After all the foregoing items have been assembled to form a total for which the bidder is prepared to do the work, they must, as indicated on page 192, be combined and redistributed to conform to the items appearing in the proposal. Thus price per cu. yd. for masonry =
Sum of all labor costs necessary to build that number of cu. yd. of masonry,
Transporting materials, Mixing,
Crushing, Laying, etc.
Materials entering masonry and not otherwise paid for. - Portion of cost of temporary diversion works and pumping (the other portion is borne by such excavation, earth or rock as is below water level). - Portion of expendible material; for accuracy this may be itemized.
Thus, may include portion of Fuel, Blacksmith's coal, Lubricants, Repair parts, etc.
And entire items of Explosives, Drill steel, etc.
Portion of plant - likewise itemized for accuracy.
May include all of:
Dump buckets, etc
And portion of:
Power plant, Derricks, Cableways, Locomotives, Shops, etc.
And none of certain items not connected with masonry.
A proportion of the sum of items.
It is immaterial how such proportion is determined in the case of masonry or any other item in the proposal. The bidder naturally prefers to get as large a proportion as possible onto those items which will be encountered or completed at an early stage of the work. This desire must be modified by the consideration of a well-proportioned or "Balanced Bid"; any other will be scrutinized and regarded with disfavor. Thus excavation below water may be completed before masonry begins. It would be very pleasant to get back the cost of diversion works at that time, or even at the time the diversion works are built. However, the bid must be a compromise between the expenditures and desires of the contractor and the possible situation of the owner should the works be destroyed after he had paid for them and before they had served their purpose. When all the items entering into the cost (as above outlined for masonry) have been assembled, the total divided by the number of cu. yd. represents the price to be entered as the bid for the item.
Freak figures are occasionally seen. For example, when it is obvious that the bidder did not wish to have it appear what he thought the item worth, and puts in something ridiculous for that item, balancing the discrepancy by altering other items; or as when on a hunch that a competitor may bid a certain figure, he puts in a fraction of a cent less.
After the foregoing discussion of estimates, their purposes, the manner of making and assembling them and the listing of the items, it will be pertinent and perhaps interesting, if some actual figures are given. Extreme accuracy cannot be expected of such figures, and where the time is available they should be checked by independent inquiry. They should, however, be of assistance to any one who must in a short time make or check an estimate.