Got a question about material costs, cost estimating or take-offs? Our panel of experts from RSMeans are here to help! Search through our archive of answers to previously submitted questions. Or submit a new question using the form below.

  • Question:

    How can I figure the plumbing cost of an 1800 Sf latrine facility which would include the following:

    • Mens Room - 6 toilets, 3 urinals, 6 sinks, and 8 showers
    • Womens Room - 1 toilet, 1 sink, 1 shower.

    Any help would be great

    read answer
  • Question:

    A question was posted to our twitter feed.

    Who analyzes and forecasts the Expansion Index data? What is the data based upon?

    read answer
  • Question:

    I`m currently looking at the Electrical Cost Data 2012 - under 26 22 13.10 (line 5670) 15kV/480V Dry Transformer and the suggested cost is 79000$ compared to the Department of Energy recent study average of 40000$ for exactly the same type and size.

    What was considered in that item that could explain that difference? My in-house estimators and I are interested in learning more about this.

    The average number given in the latest technical support document published by US Department of Energy concerning transformers (dry and wet) was 46,484$ for a 1500 kVA Dry Transformer 15kV Primary 480Y/277V Secondary 95 kV BIL with low at 33,000$ and high at 78,859$.

    The main factor is the winding material, at the top of the list are the copper-copper windings and at the bottom, mainly the Alu-Alu windings. The same thing for the 4.16 kV Primary at 1500 kVA.

    Now a day, the aluminum windings are the norm and the copper windings are offered by some suppliers only as an option.

    read answer
  • Question: How close can a deck come to the property line on the side of the house? read answer
  • Question: Does the RSMeans Residential Cost Data 2012 book include local and regional going rates for my area? National average rates are too high for my area of Bismarck,North Dakota area! read answer
  • Question:

    I have an open carport on the side of my house and I want to enclose it into a garage.

    This means I will have a wall built on the existing concrete slab.

    What is the minimum footing for a concrete wall in Tennessee and do I need to get a local permit?

    read answer
  • Question: On an 8 x 8 treated deck, how do you convert a 1 x 6 x 12 decking board to square feet or 2 x 6 x 8 and 2 x 2 x 36? read answer
  • Question:

    We are currently in the process of designing a new 2 story, 9,000 square foot retail building. The previous building was damaged by a tornado, and subsequently torn down. The project will go out to bid to 8 general contractors.

    My question is about "standard" general contractor rates. Obviously, their profit is going to be a percentage of the "cost of construction." What is a currently competitive percentage, as we begin to review bids?

    Thank you!

    read answer
  • Question:

    A twitter follower responded to RCD Chief Economist Bernard Markstein's recent article Construction Spending Inches up in March.

    Compare March data to expected based on any year in last 8 not the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) and see that we just had the worst March in 8 years. Isn't it down not up?

    read answer
  • Question: When calculating square feet on treated decks, is it best to estimate an 8x8 deck floor joists separate from decking boards, 4x4s and hand railings? read answer
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