2010 Costbook Clearance! Was $62.25, NOW $42.25 (Monthly price updates expire 12/31/2010.)
2010 labor and material prices for thousands of framing and finish carpentry items. Step-by-step instructions for estimating everything from the sill plate to the ridge board, including hundreds of helpful pictures, tables and illustrations.
Includes labor and material prices for installing practically all framing lumber, from girders to roof sheathing. Even includes hard-to-find demolition labor estimates. Lists costs and manhours for finish carpentry such as ceiling sheathing, interior trim, molding, paneling, cabinets, countertops, hardwood flooring, wood stairways, and more.
Also included is a CD-ROM with an electronic version of the book with National Estimator, a stand-alone Windows estimating program, plus an interactive multimedia video that shows how to use the disk to compile construction cost estimates. Revised annually.
Included with National Estimator CD-ROM:
The National Estimator System Requirements:
- Operating Systems:
- Windows 7, Vista or XP. Note: Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit now supported.
- PC with 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher Intel (or equivalent) processor recommended.
- Requires up to 160 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
- 512 MB system memory.
- 1024 x 768 or higher video resolution, video adapter and monitor.
- CD-ROM or DVD drive.
- To listen to video tutorial - Sound card and speakers or headphones.
- DSL or Cable internet connection is recommended for automatic updates and other optional program features.
Write Your Own Review
1. Estimating Framing and Finish Carpentry, 5
This book works two ways, 6
Labor costs and crews,10
Area modification factors, 12
2. Tools for Every Carpentry Estimator, 17
The board foot, 17
Lumber waste, 18
Dress waste, 21
3. The Floor System, 27
Posts and girders, 27
Floor joists, 33
Cost estimates, 44
Girders and beams, 44
Foundation plates, 47
Floor joists, 47
Header joists, 57
Cross bridging, 60
Floor sheathing, 61
Floor adhesives, 64
4. The Wall System, 65
Wind bracing, 77
Wall sheathing, 78
Cost estimates, 89
Stud walls, 89
Wall openings, 95
Gable studs, 151
Corners and tees, 161
Wall sheathing, 162
Nailers and furring strips, 172
5. The Ceiling System, 173
Ceiling joists, 173
Ceiling-finish nailers, 176
Engineered ceiling beams, 180
Cost estimates, 182
Ceiling joists, 182
6. The Roof System, 195
Roof slope, 198
Interior roof supports, 210
Roof sheathing, 211
Attic ventilation, 216
Cost estimates, 224
Roof sheathing, 288
Prefabricated trusses, 290
7. Estimating Nail Quantities, 295
Flooring nail quantities, 296
Siding nail quantities, 301
Roofing nail quantities, 303
8. The Board-Foot-Per-Square-Foot (BFPSF) Method, 307
9. Finish Carpentry, 309
Exterior doors, 314
Wall paneling, 324
Wall molding, 326
Interior doors, frames and trim, 330
Kitchen cabinets, 339
Wood flooring, 355
Cost estimates, 363
Ceiling sheathing, 363
Interior trim labor, 364
Hardboard flooring, 366
10. Wood Stairways, 369
Stair carriages, 370
Tread width and riser height, 372
Estimating stairways, 377
Cost estimates, 379
Basement and main stairways, 379
11. Porches and Decks, 383
Solid floor porches, 383
12. Pole and Timber Construction, 387
13. Demolition and Remodeling, 389
Before you begin, 389
Removing a partition, 390
Adding a partition, 391
Cost estimates, 393
Flooring and roof cover demolition, 393
Wood framing demolition, 394
Window repairs, 396
Adding walls and joists, 397
Estimating Framing and Finish Carpentry
Nearly every residential construction project includes at least some framing or finish carpentry. There are more framers and finish carpenters working in construction than any other construction trade. That makes carpentry estimating an important topic on nearly every residential construction project.
