabricated Concrete Wall Panels Were Not a “Product”
  • Trade Custom Could Not Trump Contract Description


The spring 2015 edition of Husch Blackwell’s Contractor’s Perspective caught our eye for a number of reasons: “Spending on federal contracts was down in 2014. But False Claims Act settlements were up. So were the number of new regulations, the number of GAO bid protests, and the number of claims at the ASBCA.” ...Read more.


While we await the results of the Estimating Survey, which closes February 1, let’s take a look at several actual estimating spreadsheets and see what we can discern as possible best practices. Starting this week, we will be examining estimating templates used by various public agencies and posted on their websites for public use.  Links to the actual templates will be included for our readers use.  In today's issue, we take a look at the use of multiple sheet “tabs” for organizational purposes.


Three Sheets Every Estimate Should Contain

In a spreadsheet program like Excel, a single spreadsheet file may contain multiple sheets. In Excel, each sheet has a tab to facilitate accessing the sheet. The tabs can be labeled to identify the contents of the sheets, and can even be color coded, hidden and/or protected. For the purpose of a construction estimate, a common practice is to use two or more tabs in a single spreadsheet file to organize different parts of the estimate. In our first sample, from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there are three tabs: ... Read more.


BNI Books, publisher of  Construction Savvy and over 50 cost estimating guides, and DC&D Technologies, Inc., publisher of Design Cost Data, are co-sponsoring the Estimating Survey with ConstructionPro Network.  We welcome their participation, as they are leading providers of estimating resources in the U.S.  If you haven’t yet participated in our survey, please take five minutes to tell us your experience with estimating processes and applications.  Click here to take the survey now.  Results will be published in February and provided to all ConstructionProNet, Construction Savvy and Design Cost Data subscribers. 


We look forward to your participation, as well as the involvement of Construction Savvy and Design Cost Data in developing future construction cost estimating surveys.





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