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Jun

Opinion about RSMeans and other estimating guide

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Dear everybody,

 

Please kindly be requested to advise about RSMeans reputation in construction field.

I'm not sure about adaptability to project estimation work. How about the reputation of RSMeans in USA?

 

Also, please let me know about SES, Compas, professional estimating companies.

How  about them?

If anyone has experience with them for estimating work, please advise me to use or not.

 

Thanks.

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On 2/7/2020 at 1:45 AM, Jun said:

Dear everybody,

 

Please kindly be requested to advise about RSMeans reputation in construction field.

I'm not sure about adaptability to project estimation work. How about the reputation of RSMeans in USA?

 

Also, please let me know about SES, Compas, professional estimating companies.

How  about them?

If anyone has experience with them for estimating work, please advise me to use or not.

 

Thanks.

RS Means has been an industry standard for many years.  My $0.02, I think they are best used as a guide, check, or to fill in some gaps you may have in a cost pan, bid, or estimate. I would use historical numbers or get sub input before relying on RSMeans.  RSMeans lags, so if costs are increasing due to a shortage, natural disaster, etc, their unit rates may be out of date.

There are some good Professional Estimators and some not so good.  It really depends on what they are using as their input of costs and their area of expertise in what they are taking off.

Edited by ruggercsc

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(I replied to the topic titled "Jun" but I see this topic is more appropriately named and has a response, so here's my response from the other topic)

We do not use RSMeans at my company.  In fact, when I was in college and we were working on our senior design projects our professors even told us to stray away from using RSMeans for the estimating tasks of the project.  RSMeans does have a lot of good information, but you can get better information by just picking up the phone or sending an email.  Various aspects of the construction industry are so fluid anymore that unless RSMeans is updating their information on a weekly basis you're going to find that a lot of the data they publish can be outdated.  Wage rates vary county-to-county, equipment rates vary by region, material costs can vary week-to-week (especially steel products), and so on.  My suggestion to construction estimators is to use current wage rates, whether it's from the local unions or prevailing wages, reach out to rental companies for equipment rates, and source material pricing from vendors to ensure you're using up-to-date information.  RSMeans is a good tool for up-front, high-level estimating but in order to provide more firm numbers getting real data is key. 

That's just my two cents.  I work for a more specialized construction company so RSMeans doesn't offer as much to us as it might offer to someone doing commercial or industrial construction (brickwork, steel erection, mass concrete pours) so I'd suggest researching all of your options before throwing RSMeans out the window.

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