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Certificate in Construction Estimating

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Estimating and Bidding 1
Class Syllabus


Learning Objectives
Class Organization and Grading
Grading Policies
The Textbook

The Weekly Syllabus


This course features hands-on estimating and quantity take off activities associated with General Conditions, Site Work, Concrete and Formwork, and Masonry Estimating.  

By the end of this class you should be able to:

  1. Estimate the cost of general conditions
  2. Prepare quantity take off of excavation and backfill
  3. Prepare a quantity take off of concrete, and formwork.
  4. Use unit prices to price your estimate.
  5. Prepare a quantity take off and conceptual estimate of masonry work.

The Certificate in Construction Estimating program includes this class.



To do well in this course you should already have the following skills.

  • Know how to read blueprints
  • Know how to use a spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, Numbers (Mac), or the spreadhseet software found in open source software programs (i.e. LibreOffice, Open Office)
  • Have a basic knowledge of construction estimating subjects including:
    • Basic math skills

    • Estimating terminology (quantity take off, unit price, production rate, etc.)

    • Use of the calculator and architectural scale

  • Be able to organize your work so it can be easily understood by others

You should consider taking Introduction to Construction Estimating and/or Construction Blueprint Reading if you feel you need more information in these areas before taking this class.  Those courses are not prerequisites but they are a part of the Certificate in Construction Estimating.


Learning objectives:

By the end of this class you should be able to:

  1. Plan for and organize an estimate
  2. Estimate the cost of general conditions
  3. Prepare quantity take off of excavation and backfill
  4. Prepare a quantity take off of concrete, and formwork.
  5. Use unit prices to price your estimate
  6. Prepare a quantity take off and conceptual estimate of masonry work


Class Organization and Grading

The following table lists the learning modules, the maximum point value a student can receive within each module, and the week in which the modules must be finished. 

In each module there are discussions (10 points), a quiz (10 points), and homework (10 points). 


Point Value By End of Week
0. Student Orientation 0 Before start
1.  An Overview of Estimating and Bidding 30 1
2.  Planning and Organizing the Estimate    30 2
3.  Estimating General Conditions 30 3
4.  Estimating Labor and Equipment 30 4
5.  Estimating Site Work - Excavation 30 5
6.  Estimating Site Work - Utilities and Other Site Amenities 30 6
7.  Concrete Estimating 1 - Footings and Foundations 30 7
8.  Concrete Estimating 2 - Slab on Grade 30 8
9.  Concrete Estimating 3 - Columns, Walls and Systems 30 9
10. Estimating Masonry Construction 30 10
Total Points



It is important that the student keep up with the class and not fall behind.   Course modules will be made available to students on Sunday of each week.  Class work must be completed before the following Monday.  Students will not be able to work ahead of the class although reading assignments will be made available in advance and posted in the Critical Course Information.  


Grading Policies

Graded assignments will consist of one quiz for each module and participation in at least two class discussions.   Class discussions count as 1/3 of the overall grade and are a very important part of this course.   Students should provide at least three contributions to the class discussions each week to gain the maximum points.

Grades will be posted on a weekly basis.  You will have full access to your grade sheet so you will be able to keep track of how you are doing at all times.

The grading scale is as follows:

  • A  270 to 300 points

  • B  240 to 269 points

  • C  210 to 239 points

  • D  180 to 209

  • E  Anything less than 180

You will be given more information about the grading and other course matters in the Orientation Module.


The Textbook

Detailed textbook information can be found at 

Students will also need the following materials:

  • A calculator
  • An architectural scale
  • A couple of colored pencils
  • A spreadsheet program (Excel, Numbers).  An acceptable free spreadsheet program can be downloaded from


Detailed Syllabus


0. Student Orientation.  Learn about the course, how to get a good grade, how to communicate with the instructor and how to use the course tools.
1.  An Overview Of Estimating and Bidding.  Meet your fellow classmates.  Learn what it takes to be an estimator and practice your spreadsheet skills. 
2.  Planning and Organizing the Estimate.  Learn how to organize estimating information.  You will prepare an estimate summary and a project fact sheet.  Learn how to avoid estimating errors and how to prepare the quantity take off.
3.  Estimating General Conditions.  Learn how to estimate general conditions.
4.  Estimating Labor and Equipment.  We will practice the fundamentals of estimating and pricing labor and equipment.
5.  Estimating Site Work - Excavation.  Learn about dirt work and prepare an earthwork estimating assignment.
6.  Estimating Site Work - Utilities and Other Site Amenities.  Learn about paving, underground utilities, and other site work.
7.  Concrete Estimating 1 - Footings and Foundations.  Learn concrete estimating fundamentals and prepare an estimate of concrete foundations.
8.  Concrete Estimating 2 - Slab on Grade.  Learn quantity take off techniques and prepare a concrete slab estimate.
9.  Concrete Estimating 3 - Columns, Walls and Systems.  Learn about estimating complex formwork and concrete placement.
10.  Estimating Masonry Construction.  Learn how to estimate masonry, brick, and stone installation.



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