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ESTIMATING IS PART SCIENCE AND PART ART.


6. Special conditions—Are there special conditions


that For example:


• Is there a large enough staging area for materials to come to the site when needed?


• Is there adequate access to the site, e.g., will you be able to get cranes and other equipment to the site?


• Will there be parking for the construction la- bor or will you need to make arrangements to rent parking spaces, have a shuttle bus or identify alternatives?


• Will you need to pay for room and board for any workers or management?


• Where is the project? Is it in a congested city with no room to lay down materials or no room for the workers to park—or is it in the country with plenty of room?


• Are there restrictions on working hours and if you are a union shop do those hours conflict with the union contract?


There are numerous reasons for asking these questions. Most important, perhaps, is that if some of these items are not considered, you may be the low bidder but would not be able to do the project for the bid amount. Let’s look at one special condition—access to the site—as an illustration of a potential issue that could pro- vide a major curveball to an estimate. Consider as an example, a project I recently worked on.


need to be considered?


THE BEACH HOUSE:


There was an existing building to be demolished and a new building to be erected in about the same location, only bigger, in a beach location. The new building would be on piles. The visit


bridge over a creek leading to the beach. While on the site


reviewing


the situation, we observed a load sign on the bridge that read, “Maxi- mum Capacity 10 Tons.” Ouch! You could not get the heavy equipment over the bridge; you could not get a loaded 18-wheeler over the bridge. Now what? We had to include in the estimate


the double handling of


some of the material onto smaller loads. We ended up delivering heavy equipment (the crane) and material by water and did a beach landing using Vietnam-era landing craft. Had we not done the advance work, we would have severely underestimated the cost of the project.


to the potential site showed a


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