5 Best Construction Cost Estimating Books in 2021

Accurately estimating construction costs is the key to bid effectively and to run a project, whether you are a professional contractor, an architecture student, or one of the many online test takers seeking to earn a certification in construction management.  When you start, you have so many questions in mind, and one bad estimate can make you lose the project or set you back.

Below we list the top 5 physical books in the industries. These are publications that generally release annual updates and will help you get close to the industrial rates, standards, and will give you estimates of the costs. You can review those numbers to add a nearly-precise estimate while you bid on a project. Similar to traditional book options, there are also cloud-based construction cost book that are now available. These serve the exact same purpose but are completely digital solutions.

Construction Cost Estimating Books
Construction Cost Estimating Books

General Construction Costbook 2021 Edition – with Assemblies

With this book, you can accurately estimate all construction costs involving drainage system, paving excavation, and much more!

This book is the one-stop guide whether you are looking to evaluate the contractor’s bid, preparing to submit a budget proposal, or preparing yourself for an estimate. Moreover, this book helps you keep updated and is based on the latest standard rates of labor productivity and national averages.

With this, you can adjust your estimate as per the local conditions as it consists of a detailed cost modifier according to your region.

Its other features include;

Material Costs– including handling, storage, and transport allowances.

Square-foot tables– including invaluable data, based on cost per square foot for quick estimates.

Labor costs include manhours and existing rates for every kind of work, so you can make adjustments easily.

Equipment costs

You can save your time and effort required for estimation after purchasing this book. Besides, it prevents you from cost overruns, hidden costs, and hazardous guesstimates (estimates).

Building Construction Costs Book with RSMeans data

This book continues to be the most quoted and used book as a price guide for construction cost estimators. The Building Construction Cost Book comes with RSMeans, meaning that it contains costing data of over 23,000 lines that are up-to-date with the latest construction costs. Moreover, the data is meticulously assembled by project engineers and cost researchers.

It has become the first choice of estimators and is the most reliable source for estimating the cost for a commercial project. The advanced features of this book include;

  • Best estimating costs for industrial and commercial constructions
  • Large family project estimates
  • Cost per square foot for commercial project configurations, localization, and cost indexes
  • Updated wages, equipment, and material costs

Guide to Construction Costs

This book provides the most up-to-date and accurate data for estimating services, whether you require it for installation costs, material costs, labor rates, equipment rates, or adjusted allowances for profit. It helps you in all your construction cost estimates, be it general construction, building repair or maintenance, or remodeling.

For the ease of use of the readers, it features reliable cost data and comes with a CSI format in which material and labor costs are detailed. Moreover, it has different sections for a quick estimation. These sections include material (including windows, woodwork, roofing materials, and many others) and labor costs, hence enabling the estimators to make a rough estimate for the construction project.

 2020 National Construction Estimator

One can most of the time not rely on past experiences while estimating because the prices for building materials, labor costs, or installation costs keep on changing, be it commercial, industrial, or residential construction.

Here’s when this book comes handy. It provides labor costs for installation, manhours, and recommends crew for every construction. Moreover, it helps you know the type of job and prices the job entails while including clear descriptions such as rates of equipment and suggested sizes of the crew.

Current Construction Costs 2020

Engineers, estimators, contractors, and architects mostly use this book to estimate costs. The manual is considered the standard for construction costs. It contains over 13,000 items of materials that are arranged by the numbering system-a standard CSI division to get the estimate in no time.

Every cost item included in the book consists of information such as;

  • Measurement unit
  • Code number
  • Crew/Manhours for every item
  • Descriptions
  • Total costs
  • Costs of material
  • Costs of union installation