Most residential construction starts with a set of plans. The estimator's task is to develop a bid (an offer) to complete work shown on those plans. If that's your job, this manual and the disk inside the back cover will become valuable tools of your trade. We're going to explain how to estimate framing and finish carpentry from A to Z, from the sill plate to the ridge board. When you're actually bidding jobs, the disk in the back of this book will speed and simplify every step along the way.
Bids for framing and finish carpentry usually include both carpentry labor and material (lumber and panel products). Experienced carpentry estimators agree that labor is the most difficult part of the job to figure with any precision. Labor estimates can be highly subjective, especially for small, custom jobs where there's no opportunity for economies of scale. Labor estimates nearly always require at least a few assumptions and allowances (guesswork). That's why estimates for labor on framing and finish carpentry jobs vary so much from contractor to contractor. The range between hi and low bid can be 25% or more. And both the high and low bidders may be exactly correct in their labor cost projections, at least for the companies submitting those bids.
Material estimates should be much more precise. If a dozen estimators figure a job, the variation in material quantities and costs should be less than 10%, maybe as little as 5%. Estimating material quantities for framing and finish carpentry is not subjective - at least it shouldn't be. There are good material estimates and bad material estimates for framing and finish carpentry. You want only good material estimates. Unfortunately, that's seldom easy. Estimating framing quantities isn't like estimating windows or doors, simply a matter of accurate counting. You have to picture how the pieces go together, how much waste is expected and how coverage loss will affect material requirements.
How This Manual Will Help
Most framing and finish carpentry estimators wear several hats. Many serve as company manager, owner, chief estimator, project manager and field superintendent. With roles like that, there may be no time to do a detailed labor and material take-off for every job that comes along. Even a full-time estimator may not have ample time to do a detailed take-off on every job.
If you're an experienced framing and finish carpentry estimator with too little time to scope out the last dime of cost in every job, take heart. This book is for you. I've done most of the tedious work already. Use my figures to save time, save effort, and eliminate most of the routine mistakes even seasoned estimators make at least occasionally.
If you've had years of experience as a carpenter but little or no estimating experience, this book is likely to be the best guide you'll find anywhere.
Cost data in this manual was compiled by a mathematician with almost three decades of estimating experience. Most of the cost tables in this manual are for complete assemblies - such as studs, plates, blocking and anchors - all wrapped up into one convenient package ready for use. These assembly costs give you extra time to estimate more jobs, run projects more effectively, and be a better manager for your business.
The chapters that follow have detailed labor, material and equipment costs for nearly all common framing and finish carpentry work. Every chapter in this book begins with an explanation - what you need to know to make accurate estimates using the figures that fill the remainder of the chapter.
Throughout this book you'll find pictures -and examples that make your work easier. It's nearly impossible to estimate costs for work you can't visualize and don't understand.
Save Estimating Effort
Of course, the best estimating reference for your company would be a catalog of actual costs on jobs completed in the last few months - work done with materials from your dealers and installed by your crews. Since every contractor uses different crews and suppliers, every price book would be different.
And, of course, prices in your company price book should be revised regularly to reflect current labor and material costs.
Having admitted that there's no substitute for developing your own price book, I'll suggest that you not bother. Most framing and finish carpentry specialists don't have the time or patience to maintain current installed prices for everything that goes into their jobs. Even if you had time to bum, spending several hours a month revising your company price book would be a waste of time.
Instead, I suggest that you let this manual serve as your company price book. Using prices in this book (and on the National Estimator disk in the back of this book) will eliminate most of the common estimating mistakes. If your labor costs are higher or if your crews aren't as skilled as most tradesmen, you may have to increase the prices listed here to make a reasonable profit. And, of course, sometimes you're going to have a job with costs that exceed what any reasonable estimate could have predicted. This manual isn't a substitute for good judgment. That's always your job.
