Simpson Estimating Services Detail Page.. 



On Time and On Call Estimating. When you require it, when you want it, delivered to you when you need it!


Important information we require from you to prepare an accurate and complete detailed final estimating report.

All estimates require that you provide us with drawings, sketches, photos, specifications or scope of work. The only way we can be of service to you our valued client is to have all the drawings and specifications in hand to prepare that estimate. We work with remodelers, commercial builders, home builders and architects, in short anyone in the business of erecting structures.

We can utilize a hand drawn sketch if it has dimensions and comes with a scope of work. Electronic media, CD's in PDF, DWG etc. are preferred. We like to have a reasonable amount of time to prepare any estimate. We have a number of repeat clients and all incoming work has to be incorporated into our scheduling. Based on your input we schedule your project for estimating at the earliest possible opening. Accurate information sent to us assures you of an accurate estimating report returned to you in the least amount of time for the least amount of money. You can overnight your material to us for estimating via Fedex or any carrier you utilize. Turn around time for a price quotation to do your estimate will be back to you in 24 hours or less.




Estimators; Who we are. How we do it. What we produce. This article explains it fully.

The following outline accurately describes the type and quality work performed on a daily basis by Robert Simpson Estimating. By following the methodology described in this article Simpson Estimating provides our clients with outstanding and accurate reports delivered on time and on budget. Call Today! Increase your business! Increase your profits and grow your business!


Cost estimating is a well-formulated prediction of the probable construction cost of a specific building project. A cost estimate can be an important management tool to building planners during the design phases of a project providing information about the facility and the project budget.

All projects begin with an idea and end by filling a need. Most projects at conceptual design require changes to present an acceptable workable solution. The conceptual cost estimate is becoming more important to owners, architects, and builders. It is a tool for determining required funding and to gauge the needs of a project. This tool continues to be refined during the design stages of the project.

The cost estimate accounts for all items that will generally be included in the general contractors bid. The cost estimate is prepared by breaking down the items of work using a standard format and determining the cost of each item from experience and a database of current construction cost information. A cost estimate should not be confused with a project budget. A project budget will include the total of the cost estimate, and will also include what are known as soft costs. These soft costs will specifically be excluded from the cost estimate and will typically include land acquisition, architectural and design fees, movable furniture and equipment, building permits and fees, fire and all risk insurance. The project budget will also include non-construction related costs such as fundraising and moving costs.

1.1    The Professionals

Licensed professionals known as cost estimators prepare cost estimates. An estimator cannot be trained entirely in a classroom. The theory and science of estimating is important, but it takes experience with construction, as well as experience actually quantifying and costing work, to complete the training of an estimator. A person possessing the art of estimating has a good feel for the effort required to produce work, good construction experience, and knowledge of the theory and science of estimating. The less information available about a project, the more experience is required to do a cost estimate. An estimator would typically have an engineering or architectural background and be qualified by experience. A knowledge of building technology is essential to be able to break down a building into components in a structured way and  then price the different components with applicable unit rates to derive the total cost.

For state or public funded projects (e.g., public libraries) there will most likely be owner-mandated limits placed on the A/E firm to design within a set budget. A professional construction cost planning and management firm will generally contract to perform a cost estimating function as a consultant throughout the various pre-design and design phases of the project. Frequently, larger architectural and engineering firms will have in-house cost estimating departments. Large construction firms may also have in-house cost estimators. Many planners chose to have two cost estimates as a check against each other, but if a single cost estimate is to be utilized, then the use of an independent cost estimator is highly recommended.

1.2    Types of Cost Estimate

Cost estimates fall into two groups: conceptual estimates and detailed estimates. Each can be broadly defined as follows:

1.2.1  Conceptual Estimate

Conceptual estimating or parametric estimating is the process of establishing a projects cost, often before any graphical representation of a facility has been developed.

1.2.2  Detailed Estimate

The detailed construction estimate is the product of a process whereby the cost of a proposed construction project is predicted. The estimate is prepared by breaking down the items of work in an orderly and logical basis, determining the cost of each item from experience, and summarizing the total.

1.3    Number and Timing

The number of cost estimates required will be project/owner specific, and will generally be linked to the various design phases of the project. A cost estimating approach to a typical project, which dictates the number and timing of cost estimates, can be summarized as follows:

1.3.1  Pre-Design Phase

Prior to the commencement of programming and/or design, the cost estimator prepares a cost model and budget cost plan for the project. The cost model establishes a construction budget and defines how the project budget is to be allocated among various building systems. The cost model also confirms the project scope and identifies any costs or work to be funded separately.

1.3.2  Schematic/Design Development Phase

The cost estimator works as an integral member of the design team to evaluate design decisions made throughout the design phases against the pre-established cost model. This approach allows the cost management team to provide an integrated value engineering process throughout the design phase. At the end of the schematic design and design development stages, the cost estimator produces a comprehensive cost estimate. The estimate is compared against the cost model developed during the pre-design phase of the project.

1.3.3  Contract Document Phase

Further cost estimates are prepared upon completion of the 50% and 100% construction document stages.

1.4    Accuracy

The cost estimate is based on the measurement and pricing of quantities wherever information is provided and/or reasonable assumptions for other work not specifically covered in the drawings or specifications. Unit rates are based on historical data and discussions with contractors and subcontractors. The unit rates reflect current bid costs in the area. All unit rates relevant to subcontractor work include the subcontractors overhead and profit unless otherwise stated. The mark-ups cover the costs of field overhead, home office overhead, and profit and range from 15% to 25% of the cost for a particular item of work. Pricing reflects probable construction costs obtainable in the project locality on the date of cost estimate of probable costs. This estimate is a determination of fair market value for the construction of the project. It is not a prediction of low bid. Pricing assumes competitive bidding for every portion of the construction work for all subcontractors and general contractors, with a minimum of four bids for all items of subcontracted work and six to seven general contractor bids. Experience indicates that a fewer number of bidders may result in higher bids, conversely an increased number of bidders may result in more competitive bids.

Since the cost estimator has no control over the cost of labor, material, equipment, the contractors method of determining prices, or the competitive bidding or market conditions at the time of bid, the cost estimate of probable construction cost is based on industry practice and the estimators professional experience in the construction industry, and represents the professional cost estimators best judgment. The accuracy clearly is dependent on various external factors, but it is typically expected to be within 5% of the average bid.

Cost Estimating Simplified

provided through the Libris Design Project []. . 2003. This material has been created by Nick Butcher and Linda Demmers

Simpson Estimating Services, 16 W. 39th Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19802-2204, Cell: 302-465-5068