Reply by Greg3G

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Posted on Counting The Cost: Estimating Questions

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815 posts in 4284 days

#1 posted 04-20-2007 06:20 AM

Marc, I actually worked my way through college as an estimator for a company that installed laboratory casework and equipement for science labs in various institutions. When I started I broke down the tasks in to the smallest unit task, one base cabinet, one wall cabent etc. I then went to the current job sites and timed the three skill levels, aprentice, journeyman, and master (we were a union shop) What I found was that the apprentice took 2.5 times longer to install an average cabinet than the journeyman and the master only was 5 minute faster. As a result we used our labor times for the journey man.

I would recommend that you go into the shop with your wife and time yourself doing various task, joints, assembly, etc. But here is the important part, you must include your set up time on the equipment. Cutting tenons doesn’t take long, it setting up for it that takes the time. When you have your average time, add up the various tasks involved in the job, making sure that you don’t miss any. On a first time project you will be at an apprentice time so mulitply by 2.5. This has been the most scientific way I have found so far.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

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