With the last 2 years inflation my current cost estimates are only slightly better than completely made up. Combine that with a huge lack of client cost data nobody around here actually has any clue how to price a job.


Thought I was the only one LOL.


lol one of my old coworkers was using $4,000/CY for a new class of DOT concrete with fibers. $1,000/CY was absurd just a few years ago


4x increase. Not even surprised at this point. A few years back I'd be within like 0.5% of the average bid submitted by contractors. We had good data and steady prices. Now I see structures contracts with bids that will be $1 million. $1.3 million and them jump to $2 million and $3 million. The spread is incredible. How am I supposed to estimate something that the contractors are giving a 200% $2 million dollar spread on?


Look at previous projects, DOT prices, and pull stuff out of our ass. Hope we fall somewhere in the middle. Pray we aren’t lowest and “stuck building it” as my old boss used to say


Make sure the previous projects were within the last year or so if you don't want to get shafted lol


It is and always has been a mis of RS means, past project bids for similar work, local and state agency bids info.


Lots of cities and small sized cities publish bid tabs for projects. I use those for estimating. It gives me actual numbers from my actual area and is free. You can usually find the data by googling: "city/town name" + "purchasing".


Neither city I worked for published ours, but our state DOT does. So we'd use a combo of the past projects and the state DOT bid tabs. Plus a little bit of 'meh, this seems like a better number.'


Used to be past jobs, state DOT bid tabs, and a little intuition. Now it's like all of that plus a wild ass guess with inflation. I had a project come back $100k under Engineer's Estimate and another one come back $700k over Engineer's Estimate within a similar bid time/window. It's anyone's best guess right now.


We have an old list of unit prices, I pretty much just bump all those up 50%


Bids for storm sewer and water main pipe are coming back with 100% price differences, so it's not easy right now.


Used to be people worked with past jobs and adjustments for inflation. Nowadays folks just use the WAG method.


In my experience, RS means is good for an initial conceptual estimate. Like the other posts, for projects, typically transportation related, we use a combination of past bids, DOT bids, and intuition. Contract Performance Duration was a major component before the supply chain issues.


Started my career as a contractor so just a lot of reviewing DOT average prices. Recent municipal projects and then just straight up using my gut.