This Book Works Two Ways
The disk in the back of this book has all the same information that appears in the printed book, but with one advantage. The National Estimator program makes it easy to copy and paste these costs into an estimate (or bid) and then add whatever markup you select. To get started with the National Estimator disk, insert it into any computer that uses Microsoft Windows. Then follow instructions on the screen.
|If you have trouble using National Estimator, call 760-438-7828, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific), Monday through Friday. We'll be glad to help.|
Before installation is complete, you'll have a chance to watch ShowMe, an
interactive video guide to the National Estimator program. ShowMe is designed to
speed your mastery of National Estimator. You can also start ShowMe at any time
while using National Estimator. Click the question mark button at the right end
of the toolbar. Then click "ShowMe Tutorial." The installation disk has to be in
your computer when ShowMe is running.
Once an estimate is finished in the National Estimator program and saved to disk, press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and tap the letter J to convert the estimate into a proposal in Job Cost Wizard. You can't make changes in the Job Cost Wizard screen. But it's easy to toggle back to the National Estimator program (hold the Alt key down and tap the Tab key). Make the change. Then press Ctrl-J once again.
Job Cost Wizard offers dozens of choices on what you show and don't show in written proposals. Your bids can be long (full description for everything in the estimate) or short (only a summary of each category). You can show or hide labor and material cost details. You can show or hide markup and profit.
Once work begins, you'll want to monitor job expenses to be sure actual costs remain consistent with estimated costs. If you use QuickBooks Pro to pay bills and figure payroll, let QuickBooks Pro do the comparisons for you. Job Cost Wizard exports the proposal to QuickBooks Pro, where you can prepare progress invoices and track expenses against estimates.
The National Estimator program lets you change anything in the costbook or even add your own estimated costs. Let the National Framing & Finish Carpentry Estimator costbook become your collection point for all estimating and pricing information. Anything you add to the costbook shows up in red and can be migrated to later editions of this manual when available. The National Framing & Finish Carpentry Estimator costbook starts out as your most useful estimating reference. What you add to that costbook will make it even more valuable.
Material Costs in This Book
Material costs for each item are listed in the column headed "Material." These are neither retail nor wholesale prices. They are estimates of what most contractors who buy in moderate volume will pay suppliers as of mid-2010. Discounts may be available for purchases in larger volumes.
Add Delivery Expense to the material cost for other than local delivery of reasonably large quantities. Cost of delivery varies with the distance from source of supply, method of transportation, and quantity to be delivered. But most material dealers absorb the delivery cost on local delivery (5 to 15 miles) of larger quantities to good customers. Add the expense of job site delivery when it is a significant part of the material cost.
Add Sales Tax when sales tax will be charged to the contractor buying the materials. In some states, contractors have to collect sales tax based on the contract price. No matter what your state (or county) requires, National Estimator can handle the task. Click Edit on the National Estimator menu bar. Then click Sales Tax.
Waste and Coverage loss is included in the installed material cost. The cost of many materials per unit after installation is greater than the purchase price for the same unit because of waste, shrinkage or coverage loss during installation. For example, .75 studs are needed to frame each linear foot of wall when studs are set on 16" centers. But it's good estimating practice to order about one stud per linear foot of wall. Some lumber won't be usable (waste). Studs will be doubled at each end of the wall (shrinkage). And some studs will have to be cut to fit at corners, doors and windows (coverage loss). There is no coverage loss with plywood. But sheets will have to be cut to fit and most of the cut panels won't be usable elsewhere.
Costs in the "Material" column of this book assume normal waste and coverage loss. Small and irregular jobs may require a greater waste allowance.
Materials priced without installation (with no labor cost) do not include an allowance for waste and coverage except as noted.
Labor Costs in This Book
Labor costs for installing the material or doing the work described are listed in the column headed "Labor." The labor cost per unit is the labor cost per hour multiplied by the manhours per unit shown after the@ sign in the "Craft@Hrs" column. Labor cost includes the basic wage, the employer's contribution to welfare, pension, vacation and apprentice funds and all tax and insurance charges based on wages.
