As many of the principal parts of construction in common buildings are essentially the same, a short cut may be made in figuring the bulk of the rough work, which includes the framing, raising, sheeting, siding, roofing, laying of floors, and setting partitions. Take the number of cubic feet in the building from top of foundation to top of ridge of roof and multiply by the rate per cubic foot, which is usually from two to three cents. After estimating the rough work in this manner add all the parts that are considered of a changeable character, such as the cornice, gable trimmings, porches, bay windows, inside finish, and all parts not included in the bulk of the estimates. Of course one can see that a change in price will change the amount of the estimate, and that it is as necessary to use discriminating judgment in fixing rates for this method as in any other.

To successfully estimate the labor in a building every one must fix his own rates from personal experience in doing the class of work which he is called on to perform. Tables, prices and methods are good in their way, and many times will give valuable aid in estimating, but actual experience is far better.

The foregoing items include those which come under the head of carpentry. Of course the contractor will have many other items on which to figure if he desires to estimate or contract for the entire job.

The following list, arranged in regular order, will be found to include the principal divisions of estimating an entire job, and also shows a good form for an estimate :

Form For An Estimate

Excavating .........



Foundation walls ..........

Brick walls and piers ..........

Chimneys ..........


Carpentry work


Tin work

Galvanized iron work



Gas fitting

Steam fitting


Incidental expenses