Accurate Estimates are Crucial
Whether putting together an estimate for potential customers who are interested in your HVAC services, or calculating the overall requirements of a construction plan – precision outperforms guesswork every time. Accurate estimations are a crucial part of getting larger construction contracts because business owners and managers rely on cost projections when establishing the scope of a project, and smaller business customers appreciate estimations they can appropriately budget off of. If the plan starts off on the right foot, the whole process goes a lot smoother, mitigating potential problems before they happen and enabling decision makers with a robust starting point to make the most informed decision when those inevitable “Murphy’s Law” moments come about. That’s why accurate HVAC piping estimating is so important.
A Guess is Still a Guess
Even if it’s your best, or if it’s wild, without accurate calculations to substantiate the estimation, a guess is still a guess. Why waste time providing less than the most accurate HVAC piping estimating possible? Since time is also money, inaccuracies can be costly.
HVAC Piping Estimating Programs Help
One major consideration in any HVAC system is the piping. If you are still just ‘spit-balling’ approximate costs for HVAC piping, associated materials, and labor, the chances are higher that these estimations will be inaccurate, thus cost-ineffective. Technology has made things much easier, such as HVAC piping estimating software, making certain tasks more accurate and efficient. It is still important to have the right person with the knowledge, experience, and up-to-date regulations to provide the estimate. An HVAC piping estimation program significantly assists estimators in their precision and estimation, improving their accuracy and efficiency to ultimately improve your business’ profits.
With the right software, accurate estimates can be as easy as inputting measurements and selecting a comprehensive list of accurate, preloaded fitting requirements, labor costs, and material pricing lists available in the program. With all of these options available, the estimator using the HVAC piping estimating software doesn’t have to spend as much time figuring out and entering calculations, and thus can provide fast and precise requirements in the estimate report.
Accurate Estimates are Crucial (so important it gets repeated)
Although it may be painfully obvious to some, it should still be said - the better the estimation, the more accurate the materials order. Inaccurate estimates are essentially worthless to both the budgeter and the workers trying to accomplish the plan. Nobody wants to go over budget, and this causes decision makers later in the plan to look for places to cut and compromise. Accurate HVAC piping estimating can prevent this.
What to look for in good HVAC Piping Estimating Software
Some of the best HVAC piping estimating software, such as Wendes WenPipe, allows you to transfer your estimation parameters into computer assisted drafting (CAD), as well as accounting programs. Additionally, they are easily customizable, allowing you to modify variables, such as labor time and per-job costs, as well as specialized costs, potential equipment rental, and particular material costs, based on your regional and business needs.
Using an accurate HVAC piping estimating process from the earliest stages enables the budgeting and accounting throughout the process and, through reduced waste and better material accounting, quality and service can be of the highest standard throughout the build process.
HVAC Takeoff Software will help you win bids by improving the accuracy of your labor and materials costs. Estimating software will create an extensive database of your project history and can easily be modified as the scope and specifications for a project changes.
There are six important performance criteria to consider when preparing an accurate HVAC Estimate. The headings presented here are detailed in the Free Wendes Estimating Manual available for download on our web site.
Methods for calculating Ductwork Labor
There are several methods to calculate ductwork labor cost however, we will cover three of the most commonly accepted methods that provide consistent and accurate results are: The Hours per Piece Method, The The Hours Per Lb. Method and The Hours per Square Ft method for specialty ducts (PVC, FRP, Fiberglass, Flex etc.). The Hours Per Piece method is based on the actual amount of labor that is required to fabricate or install each specific piece and type of ductwork, predetermined and applied to the various sizes and types of ductwork in a takeoff. On this basis variations in the size and type of each piece of ductwork fitting and duct are considered as part of the labor calculation formula. This method is based on labor studies for the various types and sizes of ductwork fabricated and the experience of the estimators knowledge of the sheet metal fabrication process and associated labor and installation. Production labor studies are most often used as the basis for determining labor cost. The important consideration with this method is that labor will vary, in some cases significantly with variations in ductwork type and size. The Pounds Per Hour method for calculating labor is based on hours per pound of fabrication and installation labor productivity. As an example we will use a typical example of low pressure galvanized ductwork productivity at a rate of 44 lbs. per hour or " hours per pound" of ductwork fabricated or installed". If you use this formula you take 44 lbs per hour divided into 1=.023 hrs per lb.With this basic method an estimator can develop a formula for calculating shop labor. The Square Ft Per Hour Method is a useful way to compare labor cost for different types and gauges of ductwork as a direct comparison independent of per piece calculations or pounds per hour formulas. If you convert a typical 24 gauge low pressure galvanized ductwork productivity rate into square ft. using this formula you would calculate: 44 lbs per hour/1.156=38 square ft. per hour and install rate 25 lbs. per hour/1.156= 22 SF/hr. This basic formula can be used to cross check the hours per pound method and square ft. per pound method. The methods and examples provided provide a framework to assist estimators to quantify labor and material cost.