Supervision Expense is not included in the labor cost. The cost of supervision and non-productive labor varies widely from job to job. Calculate the cost of supervision and non-productive labor and add this to the estimate.
Payroll Taxes and Insurance are included in the labor cost. See the following section for more on the "contractor's burden."
Manhours per Unit and the Craft performing the work are listed in the "Craft@Hrs" column. To find the units of work done per man in an 8-hour day, divide 8 by the manhours per unit. To find the units done by a crew in an 8-hour day, multiply the units per man per 8-hour day by the number of crew members.
Manhours include all productive labor normally associated with installing the materials described.
This will usually include tasks such as:
- Unloading and storing materials, tools and equipment on site.
- Moving tools and equipment from a storage area or truck on site at the
beginning of the day.
- Returning tools and equipment to a storage area or truck on site at the end of
- Normal time lost for work breaks.
- Planning and discussing the work to be performed.
- Normal handling, measuring, cutting and fitting.
- Keeping a record of the time spent and work done.
- Regular cleanup of construction debris.
- Infrequent correction or repairs required because of faulty installation.
If the hourly wage rates listed in the following section are not accurate, divide your known or estimated cost per hour by the listed cost per hour.
The result is your adjustment for any figure in the "Labor" column for that craft.
Adjust for Unusual Labor Productivity. Costs in the labor column are for normal conditions: experienced carpenters working on reasonably well-planned and managed framing and finish carpentry projects with fair to good productivity and weather conditions. Labor estimates assume that materials are standard grade, appropriate tools are on hand, work done by other crafts is adequate, layout and installation are relatively uncomplicated, and working conditions don't slow progress.
Working conditions at the job site have a major effect on labor cost. Estimating experience and careful analysis can help you predict the effect of most changes in working conditions. Obviously, no single adjustment will apply on all jobs. But the adjustments that follow should help you produce more accurate labor estimates. More than one condition may apply on a job.
- Add 10% to 15% when working temperatures are below 40 degrees or above 95
- Deduct 10% when the work is in an open area with excellent access and good
- Add 5% to 50% for tradesmen with below-average skills. Deduct 5% to 25% for
highly motivated, highly skilled tradesmen.
- Deduct 10% to 20% when an identical task is repeated many times for several
days at the same site.
- Add 20% to 50% on small jobs where fitting and matching of materials is
required, adjacent surfaces have to be protected and the job site is occupied
- Add 25% to 50% for work done following a major flood, fire, earthquake,
hurricane or tornado while skilled tradesmen are not readily available. Material
costs may also be higher after a major disaster.
- Add 10% to 35% for demanding specs, rigid inspections, unreliable suppliers, a difficult owner or an inexperienced architect.
Use an Area Modification Factor from pages 12 through 16 if your material, hourly labor or equipment costs are unknown and can't be estimated. Here's how: Use the labor and material costs in this manual without modification. Then add or deduct the percentages shown for labor, material and equipment.
Equipment Costs for small tools and expendable supplies (such as hammers and chalk line) are usually considered overhead expense and are covered by your markup. Equipment costs for larger equipment (such as a forklift or pneumatic nailer) should be based on the rental rate for the period needed.
Labor and Material Costs Change. These costs were compiled in the summer of 2009 and projected to mid-2010 by adding a small percentage. This projection will be accurate for some materials and inaccurate for others. No one can predict material price changes accurately.
How Accurate Are These Figures? As accurate as possible considering that the estimator who wrote this book doesn't know your material suppliers, hasn't seen the plans or specifications, doesn't know what building code applies or where the job is, had to project material costs at least six months into the future, and had no record of how much work your crews can handle. You wouldn't bid a job under those conditions. And I don't claim that all construction is done at these prices.
Estimating Is an Art, not a science. On many jobs the range between high and low bid will be 20% or more. There's room for legitimate disagreement on what the correct costs are, even when complete plans and specifications are available, the date and site are established, and labor and material costs are identical for all bidders.
