Shhh, You’re being Recorded – and Two Other Tips

Executive summary. Just three random important things for contractors that didn’t make up an article all on their own: the legality of audio recording, running one man short, the golden rule of bid forms. What’s this article about? It’s about being a smart contractor in the easiest of ways. Learn […]

How to do a Job Cost Projection: Cutting through the Fog – Part 2

You can find Part 1 here. Let’s run through an example. Let’s do an example so you see some of the challenges. Let’s take one cost code in your budget – let’s look at roadway subgrade. Below we have the budget for this cost. You can see the cost code […]

How to do a Job Cost Projection: Cutting through the Fog – Part 1

Executive summary. An accurate job cost projection is vital to Company survival. And it’s not too complicated if you know the budget, the timing of your costs, and can do a little bit of estimating. It’s NOT about blindly relying on quantities completed! What’s a projection? It also carries different […]

Mistaken Taboo: Project Overhead

Executive summary. Field overhead carries different names with different contractors and owners. Discussed here is what field overhead is, and why it’s important for owners to understand. Project estimation. When a construction project is estimated, a good estimate will be one that captures all costs related to a project. These costs include, […]

Signing a Change Order: What to look for

Executive summary. Ensure that before you sign a change order, all of the necessary components of your negotiation are included. Here’s what to look for in a change order before you sign it. And don’t forget – you don’t have to sign it. What is a change order? It’s a […]

Designing with Cost in Mind

Executive Summary.  Contractors are often brought into a project in the design phase to minimize cost.  Here are some guidelines on infrastructure project cost cutting measures from a Contractor’s viewpoint – it’s advice to a design team. How estimating is done.  In civil infrastructure work, most contractors use crew-based methods […]

Is One RFI One Too Many?

Executive Summary. How many RFIs (requests for information) are too many on a construction project? Is it time, is it possible, to tie the number of RFIs on a job to the cost impact suffered by a contractor? What is an RFI? “RFI” is an acronym standing for Request for […]

Embedding Cost Control Culture into the Project Cycle

By Scott Jennings, P.E. This article was originally published in CFMA’s Building Profits April 2019 Sometimes financial situations can cause a contractor to fail. But these mishaps can likely be avoided.  Forecasting and managing the timely implementation and execution of cost controls can considerably impact effective bidding. In fact, cost […]

Instant Resolution of Contractor Overhead Daily Cost

Executive Summary.  Projects often experience delays for which the Contractor is awarded additional time.  The determination of the per day reimbursement to the Contractor for this time is fraught with protracted analysis and negotiation.  Owners should consider the time related overhead bid item for instant resolution. The Problem.  It happens every day – the […]

Forecasting with Confidence

Forecasting feeds the lifeline of the financial health of a company,” he says. “If owners and CEOs want to prevent profit fade during construction projects, they must equip project managers with sophisticated software tools that allow the managers to project costs accurately.

Cost Codes: What, Why & How

Executive Summary:  Many construction companies run their operations with too little specificity; costs ought to be reviewed on an activity-by-activity basis.  Learn what, why and how to set up a good cost code structure.   The bid and execution.  Let’s use an example, say, Concrete Curb & Gutter.  Suppose this was a proposal item for our […]

Project Management Triple Constraint

Executive Summary: There’s an adage, fast/cheap/good, pick any two. This relates to the Project Management Triple Constraint. It also has other names like Iron Triangle and Project Triangle. The Triple Constraint. A common teaching in the project management world is the Triple Constraint. This is represented by the simple triangle […]

Cost versus Price

Executive Summary: Cost and price are two different measures of money in a construction bid. Knowing the difference is fundamental and can improve profit. What is cost? Cost is the expense associated with an activity or item. It is just cost. It has nothing to do with price. In construction […]

The Importance of Construction Cost Estimating for Civil Engineers

In episode 066 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Anthony Fasano talks with Scott Jennings, P.E. principal of SJ Construction Consulting, LLC about the importance of cost estimating for civil engineers. Here are some of the questions asked of Scott: Can you walk us through the process of putting together a construction […]

Why track extra costs… and how?

Executive Summary: Whether you use a functional cost coding system to track the cost of your original scope or not, it is imperative that you accurately account for costs outside of your base scope. Learn why, and how, to account for these extra costs outside of your original scope. Why […]

Determining Equipment Rates in Estimating

Executive Summary:  Equipment cost within an estimate is one of the most common areas to make large scale adjustments in a bid’s price. It is also a large component of a heavy/civil construction company’s bid and balance sheet. Because of these reasons, it is vital to know what your fleet […]

Calculation of Owner’s Estimate

SJCC received the call to assist with the Owner’s estimate on this project due to the magnitude of the job and the accelerated pace of getting the project designed, bid, and awarded in a tight timeframe. The State of Hawaii was challenged with losing funds if the job could not […]