Finish Carpentry Cost Estimating Tips

It is necessary to consider the grade of workmanship when estimating labor costs for errecting millwork and interior finish. In practice, there are three grades: premium, custom, and economy.

The RSMeans daily output for base abd case moldings is in the range of 200 to 250 L.F. per carpenter per day. This is appropriate for most average custom-grade projects. For premium projects, an adjustment to productivity of 25% - 50% should be made, depending on the complexity of the job.

Millwork - When budgeting millwork, a rule of thumb is that the total cost of millwork items will be two to three times the cost of the materials required. Do not overlook adding protection to all millwork, especially if the work is done by others.

Pricing - Do not rely on yesterday’s material quotes. Due to current and predicted shortages of lumber and the resultant fluctuations on the market, caution is warranted.

Estimating Help - Short of time? Many lumber yards retain competent estimators who will provide material lists/estimates from your plans for little or no cost. This is also a good method for checking your own takeoff.

Cost Estimating Resources from RSMeans

2011 Building Construction Cost Data Book
Thousands of unit costs for building components, arranged in the new CSI MasterFormat® 2010 classification system
» Learn more
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