No cost fits all jobs. Good estimates are custom made for a particular project and a single contractor through judgment, analysis and experience.
This book is not a substitute for judgment, analysis and sound estimating practice. It's an aid in developing an informed opinion of cost. If you're using this book as your sole cost authority for contract bids, you're reading more into these pages than the author intends.
Use These Figures to compile preliminary estimates, to check your costs and subcontract bids and when no actual costs are available. This book will reduce the chance of error or omission on bid estimates, "speed & ball park" estimates, and be a good guide when there's no time to get a quote.
Where Do These Figures Come From? From the same sources all professional estimators use: material suppliers, material price services, analysis of plans, specifications, estimates and completed project costs.
|B1||$32.70||1 laborer and 1 carpenter|
|B2||$33.70||1 building laborer and 2 carpenters|
|B6||$31.77||1 laborer, 1 cement mason|
|B9||$32.02||1 bricklayer, 1 bricklayer's helper|
|BL||$29.67||1 building laborer|
|V1||$35.29||2 carpenters, 1 building laborer, 1 operating engineer|
Figure 1-1 Crafts codes used in this manual
Labor Costs and Crews
Throughout this manual you'll see a column headed Craft@Hrs. Letters and numbers in this column show our estimates of:
- Who will do the work (the craft code) I
- An @ symbol, which means "at"
- How long the work will take (manhours).
For example, on page 63 you'll find estimates for installing board subfloor
sheathing. The Craft@Hrs column under 1 x 6's, joists at 24" O.C. and opposite
"Hand nailed" shows:
That means we estimate the installation time for crew B1 at .025 manhours per square foot of sheathing. That's the same as 25 manhours per 1000 square feet.
The Craft Codes in Figure 1-1 define each of the craft codes used in this book. Notice that crew B1 is composed of one carpenter and one helper. To install 1000 square feet of board subfloor sheathing would require 25 manhours (12.5 hours for a crew of two).
Notice also in the table that the cost per manhour for crew B1 is listed as $32.70. That's the average for a carpenter (listed at $35.72 per hour) and a laborer (listed at $29.67 per hour). Add $35.72 and $29.67 to get $65.39. Divide by 2 to get $32.70, the average cost per manhour for crew B1.
Costs in the labor column of this book are the product of the installation time (in manhours) multiplied by the cost per manhour. For example, on page 63 the labor cost listed for 1 x 6 hand nailed board subfloor sheathing over joists 24 inches on center is $.82 per square foot. That's the installed time (.025 manhours) multiplied by $32.70, the average cost per manhour for crew B1.
Components of Hourly Labor Costs
Figure 1-2 shows hourly labor cost components - base wage, typical fringe benefits, payroll taxes, insurance, and the total hourly cost.
The labor costs shown in Column 6 were used to compute the manhour costs for crews in Figure 1-1 and the figures in the "Labor" column of this manual.
It's important that you understand what's included in the figures in each of the six columns. Here's an explanation:
Column 1, the base wage per hour, is the craftsman's hourly wage. These figures are representative of what many contractors will be paying craftsmen working on framing and finish carpentry jobs in 2010.
Column 2, taxable fringe benefits, includes vacation pay, sick leave and other taxable benefits. These fringe benefits average 5.15% of the base wage for many construction contractors. This benefit is in addition to the base wage.
Column 3, insurance and employer taxes in percent, shows the insurance and tax rate for construction trades. The cost of insurance in this column includes workers' compensation and contractor's casualty and liability coverage. Insurance rates vary widely from state to state and depend on a contractor's loss experience. Note that taxes and insurance increase the hourly labor cost by 30 to 35% for most trades. There is no legal way to avoid these costs.
Column 4, insurance and employer taxes in dollars, shows the hourly cost of taxes and insurance for each construction trade. Insurance and taxes are paid on the costs in both columns 1 and 2.
cost used in
Figure 1-2 Hourly labor costs
Column 5, non-taxable fringe benefits, includes employer paid non-taxable benefits such as medical coverage and tax-deferred pension and profit sharing plans. These fringe benefits average 4.55% of the base wage for many construction contractors.
