Construction software has changed the way many contractors do their jobs. But the choices can be daunting and confusing to the first-time buyer, most of whom start out looking at estimating software. Some couple with digitizers (see sidebar), others are AutoCAD-based and one uses scanned drawings.
Chances are, the buildings of tomorrow will be smarter, safer, more automated and computerized than the buildings in which we now live, work, shop and play. Sunlight will be used with maximum efficiency to boost indoor lighting. Lighting will work in concert with security.
June in Southern California means that the weather is usually cloudy most mornings; residents have come to call the period “June gloom.” This summer’s industry publications brought a different kind of gloom to estimators, no matter what the geography.
One factor in learning a new occupation or system is mastering the language being used, or at least the basic meanings of words. Word confusion affects every industry. Take the computer instruction to hit any key.
Summer is here, bringing plenty of distractions. Don’t get sidetracked, as this is the time to consider added training if you are an estimator. The hectic pace of change in our industry is virtually predictable.
Growing numbers of electrical contractors are trying out new technology to increase their efficiency—some products with more success than others. But the CAD (computer-aided design) system has become a staple that contractors cannot ignore.
Technology is bounding forward in the wireless world and almost every electrical contractor carries one of a variety of cell phones or Internet-related phones, pocket PCs or personal digital assistants (PDAs).
A good schedule saves time and money The site for a new, multibuilding high school project was on a hillside requiring massive grading and rock removal. The buildings were of wood and steel construction and housed six classrooms each.
The last line of the estimate is the most complex Picture this: The estimate is complete, including all direct and indirect costs, and overhead and net profit have been calculated as well. Any applicable additional taxes have been added to the bid.
Contractors’ feedback in the preparation of NECA’s Financial Performance Report (Index #1055) indicates that project costs divide among three major divisions. In general, the job costs will generally consume about 60 percent by way of material and labor costs.
Once upon a time, as fairy tales go, designing engineers produced workable electrical plans with very few errors. Of course that was when the average electrical project amounted to a mere 5 percent of a project’s overall costs.
TradePower announced today it has won one of 16 IBM Beacon Awards. TradePower was recognized in the category of “Best Data Management Solution” for it’s new TradeSource enterprise system, which utilizes WebSphere and DB2 Universal Database technology.
Like many a novice, overworked contractor, I once found myself spread out on the dining room table making a takeoff when my teenage daughter asked if she could help. My first inclination was absolutely negative, but then I figured she could count symbols too.
In the past, the headline on this column would have turned off most estimators from reading further. They would have claimed this as part of the controller’s job. The facts of life, though, are that reviewing estimates before they become a binding bid is a relatively painless and simple procedure.