The employer pays no taxes or insurance on these benefits.
Column 6, the total hourly cost in dollars, is the sum of columns 1,2,4, and 5.
These hourly labor costs will apply within a few percent on many jobs. But wage rates may be much higher or lower in the area where you do business.
We recommend using your actual labor cost rather than national averages. That's easy with the National Estimator program. When copying and pasting any cost to your estimate, adjust the assumed hourly labor cost to your actual cost. You need do this only once for each trade. And you can make this adjustment at any time. Any change you make is applied to that trade throughout the estimate.
Abbreviations Used in Book
|BF board foot||OSB oriented strand board|
|BFPSF board foot per square foot||psi pounds per square inch|
|CSF hundred square feet||PVC polyvinyl chloride|
|CY cubic yard||R thermal resistance|
|d penny||S4S surfaced 4 sides|
|Ea each||SF square foot|
|lb(s) pound(s)||SIP structural insulated panel|
|LF linear foot||Sq square (100 square feet)|
|MBF thousand board feet||SY square yard|
|No. number||T&G tongue & groove edge|
|O.C. on center||x by or times|
2010 National Framing & Finish Carpentry Estimator -
by Dan Atcheson
Manhours, Labor and Material Costs for Residential and Commercial Framing & Finish Carpentry Work
- Carpentry Estimating Basics - Board Foot Conversion Factors, Calculating Lumber & Dress Waste
- Floors - Posts, Girders, Joists, Foundation Plates, Floor Openings, Blocking & Cross Bridging, Subflooring
- Walls - Plates, Studs, Corners, Door & Window Openings, Bracing, Wall Sheathing & Cladding
- Ceilings - Joist Installation, Ceiling Backing, Lowered & Sloped Ceilings, Engineered Beams
- Roofing - Slope & Area Calculation, Rafters, Interior Supports, Sheathing, Trusses, Attic Ventilation
- Exterior Finish Carpentry - Windows, Doors, Fascia, Cornices, Porch Posts & Ceilings, Cupolas
- Interior Finish Carpentry - Paneling, Molding, Door Hardware & Trim, Wood Flooring
- Cabinets - Layout, Installation & Labor, Hardware, Drawers, Joints, Trim & Finish, Countertops
- Wood Stairways - Configurations, Carriages, Stairway Openings, Treads & Risers, Main Stairways
- Porches & Decks - Solid Floor Porches, Porch Columns, Balustrades & Railings, Elevated Decks
- Demolition - Pre-Demolition Checklist, Removing Partitions, Flooring, Framing, Roof Covering
- Remodeling & Repair - Adding Partitions, Window Repair & Replacement, Adding Floor & Ceiling Joists
If you need to estimate the cost of framing or finish carpentry, this book will be your most reliable guide to
figuring the time required for installation and the labor and material cost. You
get the in-place cost for all common framing or finish carpentry work in
residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Carpentry estimators will also
appreciate the explanations, figures and illustrations explaining practical
procedures included in this manual.
Free Estimating Disk Enclosed
Inside the back cover of this book you'll find National Estimator, a CD-ROM with all the cost estimates in the book plus an easy-to-use estimating program for Windowsï¿½. National Estimator works just like a book. Page through the entire book one screen at a time or use the electronic index to search (in seconds) for what you need. Then select the cost estimates you want and copy them to your estimate with the touch of a key. It's quick and easy (costs are extended and columns totaled automatically). And you can change any price or quantity, including subtotals, and add the markup of your choice.
Job Cost Wizard
Turns estimates into invoices and exports to QuickBooks Pro.
Export entire estimates or invoices to track job costs for each item or category in your estimate. Then compare estimated and actual costs for each part of any job. Handles progressive billing (invoices for each phase of the job) with QuickBooks Pro. Requires Windows XP, or higher.